Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Lollapalooza Deal Puts Nonprofit At Risk

Lollapalooza is one of the most popular music festivals in the world but it's making one Chicago, Ill.-based nonprofit sing the blues.

The Washington Post reported today that a deal struck with Lollapalooza promoters has put the future of the Chicago Park District's nonprofit arm, the Parkways Foundation, at risk. The foundation  received 45 percent of its revenue from Lollapalooza. This stands to change after C3 Presents, the Austin, Tex.-based promoter of the festival, agreed for the first time to pay annual city and county amusement taxes and liquor taxes. The new deal also extends the festival's stay in Chicago's Grant Park through 2021. The Foundation's second largest contributions come in the form of grants and donations from private corporations such as the Kraft Foods Foundation.

At past festivals, C3 would make contributions to the Parkways Foundation in lieu of taxes. Now that they have agreed to pay these taxes, those contributions will no longer exist. The loss of this significant revenue caused the nonprofit to discuss its options. One of those options, according to The Washington Post, is whether the organization should continue to exist.

The Parkways Foundation took in $2.6 million from Lollapalooza last year, but it also experience significant loss of personnel. Ten people have left the board since 2010, and longtime executive director Brenda Palm left in December. Jay Terry has filled that position since her departure.

Lollapalooza, which has included groups from Nine Inch Nails to Kanye West, has made its home in Chicago since 2005. It was originally formed in 1991 by Jane's Addiction singer Perry Farrell as a farewell tour for his band.

You can read the full article in The Washington Post.

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