Gourmet food offerings are nothing new at big-name music festivals, but Arroyo Seco Weekend in Pasadena, Calif., thought outside the box (or basket, in this case) with an exclusive limited-time offer fans quickly gobbled up. The festival, which debuted this year, partnered with a variety of well-known West Coast chefs, including Rory Herrmann of Barrel & Ashes and Neal Fraser of Redbird, to create bespoke picnic baskets.
Each basket included food for two, drink vouchers, picnic supplies and a few extra festival essentials. Menus ranged from fried achiote chicken thighs with grilled corn, cotija and mole verde to shwarma-spiced roasted maitake mushrooms with pea pesto and Israeli couscous. The baskets, only available at the fest, had to be reserved online during a limited period, with each basket selling for $100 to $120 plus fees. All of the chef-curated offerings sold out before the festival even began.
The social angle: The baskets garnered a lot of media attention thanks to their exclusivity. Local media promoted stories about them on social media, raising awareness about the LTOs (and the restaurants and chefs behind them) among a larger audience and drumming up extra buzz.