Lollapalooza 2015: How Sponsors Lured Festivalgoers With V.I.P.-Style Perks

At Chicago's massive music festival, sponsors such as Bud Light and Toyota brought high levels of production—and lots of creature comforts—to their on-site activations.

By Jenny Berg August 4, 2015, 7:45 AM EDT

Photo: Barry Brecheisen for BizBash

Lollapalooza 2015 brought 130 acts, eight stages, and 100,000 music fans a day to Chicago's Grant Park from Friday to Sunday. Off-site daytime events—hosted liberally in previous years—were more scarce, and late-night parties became more prevalent. At the Hard Rock Hotel, for example, there were no longer lounge areas open to V.I.P. guests during the day. Instead, a new series of nighttime events called Culture Collide's Chicago After-Parties struck up at 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and offered performances from DJs and bands until the wee hours of the morning.

BMF Media Group, which hosted its Music Lounge at the Hard Rock Hotel during Lollapalooza weekend for the past several years, moved to the Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel this year to host new programming. Called Music Lounge 10 Years Powered by the BMF Media Group and Billboard, the series was largely open to the public and also offered late-night performances and DJ sets.

This year, many of the festival perks previously found in off-site lounges—including lounge seating, intimate performances, and complimentary snacks—were found at sponsor activations on festival grounds. Brands such as Samsung and Toyota hosted complex activations that involved a high level of production and provided V.I.P.-style perks for all festivalgoers. Here's a look at what sponsors did at Lollapalooza.

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