Chicago Country Music Festival, Taste Part of City Festival Privatization Plan.
The City of Chicago recently released a request for proposals (RFP) seeking a private management company to take control of a handful of free Chicago summer music festivals including the Taste of Chicago and the Chicago Country Music Festival. A move to privatize yet another aspect of the City’s business formally in control by the Mayor’s Office of Special Events.
Music critic and blogger, Jim DeRogatis, has reported that only one “company” formally responded to the City’s bid request but most likely this “company” is a team of companies that have banned together to respond to the RFP.
“Celebrate Chicago, LLC is a new partnership comprised of Chicago-based concert promoters Jam Productions, the Illinois Restaurant Association, and national concert promoters AEG Worldwide, “ DeRogatis posed on his wbez.org blog.
While the private companies bring music business power and experience when booking talent and producing a show/festival, they most likely can’t produce a festival for free unlike the City of Chicago. With the upcoming “change of the guard” and moving forward with this privatization of Chicago’s festivals, it will be interesting to see if the Chicago Country Music Festival will make it to it’s 21st year and remain free. Check back, there will be more on this.
Update: The Chicago Sun-Times reports:
“Taste of Chicago patrons would pay a $20 admission fee—and up to $65-a-head for a music stage that draws the biggest-name talent—if City Hall accepts the only bid it got to take over lakefront festivals.”
Updates: Da Mayor = no go.
Looks like Mayor Daley isn’t going with this plan for the Taste portion. More from DeRo: Daley: “It’s called Taste of Food. We’re not in it for music.”