Lollapaloooza, which took place this past weekend (July 31-Aug 2) in Chicago, has made its mark as one of the longest running music festivals in the country, so successful that it’s now branched to 5 other cities spanning three continents but what you may not realize is that 10 years ago Brian Feit & Bruce Starr, founding partners and Ed Starr Principal at BMF Media Group, began what is now the longest running and must attend perk of the festival weekend filled with gifting lounges, exclusive after-parties and of course celeb sightings-BMF’s “Music Lounge.” This year the BMF Media team celebrated 10 years of putting on their annual lolla bash with a blowout party Friday( 7/31) night at the newly revamped Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel that featured performances from Wet, Jidenna, G-Eazy; DJ sets by Joe Jonas, HXLT and Myles Hendrik continuing into the weekend.
Having built their reputation and network in the music industry, from their early beginnings they sought to differentiate their clients’ activation needs. After completing high school here in the Chicago area, Bruce enrolled at NYU and it was during that time and friendship with Feit, interning at E-magine Records that the idea was born. Though at that age most people are scrambling to send resumes or still trying to figure out their next steps after college, Starr & Feit embarked on the entrepreneurship route and founded their company in 2003, in part because the record company they worked for was going out of business and with relationships they had already built with those clients in place, they knew this was what they wanted to do.
In 2005, they produced their first Lollapalooza activation, at the time convinced their client to steer from Coachella and give lolla a chance. Over the years, BMF Media, which bills itself as cultural engineers, has produced successful activations and events at Winter Music Conference, South by Southwest, Coachella with brands that have ranged from Miami Board of Tourism, Heineken, ASOS, Sony, DELL, Creative Time, Armani Exchange, Belvedere Vodka, Cafe Bustelo, Express to name a few.
When not coming up with ideas for brands or seeking what’s hot and next, looking outside the box, like the time Lady Gaga made her first U.S. performance at The Music Lounge in 2006,
Starr enjoys traveling, with India being his absolute favorite destination.
So what’s in store for the future of music festivals ands event activations? People want instagrammable moments, plus there will come a time when “music will splinter” said Starr, creating experiences for the right age range. Looking forward to the next ten years and their continued success.
photo credit: Courtesy