Linksomania: Lolla gladhanding, Taste and the Restaurant Association, & more

December 22, 2011

Because it’s been… what, two weeks?... since we’ve had any Lollapalooza shenanigans to report, here’s a good one from Sun-Times investigate ace Tim Novak a few weeks back. (The full story can be found here.) Does the glad-handing ever stop with these guys? (Answer: No, and that’s probably why the paper followed up with this editorial.)

Eric Stefancic — marketing director for the state agency that owns U.S. Cellular Field — gave the promoters of the Lollapalooza music festival free use of a state-owned skybox, seating 60, with half-price food and drinks, when the Yankees played the White Sox on Aug. 1, four days before the festival’s opening.

After the promoters, C3 Presents, took him up on his offer, Stefancic emailed back a request for “10-12” free, three-day passes to the sold-out music festival in Grant Park.

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Meanwhile, because the Midwest doesn’t have enough overrated, over-hyped, corporate-run “destination festivals,” monopolistic mega-promoters Ticketmaster/Live Nation are attempting to get their own Lollapalooza-like event up and running this summer in Minneapolis-St. Paul. Here’s the Twin Cities’ Star Tribune with that story.

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This tidbit really is a tale of two links. On Dec. 6, the Chicago Tribune reported that Michelle Boone, commissioner of cultural affairs and special events, said she will open up to bidding the concessions at Taste of Chicago this summer. For the last three decades, that plum has belonged to the Illinois Restaurant Association, whose president is former top Daley staffer Sheila O’Grady.

A few weeks earlier, with little fanfare, Boone’s office announced the confirmation of the permanent members of the city’s Cultural Advisory Council. It includes only a few of the folks who’d been on the new administrations transitional arts advisory committee, but among them is… you guessed it… Sheila O’Grady.

No conflict of interest there, we’re sure!

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Finally, a sharp-eyed correspondent passed along this item with the introductory crack, “You’ve heard of the Love Boat; how about the ‘Statutory Rape Boat’?”

‘Nuff said.