Floyd’s Roger Waters and The Who each
perform a full-length concert.
It was indeed epic, with “Oldchella’s”
reported $160 million gross the highest-ev-er for a festival. Bucking traditional concert
economics, it reportedly did so with little or
no corporate sponsorship, getting revenue instead from lofty admissions ($1,599
for one of 35,000 assigned full-weekend
seats) and VIP accommodation options
such as luxurious Platinum Estate villas
and $10,000 Safari packages. As offered at
Coachella, celebrity chefs were on hand,
preparing “Outstanding in the Field” sit-down dinners and manning food booths.
There were affordable options, of course,
but the pricing, in part to cover massive
operating costs, was commensurate with
the Baby Boomer audience. While no
specific information was available at press
time, odds are strong that corporate groups
“In the five years I’ve been in the
Coachella Valley, working both at a major
resort and at the Greater Palm Springs
CVB, I have seen growing interest from
corporations in Coachella and our other
uber-popular events, which include the
Stagecoach country music festival and
BNP Paribas Open tennis,” Blackburn said.
“Understanding their significance and
bucket-list appeal, organizations approach
these signature events as an amazing
opportunity to entertain corporate clients
or create outings and retreats for their
high-achieving executives and associates
in a not-so-corporate environment.”
Blackburn sees festivals as a match for
groups seeking ways to invigorate meetings.
“Bored with traditional spaces, the trend
is to constantly explore unique places to
gather, and so
events and cre-
es, we are seeing
swiftly moving in
this direction,” he
on its festival
assets in face-to-face conversations and via
promotional materials is solid gold for the
“Speaking with meeting professionals
around North America, I find that word of
our amazing festivals has spread through-
out,” Blackburn said. “Everyone wants to
experience these signature events, which
have only enhanced our already strong
brand while giving people of all ages yet
another reason to visit the Coachella
Great vibes and handsome investment
returns also draw groups to another super-
nova of the festival universe: Las Vegas.
Expanding an already larger-than-life
product set, mega-festivals have categorically reinforced Las Vegas’ “Entertainment
Capital of the World” status while underscoring its large-scale hosting supremacy.
Attracting some 7. 4 million attendees and
$5.1 billion in economic impact since 1991,
the Las Vegas market’s annual calendar of
“Signature Events” encompasses some of
the planet’s biggest multiday music and art
extravaganzas, such as EDC, Rock in Rio,
iHeartRadio Music Festival and the Life Is
Beautiful Music & Art Festival.
“Hosting these events as often and
successfully as we do, they are another
channel that we are activating for corporate
groups,” said Chris Meyer, vice president
of global business sales for the Las Vegas
Why are festivals becoming popular with the corporate crowd?
We continue to see an influx of corporate executives and corporate groups looking for
comfortable meeting locations, while also taking advantage of the entertainment offerings
that a destination like Las Vegas has to offer. As enhanced by these festivals, variety is
the key benefit they seem to be seeking in a location.
How do these festivals lend themselves to corporate group participation?
Providing unmatched entertainment value, large-scale festivals are unique experiences that
allow groups to take full advantage of Las Vegas and its wonderful weather and ambience.
Groups feel the energy of a large event being produced in town. More importantly, the locations developed for these festivals have been extremely popular as unique group event venues.
How do these festivals further enhance the MGM brand and group appeal?
With entertainment at the core of MGM Resorts International as a company, the continuing
development of new entertainment venues such as festival sites is essential to keep evolving.
How does MGM market festivals to planners and corporate groups?
We have focused on utilizing Passkey as a technology of choice for many of our groups, which
allows us to promote festival and other entertainment offerings to them well in advance. As we
find more groups offering more “white space” in their meetings, many of these events are a
great offering on free evenings.
Q&A with Michael Dominguez, Senior Vice President
and Chief Sales Officer, MGM Resorts International