This past weekend we created a mini Ravinia at the Hard Rock Hotel for Lollapalooza. The Music Lounge, introduced by BMF Media Group, is a three-day "VIP + Artist retreat." It has established itself as the ultimate relaxation oasis for artists, industry executives, media and invited guests during Chicago's Lollapalooza Music Festival. Over the past four years the Music Lounge and its late night parties have grown into the biggest "must attend" events during Lollapalooza.
"The Music Lounge draws an eclectic mix of music industry execs, talent, media and VIPs. Our hotel definitely is the place to be over the Lollapalooza weekend," said John Price, General Manager, Hard Rock Hotel Chicago.
Ravinia's section of the Music Lounge was equipped with music, drinks, and a place to relax overlooking Chicago's famous Michigan Avenue. The space continued outdoors on the balcony where visitors could relax on fake grass or on giant beanbag chairs. When most people stepped into the room, they stopped to look down at their feet. They were surprised to feel the cusion of the grass below. Then they looked up and saw the Ravinia Festival gates on either end of the room and realized that they stepped into a mini-Ravinia.
So many people were thrilled to see the festival there and were surprised to find out more about our Education and Community Partnership programs we do. Ravinia isn't just about putting on concerts. We have music education programs all throughout Chicago Public Schools. We have a jazz scholar program. We are passionate about showcasing up and coming talent, like our Rising Stars concert series in the fall and winter. We offer a variety of things to the community such as free concerts, special programs and family space.
Most people don't realize that we're a non-profit organization. Our fundraising is key because it helps us to make the music education programs possible and it also helps to keep ticket prices affordable while bringing out great artists like John Legend, Jackson Browne, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and so much more.
This event was a way to connect with industry people to let them know all about Ravinia and offer information on how to plan a party, come to a concert or support our programs. It was truly successful in so many ways. It was so much fun to hear reaction from bands who have played Ravinia or have been to the festival for concerts. Ben Folds' band stopped by they were so excited and said, "We played there! We love Ravinia!" A bandmate from thenewno2 (which includes the late George Harrison's son) was in disbelief and exclaimed, "I grew up going to Ravinia! I know Ravinia!"
This year Lollapalooza artists Federico Abuele opened up for Diana Krall at Ravinia in June and Ralph's World will be appearing at the end of August. Over the years Ravinia has welcomed a number of artists who also performed at Lollapalooza including G. Love & Special Sauce, Feist, Matisyahu, Femi Kuti, Poi Dog Pondering, Nickel Creek, Ralph’s World, Cheap Trick, Ben Folds, The Wailers and Blues Traveler.