Lolla’s Papers

A Lollapalooza press conference in Chicago’s Washington Park April 27th included a press table with a special promotion – rolling papers inside packages with the festival’s moniker on the front.

The rolling papers, commonly used for marijuana, were on a press table a few feet from a playground and advertised the seven-stage Lollapalooza fest as “fully baked rock and roll,” according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

This year’s Lollapalooza will feature more than 120 artists, including Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kanye West, Wilco, Death Cab For Cutie, and The Flaming Lips. It will take place August 4-6 in the city’s Grant Park.

Chicago Park District Supt. Timothy Mitchell reportedly was unaware of the rolling papers, which are also used for roll-your-own tobacco cigarettes. After being asked about them, a startled Mitchell ordered them removed, the paper said.

A statement sent to Pollstar from the festival’s PR company, Fresh and Clean Media, said the rolling papers were part of a South by Southwest promo “survival kit” that contained earplugs, big Lollapops and stickers.

“This was very tongue-in-cheek and meant to poke fun at rock and roll clichés and to offer something different than traditional promotional schlock,” Fresh and Clean Media said. “It was meant for that limited audience.”

The PR company added that the papers were briefly left out on a work table and a reporter on site, before conference check-in, helped himself to a package of papers, then wrote a story about them.

Both Mitchell and Lollapalooza organizers called the offer of rolling papers in a city park a mistake. The Lolla press conference, while in Washington Park and promoted by the park district, was organized on-site by the festival’s PR company, Fresh and Clean Media.

Capitol Sports & Entertainment’s Charlie Jones was initially taken aback by questions regarding the papers, according to the Sun-Times.

“Is there something wrong with them?” was his response. Jones said the rolling papers were created as part of an ad campaign and were first handed out at South by Southwest.

Jones later phoned the Chicago Sun-Times with a mea culpa, calling the promotion “a horrible mistake.”

“It’s not the way we want to be represented,” Jones told the paper, adding that the festival is “very family friendly” and the rolling papers were “a joke.”

Concert officials and Mitchell said the papers will not be distributed at the two-day fest.

Meanwhile, Lolla organizers announced at the press conference that they expect this summer’s fest to raise $600,000 for the Chicago Parks District – $200,000 more than it raised for the park district last year.