Grant Park Lollapalooza sells out


April 8, 2005


Lollapalooza promoters sold out 2,000 specially priced advance tickets in 80 minutes Thursday for the concert at Hutchinson Field in Grant Park on July 23-24.

The Chicago Park District still has not formally approved the permit for the alternative-rock festival, but a spokeswoman now says she is confident the concert will proceed.

Promoters Capital Sports & Entertainment of Austin, Texas, are seeking approval to host more than 70 bands on five stages over two days, and they are hoping to draw at least 25,000 and 30,000 music fans a day, according to their permit application.

"We are comfortable with what they've proposed to us, and we don't see any reason why the concert won't be permitted," Park District spokeswoman Jessica Maxey-Faulkner said.

The actual approval process could take several weeks, however, and public safety officials must still approve the plans.

"If the organizers are selling tickets, they're pretty much doing it at their own risk," said Maria Toscano, deputy press secretary for the mayor's office. "The permit has been applied for but not yet approved."

Parkways Foundation benefits

Capital Sports sold the 2,000 two-day passes via their Web site,, for the limited-time advance price of $35 plus $9 in service charges. The Web site says more tickets will come on sale later this month, but it does not say what they will cost.

The promoters have positioned Lollapalooza as a "fund-raiser" for city parks, and they reached an agreement with the local nonprofit Parkways Foundation earlier this week to donate at least $200,000 for park improvements. Parkways filed the actual permit application on behalf of Capital Sports on Tuesday.

Charlie Jones, the event producer at Capital Sports, referred specific questions about the permit process to the Park District. But he added, "What we're trying to do here is of pure intent and really good for the citizens of Chicago, and we would not do anything to jeopardize the integrity of our company or this brand [Lollapalooza]."

Among the acts that promoters have reportedly approached to headline the concert are Weezer, Beck, Green Day and Widespread Panic. None has confirmed. Promoters promise to announce the official lineup on April 22.

Bob O'Neill, president of the citizens' watchdog group the Grant Park Conservancy, said the promoters "probably will get a permit," but his group remains concerned about capacity, noise and public safety issues such as street closings.