Four years in, New York City’s Vulture Festival continues to grow.

The May 20-21 festival renewed and expanded partnerships with three top-tier sponsors (AT&T, Citi and TNT), secured a new media partner with Sirius XM and is gearing up for its inaugural event outside New York City with the November debut of Vulture Festival Los Angeles.

Vulture Festival features live performances, comedy, interviews, podcasts and other programming with A-list talent. 2017 talent included Aziz Ansari, Kevin Bacon, Al Franken and Stephen Colbert.

Attendance has grown from roughly 5,000 people at the 2015 festival to approximately 11,000 in 2016 and 13,000 in 2017.

New York Media—owner of New York magazine, and other online destinations—uses the festival to drive incremental sponsorship revenue rather than a platform to offer advertisers added-value benefits.

“Last year we planted a flag and got significant buy-in. Sponsors who had a taste said ‘we get it. We want all in,’” said Daniel Jasper, New York Media director of sponsorship.

Case in point: TNT this year expanded its sponsorship with a multifaceted partnership that includes both the New York City and Los Angeles events. The cable TV channel activated the just-concluded NYC event in support of two new original TV shows: Claws and Will. TNT brought the shows to life through two curated dining experiences with cast members and celebrity chefs under the TNT Supper Club banner.

AT&T this year expanded its involvement with an expanded lounge experience (AT&T Vulture Lounge at Highline Stages) and several new components (sponsorship of a session with Neil Patrick Harris, Audience Network screenings, etc.).

The telco also leveraged the sponsorship with Sara Dietschy, a social media influencer who posted interviews and other content from the festival with the #ATTInfluencer hashtag.

Sirius XM will use its new partnership with the New York City and Los Angeles events to gain content for its comedy channels. The company operates six comedy channels on satellite radio and two comedy channels online.

“We partnered with Vulture Festival due to its brand and talent. It’s consistent with the voice we use on several of our comedy channels,” said Jack Vaughn, Sirius XM senior vice president of comedy programming.

Sirius XM promoted the NYC festival via ticket giveaways.

“We have significant reach for our comedy channels. We reach comedy fans who are very much interested in an event like Vulture Festival.”

Going forward, Vulture Festival may use Twitter Amplify to distribute content as part of its growth and sponsor integration strategy, said Jasper. 

“AT&T using influencers, Sirius XM sharing our content and Twitter doing live streams are all ways we can get creative and increase scalability.”