WBEZ | music festivals http://www.wbez.org/tags/music-festivals Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Please don't stop the music http://www.wbez.org/blogs/britt-julious/2013-09/please-dont-stop-music-108622 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP291709502256.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="(AP/Scott Eisen)" /></div><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-6fbb9ac7-f35b-fcb0-f217-31e23c13da42">&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t care who&rsquo;s playing,&rdquo; a close friend said about Lollapalooza. I had an extra wristband for the three-day spectacle in Grant Park and mentioned I would attend with my sister.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-6fbb9ac7-f35b-fcb0-f217-31e23c13da42">&ldquo;You don&rsquo;t care about any of the artists?&rdquo; I asked. This seem impossible. Lollapalooza, more than any other festival in the city was packed (perhaps bursting at the seams) with musical artists local, national, and international. Taking early acts who sweltered under the high heat of August and headliners who were often the largest draw for the weekend into account, I found it hard to believe that there was literally no artist to draw her interest.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-6fbb9ac7-f35b-fcb0-f217-31e23c13da42">&ldquo;It&rsquo;s not about the music,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;I just need to be there.&rdquo;</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-6fbb9ac7-f35b-fcb0-f217-31e23c13da42">I began my professional writing career covering music. I interned for <em>Venus Zine</em> and <em>ALARM</em> magazine, two local independent staples of the music scene in the aughts. I attended what felt like hundreds of concerts throughout college, first for the enjoyment and later to review the performances. I even hosted a show for two years with Brooklyn Radio and briefly wrote for Pitchfork. So not caring about the music was ridiculous. What other purpose does a music festival serve than to provide music for eager and curious audiences?</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-6fbb9ac7-f35b-fcb0-f217-31e23c13da42">Apparently, a lot of things.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-6fbb9ac7-f35b-fcb0-f217-31e23c13da42">Last weekend, I attended the North Coast Music Festival. I&#39;ve attended in the past, but this year felt distinctly different. This is no fault of North Coast. I noticed this differentness at other festivals too. And the differentness was not always a good thing. In many cases, the differentness seen with the crowd felt like an attempt to take away everything that made and makes music festivals so great. The musical lineups are still fantastic. I would even argue that they&#39;re better than ever. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>Wavefront is beautifully curated and a special homecoming for the city and its musical roots. It is severely underrated. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>Lollapalooza is a local extravaganza that brings in audiences from across the country. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>North Coast is eclectic and diverse. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>Pitchfork feels as fresh with its lineup as ever, yet steady in its mood. Pitchfork is a festival that I have grown into rather than abandoned. It has only gotten better.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>But a creeping weariness grew throughout the course of this festival season. I wasn&#39;t sure if I was just getting older, or if the crowds around me were changing. Maybe I changed too and didn&#39;t realize it. I am 25 years old. That both means something and it doesn&#39;t.&nbsp;</span>I&#39;ve been attending concerts and raves and festivals since I was a teen. Revelry is not new. But revelry as I knew it and revelry as it currently is are not one in the same.&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-6fbb9ac7-f35b-fcb0-f217-31e23c13da42">Media coverage on the Monday following Lollapalooza always felt a little ridiculous to me. Yes, music publications and websites always covered the performers, but a gaggle of online gossip and celebrity entertainment websites always covered the festival, too. However, their coverage steered largely toward who was there, what they wore, how much swag they posed with, and what parties they attended. Lollapalooza was not a music festival so much as an interchangeable word to document celebrities in their leisure time. Lollapalooza could have been Coachella or Bonnaroo. Who played that weekend? Who cares? The star of a CW television show took selfies at a downtown club locals rarely frequent!</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-6fbb9ac7-f35b-fcb0-f217-31e23c13da42">For the first time, I saw that translate to regular audiences at the smaller festivals. Not the celebrity glut, mind you, but the idea that the festival was everything <em>but</em> the festival. Elaborate yet miniscule costumes were worn, drugs were sold what seemed like openly, a general drunkenness permeated the air. I saw a lot of young people who were probably not from the city passed out on the sidewalk while their friends texted with abandon. At the festivals, there were more backs turned away from the stages than toward it.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-6fbb9ac7-f35b-fcb0-f217-31e23c13da42">I consume music so that it is around me at all times. I listen to it during my commute to work. I play songs to help me better concentrate while working. And concerts and DJ sets are a regular occurrence. Smart Bar is a second home. Shows are highlighted and frequented on a weekly basis at minimum. I see the music festival to listen to acts I am not familiar with and acts that have yet to step foot into the city.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-6fbb9ac7-f35b-fcb0-f217-31e23c13da42">But if you do not live this lifestyle, if you do not spend tens of hundreds of dollars on music throughout the year, then a music festival becomes the amalgamation not just of musicians, but of everything that surrounds music culture. It is the drinking and the drugs and the recklessness. It is getting in a little trouble. It is getting in a lot of trouble. It is the gluttony, especially.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-6fbb9ac7-f35b-fcb0-f217-31e23c13da42">Last weekend, two concertgoers (Olivia Rotondo, 20, and Jeffrey Russ, 23) died of drug overdoses at the New York stop of Electric Zoo. According to a report from the <a href="http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/agony_of_ecstasy_at_killer_nyc_rave_GzuQPIxiKrQg5PNLHFq7AM" target="_blank"><em>New York Post</em></a>, Rotondo told an EMS worker on Saturday, &ldquo;I just took six hits of Molly,&rsquo;&rsquo; before collapsing in a seizure and dying. The last day of the festival was eventually canceled. </span></p><p>This is, for many people, their one time to live beyond their everyday. The only reason why the older people around me at these festivals don&rsquo;t act as severely is because their bodies can no longer take the impact of three days on edge.</p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-6fbb9ac7-f35b-fcb0-f217-31e23c13da42">Not that all of these things occur at the same time or even at all at any normal concert, but they could, and the music festival becomes the way to amplify this, to turn it into something unnatural and extreme. In many ways, when talking to friends and acquaintances about why they want to attend a festival, it is to live through an idea of what they <em>think</em> should happen. They don&rsquo;t know for certain if other festivals or concerts are like this. But they are pulled toward the headiness of allusion, all of its promises wrapped up in Youth personified. <em>I am the VIP. I am the one who will go to the places they will never go. I am the one who will see the things they will never see. I am the one who will live the life they will never live. </em>&nbsp;</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-6fbb9ac7-f35b-fcb0-f217-31e23c13da42">On Saturday, I stood excitedly by a smaller stage to see a solid and lively set by teenage DJ duo Bondax. I had been anticipating their set all weekend after spending the summer living off of their breezy hits <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-TrUW7ugr8" target="_blank">&ldquo;Gold,&rdquo;</a> <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCTsZZC9ECA" target="_blank">&ldquo;Giving it All,&rdquo;</a> and <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9uge7OCNsOI" target="_blank">&ldquo;Baby I Got That.&rdquo;</a> My friends had not arrived to the festival yet, so I took a chance and asked a group next to me who they were excited to see.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-6fbb9ac7-f35b-fcb0-f217-31e23c13da42">&ldquo;What? Oh, I don&rsquo;t know,&rdquo; one girl said while re-applying a sequin to a friend&rsquo;s face. She stumbled for a bit, stepping on my toes, looking off into the distance &ndash; at what, I don&rsquo;t know. I turned around. There were just more bodies idling. &ldquo;I can&rsquo;t even remember who&rsquo;s playing!&rdquo;</span></p><p dir="ltr"><em>Britt Julious is the co-host of&nbsp;<a href="https://soundcloud.com/wbezs-changing-channels" target="_blank">WBEZ&#39;s Changing Channels</a>, a podcast about the future of television. She also writes about race and culture in and outside of Chicago. Follow Britt&#39;s essays for&nbsp;<a href="http://wbez.tumblr.com/" target="_blank">WBEZ&#39;s Tumblr</a>&nbsp;or on Twitter&nbsp;<a href="http://twitter.com/britticisms" target="_blank">@britticisms</a>.</em></p></p> Mon, 09 Sep 2013 10:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/britt-julious/2013-09/please-dont-stop-music-108622 Can a music festival be made for everybody? http://www.wbez.org/blogs/britt-julious/2013-08/can-music-festival-be-made-everybody-108532 <p><p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-22b6706e-bdbb-20cb-48c5-8e85917ddc57"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/IMG_7934.jpg" title="(Courtesy of North Coast Music Festival)" /></span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>If Chicago is a city of festivals, a city</span> for festivals, then now is the time when truly homegrown festivals must fight to maintain relevancy in an increasingly competitive and potentially oversaturated market.</p><p dir="ltr">Chicago offers everything from beach-side techno pseudo-raves to 90s acts reliving their glory days amid the gleaming heft of some of the world&rsquo;s greatest architecture.</p><p dir="ltr">But there are only so many dollars to be spent by any one person. So the question is: how does a festival that has a little bit of everything continue to find success?</p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-22b6706e-bdbb-20cb-48c5-8e85917ddc57">The creators of the <a href="http://northcoastfestival.com" target="_blank">North Coast Music Festival</a>&nbsp;(running Aug. 30 - Sept. 1), stick with what they&#39;ve promoted since the festival&rsquo;s beginning: a weekend that speaks to the eclecticism of the modern music listener. </span><span>Consider North Coast the personal iTunes collection of music festivals. Any given night, we might find ourselves at indie rock concerts or deep in the basement oasis that is Smart Bar for a propulsive set of heady deep house. But the music we own is more often a collection of everything in-between. Maybe there is a little French synthpop or early aughts r&amp;b or contemporary bass.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-22b6706e-bdbb-20cb-48c5-8e85917ddc57">Contemporary tastes are across the board, a reflection of a curious and welcoming ear and access to a variety of sounds in an instant. In many ways, this mimics the goals and structure of North Coast. </span></p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/IMG_9956.jpg" style="float: right; height: 207px; width: 310px;" title="(Courtesy of North Coast Music Festival)" />&ldquo;There&rsquo;s crossover,&rdquo; said Michael Berg of Silver Wrapper, a local promotion company and founder of North Coast with React Presents.</p><p>North Coast originally began with a focus on electronic acts and rock or jam bands.</p><p>&ldquo;We decided to try and put on an event that encompassed everything that wasn&rsquo;t at a Chicago event already,&rdquo; Berg said about the festival&rsquo;s early years.</p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-22b6706e-bdbb-20cb-48c5-8e85917ddc57">However, as the festival has grown, so too has its variety of performers. Berg describes North Coast (now in its fourth year) as a Venn diagram with four circles: hip hop, electronic, jam bands, and indie rock. In the middle is someone who enjoys all four types of music. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>&ldquo;Who we aim to get is that middle of the Venn diagram. People who are interested in relevant and different musical genres that are affecting the music of the city,&rdquo; Berg said.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-22b6706e-bdbb-20cb-48c5-8e85917ddc57">But that middle audience is not the festivals sole goal. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>&ldquo;We want to offer something for everybody,&rdquo; Berg said. &ldquo;Whatever you&rsquo;re interested in, we want to make sure we have it there.&rdquo; </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>In creating a lineup that includes all four genres, the creators hope to bring in audiences who might have only paid attention to one music community before. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-22b6706e-bdbb-20cb-48c5-8e85917ddc57">One of the most pleasurable experiences of going to a festival is discovering an act that you might have been ignorant of in the past. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>Taking place in Union Park, North Coast makes hopping from one stage to the next expected, rather than a chore. Discovery is built into the structure of the experience. Notable acts for this year&rsquo;s festival such as Passion Pit, Purity Ring, AlunaGeorge, and Bondax are chosen for their relevancy. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>However, Berg notes that although it is a national and international bill, for those traveling to the city, &ldquo;you are still going to see a lot of Chicago pride.&rdquo; </span></p><p>Local acts include Gemini Club, Psalm One, and Manic Focus (a musician who cited the first North Coast as an inspiration in making his music, according to Berg).</p><p>&ldquo;In the same way that we try to represent every genre in the festival, we also try to choose a couple of local acts that also represent that diversity of music,&rdquo; Berg said.</p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-22b6706e-bdbb-20cb-48c5-8e85917ddc57">While Chicago do not have a camping festival to literally ground the outdoor music-going experience, what we do have makes up for it. </span><span>We arguably live in the best city for music in the country, at least in the summer. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>Chicago is where festivals make a home and North Coast, with its bits and pieces of everything is more at home here than it could be anywhere else.&nbsp;</span></p><p dir="ltr"><em>Britt Julious is the co-host of&nbsp;<a href="https://soundcloud.com/wbezs-changing-channels" target="_blank">WBEZ&#39;s Changing Channels</a>, a podcast about the future of television. She also writes about culture in and outside of Chicago. Follow Britt&#39;s essays for&nbsp;<a href="http://wbez.tumblr.com/" target="_blank">WBEZ&#39;s Tumblr</a>&nbsp;or on Twitter&nbsp;<a href="http://twitter.com/britticisms" target="_blank">@britticisms</a>.</em></p></p> Tue, 27 Aug 2013 10:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/britt-julious/2013-08/can-music-festival-be-made-everybody-108532 The music festival http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-09/music-festival-102683 <p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="http://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F61371301&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=true&amp;color=ffe12b" width="100%"></iframe></p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/3329477270_0dc7a76a0b_z.jpg" style="height: 427px; width: 640px; " title="A poster for Festival Express. (Flickr/Kate's Photo Diary)" /></div><p>This week&rsquo;s Thursday foray into music focuses on the Music Festival. One of the season&rsquo;s final festivals in Illinois is <a href="http://pygmalionmusicfestival.com/">The Pygmalion Music Fest </a>in Champaign/Urbana. &nbsp;</p><p>History tells us the first festival to include music: The Pythian Games in Delphi. The event was founded in the 6<sup>th</sup> Century BCE and it was a forerunner to the Olympics. Too bad archeologists were never able to dig up a program; it would have been interesting to get a sense of the acts.</p><p>The oldest annual music festival is the <a href="http://www.efestivals.co.uk/festivals/pinkpop/2013/">Pinkpop Festival</a> in the Netherlands. Some of the more recent acts: Groove Armada, KT Tunstall and Bruce Springsteen.</p><p>Music Festivals today dwarf those of the past. The first &quot;festival&quot; I attended was 1978&rsquo;s Loop&rsquo;s Day in the Park. This was an all-day affair held at Comiskey Park. This one followed what was then the standard model: one stage with multiple acts and featured Thin Lizzy, Molly Hatchet, Eddie Money, Santana and the headliner Journey. We left right as Journey hit the stage, and good thing, because moments later there was a downpour.</p><p>Of course these days, those five acts would be a fraction of one day at say Coachella or Chicago&rsquo;s Lollapalooza. But there was something special about the one stage model; you really felt part of a community because everyone was watching the same bands and focusing on the music instead of art installations, hanging out in the beer tent or sampling cigarettes.&nbsp;</p><p>I&rsquo;m not convinced that bigger is better; I would have preferred Monterrey over Woodstock, Coachella instead of Lollapalooza. But that&rsquo;s just me. And yes, though Coachella is attracting bigger crowds now, it doesn&#39;t seem as cramped as the scene at Lollapalooza.</p><p>There are so many music festivals of the past that I wish I had been able to attend like the aforementioned Monterrey Pop Festival, or Wattstax, the 1970 edition of the Isle of Wight and Festival Express. Those four have become iconic moments in music fest history just like Dylan plugging in at Newport Folk Fest. I guess I&rsquo;m still waiting for that sort of twinking to take place at one of today&rsquo;s music festivals. In the meantime, here are my picks from some of those fests.</p><p style="text-align: center; "><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/zPJkcN-jkGA" width="560"></iframe></p><p>The concert movie <strong><em>Festival Express</em></strong> was a late comer to the genre given it took place in 1970 in Canada. What a great idea, not so much for audiences but the performers. This was a Trans Canada fest that had the artists traveling on a private 14 car train making stops in various cities to perform. It&rsquo;s almost as if performing was a side note to the musical camaraderie, and partying among the artists while aboard the Festival Express.</p><p>But they didn&rsquo;t give the audience short shift when they did hit those stages and one of the exceptional performers was<strong> Janis Joplin </strong>who would die just two to three months after the Festival Express rolled back into the station. Here she takes on the soul number <strong>&quot;Tell Mama&quot;</strong>, made famous by Etta James in 1968.</p><p><strong>Wattstax </strong>was held in 1972 at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to mark the seventh anniversary of the Watts Riots and is often referred to as the &ldquo;Afro American answer to Woodstock.&quot; The festival was curated by Stax Records, so most (if not all) of the performers were on the Stax label. Tickets were cheap - one dollar - and patrons certainly got their money&rsquo;s worth. Chicago&rsquo;s Staple Singers appeared as did Isaac Hayes.</p><p>Singer and comedian <strong>Rufus Thomas</strong> was also there in his trademark polyester cape and matching shorts. In this clip from the Golden Globe award winning documentary, Rufus shows us how to do a dance called the <strong>&quot;Breakdown&quot;</strong>; one that I remember doing as a nine year old. The highlight of this scene is the dancers specifically one woman in a very short mini dress-they could teach the kids at Pitchfork a thing or two about groovin&rsquo;.</p><p style="text-align: center; "><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/KCFyKRtlLOI" width="560"></iframe></p><p>2005 was my first year at <strong>Coachella </strong>and along with the Gang of Four, the <strong>Bauhaus </strong>set was up there. You know you&rsquo;re going to get a good show when singer Peter Murphy enters the stage from above, hanging upside down like a bat as the opening notes of <strong>&quot;Bela Lugosi&rsquo;s Dead&quot;</strong> plays.</p><p style="text-align: center; "><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Q5v2bP1okBs" width="560"></iframe></p><p>Seth Fein, founder and producer of Pygmalion Music Festival, has some favorite picks as well:</p><p><strong>Farm Aid, 1985, Champaign-Urbana: &quot;</strong>I was four. I just remember that it was rainy...Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, and Randy Newman all played. I love Newman&rsquo;s &#39;Political Science.&#39;&quot;</p><p><strong>Luscious Jackson, 1994, Lollapalooza: </strong>&quot;I got stuck with friends seeing the side stage, and when I was there, I knew about LJ, and knew about their music because they were signed to Beastie Boys label, and I took that show away as being my fave of the day.&nbsp;They were playing on a side stage, up against the Beasties, Breeders, Pumpkins. I had more fun at the side stage than i did at the main stage.<br /><br />Looking back at that the way they process their customer&rsquo;s needs, Farm Aid had a huge mainstage, but now there is no way there&rsquo;d just be a main stage. Almost every fest you go to has a headliner, and an undercard on a side stage. When I go to Lolla now, I almost never watch the bands on the mainstage. It&rsquo;s a much more intimate experience, and I don&#39;t feel as small when I see them.&quot;<br /><br /><strong>HUM, 1995, Planetfest:</strong>&nbsp;&quot;It was a small, 1-day fest that WPGU used to put on back then. That&#39;s when Champaign&rsquo;s music scene was blowing up in a big way.&quot;</p></p> Wed, 26 Sep 2012 14:43:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-09/music-festival-102683 Despite setbacks, Chicago Jazz Festival delivers http://www.wbez.org/story/despite-setbacks-chicago-jazz-festival-delivers-91523 <p><div>City officials say Chicago's 33rd annual Jazz Festival was a success, despite some weekend rain and a shortened planning schedule. Cindy Gatziolis, spokeswoman for Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, estimated that 175,000 people turned out for the free performances over four days.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>"With last year, it's down slightly, just because we did have that rain Saturday afternoon," Gatziolis said. "I think it hurt a little bit on that day, but they came in droves yesterday."</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Gatziolis said this year's four-day music festival was also a feat of planning, because preparations began four months later than usual. The timeline was set back because former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley was considering privatizing the city's free music festivals and Taste of Chicago. Ultimately Daley rejected the single bid that came in to privatize the events.</div></p> Mon, 05 Sep 2011 18:13:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/despite-setbacks-chicago-jazz-festival-delivers-91523 Music brings business and money to Chicago http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-08-03/music-brings-business-and-money-chicago-90048 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2011-August/2011-08-03/4884965126_a4409ca243_b.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>In recent years, Chicago became home to some high-profile music festivals. One obvious benefit for music lovers is exposure to a wide variety of bands in the space of a few days. But beyond the cultural cache, music reporter Althea Legaspi looked at whether festivals benefit the local economy.</p><p><a href="http://www.lollapalooza.com/" target="_blank">Lollapalooza</a> begins Aug. 5 in Grant Park. For more on Lollapalooza's relationship with the city, check out <a href="http://www.soundopinions.org/" target="_blank"><em>Sound Opinions</em></a> co-host and music blogger Jim DeRogatis' blog <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis" target="_blank">Pop N Stuff</a>.</p></p> Wed, 03 Aug 2011 15:28:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-08-03/music-brings-business-and-money-chicago-90048 Only one bidder wants to privatize Chicago's music festivals... but who the heck is it? http://www.wbez.org/blog/jim-derogatis/only-one-bidder-wants-privatize-chicagos-music-festivals-who-heck-it <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//Chicago Music Festival Crowd.JPG" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img title="" alt="" style="width: 500px; height: 183px;" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2010-December/2010-12-27/celebrate.jpg" /></p><p>The deadline for promoters responding to the request for proposals to privatize Taste of Chicago, the Blues Festival, and the five other soon-to-be-formerly-free city music festivals was 4 p.m. Monday, having been extended from the same time on the day the night before Christmas, and the results are in. Drum roll please...</p><p>The one and only bidder is a company called Celebrate Chicago, LLC.</p><p>No Ticketmaster/Live Nation. No Jam Productions. And no C3 Presents... unless of course one of them is part of Celebrate Chicago, LLC. And alas, as of this moment, we have no way of knowing.</p><p>The company does not turn up on a search of registered corporations in Illinois--possibly because it was formed specifically to respond to this proposal, either as a dedicated venture or a partnership with other entities to qualify for the city's women and minority hiring rules, and probably because it's too new to have been registered yet with the state, especially given the holiday.</p><p>The city is not going to share any other information with the public on who this bidder is or what it would like to do until the bidding evaluation committee either accepts the proposal and awards a contract or decides to keep the festivals in-house. Wrote Altha Riley, overseer of the bidding process for the Department of Procurement Services: &quot;Only the names of the respondents are public information. No other proposal information is available until after the RFP&nbsp;process is complete. Once a vendor is selected and contract awarded, DPS [the Department of Procurement Services] can process Freedom of Information Act or debriefing meeting requests.&quot;</p><p>So:&nbsp;Who is Celebrate Chicago?</p><p>We'll either have to wait to find out... or keep digging. In the mean time, all (educated)&nbsp;guesses are welcome!</p><p><strong>Earlier reports in this blog about privatizing the city festivals and the battle between the Mayor&rsquo;s Office of Special Events and the Department of Cultural Affairs:</strong></p><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/jim-derogatis/what%E2%80%99s-really-going-cultural-affairs-and-what-happens-arts-and-music-now">Dec. 20:&nbsp;What's really going on at Cultural Affairs, and what happens to arts and music now?</a></p> <p><a href="../../../../../blog/jim-derogatis/chicagos-department-cultural-affairs-dismantled-29-are-laid">Dec. 16: Chicago&rsquo;s Department of Cultural Affairs is dismantled as 29 are laid off</a></p> <p><a href="../../../../../blog/jim-derogatis/nope-they-won%E2%80%99t-have-remain-free%E2%80%A6-and-answers-other-questions-about-privatizing-c">Dec. 14: Nope, they won&rsquo;t have to remain free&hellip; and answers to other questions about privatizing the city music festivals</a></p> <p><a href="../../../../../blog/jim-derogatis/city-festivals-chief-responds-blogs-reporting-push-privatization">Dec. 7: City festivals chief responds to this blog&rsquo;s reporting on the push for privatization</a></p> <p><a href="../../../../../blog/jim-derogatis/are-political-power-struggle-and-sweetheart-deal-fueling-citys-push-privatize-sum">Dec. 6: Are a political power struggle and a sweetheart deal fueling the city's push to privatize the summer music festivals?</a></p> <p><a href="../../../../../blog/jim-derogatis/psst-hey-buddy-wanna-buy-city-festival">Nov. 22: Psst! Hey, buddy: Wanna buy a city festival?</a></p></p> Tue, 28 Dec 2010 00:22:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/jim-derogatis/only-one-bidder-wants-privatize-chicagos-music-festivals-who-heck-it