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
Parkways Foundation benefits
Capital Sports sold the 2,000 two-day passes via their Web site,
Lollapalooza.com, 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
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.