A view of the crowd at the Amazon holiday party in 2017. (GeekWire Photo / Taylor Soper)
No more holiday parties or summer picnics for Amazon’s 45,000 employees in Seattle.
Amazon announced that it has canceled two massive employee celebration events as the company’s workforce continues to swell in its hometown, according to an internal memo sent to employees this week that was obtained by GeekWire.
The tech giant is replacing the events with a new “Post-Prime Day Celebration Concert” this summer following Prime Day, an online shopping extravaganza and Amazon’s own holiday of sorts. The date for the new concert and additional details — including performers and location — were not known.
Amazon hosted its 30-hour Prime Day shopping promotion in July last year, selling at one point more than 6,000 Prime Day deals every minute. The company started Prime Day in 2015, taking a page from rival Alibaba, which hosts its Singles Day shopping event in China.
Amazon tying its employee celebration to Prime Day could potentially signal bigger ambitions for that e-commerce event.
For 20 consecutive years, Amazon held a holiday party for employees and their guests in Seattle. It was initially hosted at venues including the Sheraton Hotel, Westin Hotel, EMP and Museum of Flight.
But in recent years as Amazon added thousands of new employees, the event turned into a giant carnival at CenturyLink Field and Event Center with big-name musical performances. Around 25,000 people showed up for the 2017 party which featured pop band DNCE; 40,000 attendees went to this year’s holiday event that starred New Zealand singer Lorde.
The summer picnic was also held at CenturyLink Field and drew similar attendance. Last year’s event was billed as “Camp Amazon,” with everything from a live reptile show to laser tag to climbing walls.
In 2015, Seattle rapper Macklemore