Will Dave Matthews save the Far South Side?

April 4, 2011

 

Local concert promoters Jam Productions and the Midwest office of the giant national conglomerate Ticketmaster/Live Nation will hold a press conference on Thursday morning to announce "a three-day multi-stage artist festival scheduled for this summer"--the Dave Matthews Band Caravan--on the Far South Side, apparently at or near South Works, the former lakefront location of the United States Steel Corporation.

Will this be a South Chicago, jam-oriented, considerably less scenic answer to Grant Park's Lollapalooza? And is that a good thing or a bad thing for the neighborhood and for the city's festival-glutted summer music scene?

We'll reserve judgement until the details are out. But two of the area's aldermen, Sandi Jackson of the 7th Ward and John Pope of the 10th, are slated to speak at the 10 a.m. press event, which indicates city approval for the plan. They'll share the platform with representatives of Jam, Live Nation, and developers McCaffery Interests at their Lakeside Marketing Center. Lakeside is the name McCaffery has given the still-unrealized neighborhood it hopes to develop on the South Works site.

Here's an interesting piece on efforts to turn South Works into park land; here's a Forgotten Chicago article about the site, and here is an MTV.com news story about the Dave Matthews Band's festival plans.

The Atlantic City, N.J., edition of this shindig takes place June 24-26 and includes, in addition to the headliners, David Gray, Ray LaMontagne, the Flaming Lips, O.A.R., Damian Marley, Bassnectar, Dr. Dog, Amos Lee, Thievery Corporation, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Warren Haynes Band, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Guster, Lotus, Rebelution, Fitz and the Tantrums, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Lisa Hannigan, Punch Brothers, From Good Homes, Delta Spirit, Big Gigantic, Alberta Cross, Mariachi El Bronx, TR3, Vusi Mahlasela, the Budos Band and Bobby Long. Tickets already are on sale for that one at $195 for a three-day pass or an astounding $825 for a three-day V.I.P. package--plus egregious service fees, of course.