City releases Lollapalooza contract

As reported: Financial gains, but still plenty of problems

April 17, 2012

The Chicago Park District this afternoon finally released its new 10-year and possibly eternal contract with the massive Lollapalooza Music Festival to this reporter and others who’d filed Freedom of Information Act requests.

All of its pluses (primarily added income for city, county and state government via previously unpaid taxes) and minuses (including the festival’s exclusive lock on the use of Grant Park, a lack of deadlines or penalties for failure of timely clean-up and repairs to the city’s front yard and no attempt at measures to force the concert into playing fair with local music businesses) are as described in yesterday’s report.

Although it was never made public that a renegotiation was underway and the new contract did not appear on the agenda, the Park District Board approved the new deal on March 14. Its Freedom of Information officer had previously rejected two requests for the new contract filed after that date by saying that the pact had not yet been executed. But the document released today is dated March 27.

The contract can be found below in its entirety, minus two appendices outlining the geographic boundaries of the space the festival will occupy, which are unchanged from last year.

UPDATED: The most interesting addition to this contact that jumped out on a third read and a comparison to the original contract of 2005 and the first amended contract of 2008 is section 9.6 "Evergreen," which seems to allow the city and Lollapalooza to add one year more to the contract (with the financial terms to be set at that time) past 2021 and after any year's festival... and to say that can be done again after the next year's festival, and the next, and the next.

That makes what city officials have said is a 10-year contract in reality a contract in perpetuity.

Also of some interest in these budget-conscious times: the fact that the city doesn't get a  cut of sponsorship revenue and food and beverage sales until after Lollapalooza hits $3.25 million for the former and $3 million for the latter. There is no cut at all mentioned for souvenir sales. How much does the festival take in each year in any of these areas? To date, that information has never been published.

Cpd Agreement - 2012-21 Tk Final