Chi-Town Rising

Rising Star of New Year’s Eve

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    Chi-Town Rising 
    Chicago, IL
    Production Management
    Stage Rigging


Each new year brings new opportunities. For the city of Chicago, that meant launching a brand-new tradition: Chi-Town Rising.

Event organizers had a bold vision for the city of Chicago: create a live and televised destination event to extend the celebration from New York City’s iconic Times Square ball drop. The winter celebration was created to spark excitement for locals and increase tourism for the city as a New Year’s Eve destination.


Chicago even aimed to keep the party going in the Central and Western Time Zones.

The event would also serve as a showcase of the city’s energy and excitement throughout the winter season. Freeman was selected by the executive producers at Arena Partners and One618 to assist with everything from production to sponsored parties. Winter in downtown Chicago presents a unique set of challenges; to guarantee all technology would withstand every element, LED panels were tested overnight in freezing temperatures. Team collaboration and attention to detail ensured that all activities and live entertainment were executed with perfection. 


The main stage at Chi-Town Rising was rockin’ all night long with live performances by American Authors, Chicago, and local artists.

Guests willing to brave the Chicago chill could party out in front of the main stage or cozy up at one of the nearby hotel parties or VIP rooms connected to the official event. Freeman provided equipment and personnel for video and audio feeds to broadcast the event across 40 NBC stations and Telemundo so that viewers across the country could be a part of the celebration. As the larger-than-life New Year's star rose above the city on the Hyatt, public audiences could count down to the new year and experience the excitement downtown. 


With over 90,000 attendees and 1.6 million viewers across the country, Chi-Town Rising surpassed its audience goals.

Guests from 39 U.S. states purchased tickets, bringing in people from around the country, and they all shared their experiences on social media with #CHITOWNRISING – the fourth-highest-trending hashtag in the U.S. on New Year's Eve. Most importantly, the event generated $20M in economic impact and shared positive images of the city of Chicago with millions around the world. 

The event was so successful, organizers have expanded plans for next year, hoping to expand the footprint of the event throughout the city to make the event more accessible to the public, creating a festival atmosphere. 

Image: Kardas Photography