Southeast Side Music Venue Prepped For Dave Matthews Concert

CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s Chicago’s newest and most unlikely concert venue: the site of the old U.S. Steel plant on Chicago’s southeast side.

It’s been deserted for a long time, but it’s soon to be filled with people and big-name bands.

But as CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez reports, some people aren’t jumping on the bandwagon.

Like it or not, the three-day concert event, the Dave Matthews Band Caravan, will kick off in eight days.

A lot of plans for retail, residential and recreation are on paper. But Neil Bosanko, the head of the South Chicago Chamber of Commerce, is thrilled that tens of thousands of concert-goers are actually coming next week to a long-deserted site about the size of the Loop.

“Finally there’s a spotlight on the southeast side in a positive spotlight,” Bosanko says. “It is nothing but a beautiful vacant parcel right on the lakefront and riverfront, and it’s going to prove to be a jewel.”

Bosanko says a temporary bicycling velodrome just breaking ground next door to the concert site shows there’s interest in the area.

“Even the interim facility will have a chance to attract riders from Michigan, riders from Indiana, from Ohio,” Emanuele Bianchi said.

Bianchi says a permanent velodrome on par with United Center breaks ground in August.

But it’s the concert that had neighbors abuzz this week.

Crews were putting wood chips on the ground and getting ready to prepare three main stages.

Resident Arselia Ben sees the event as a positive for the neighborhood, but next door, Joe Costello sees it differently. He’s worried about crowds, parking and alcohol sales.

Costello says he doesn’t see a weekend concert as leading to any real progress.

But if it goes well, more will be staged.

  • Cynthia Costello

    I lived in South Chicago for over 40 years and finally moved because the City of Chicago had “no” interest in the South side of Chicago. If you weren’t lucky enough to live up north you might as well forget about getting any help. It got worse when the Mills closed. Our neighborhoods were completely forgotten. They even eliminated our bus service. Now that this Band is coming, they suddenly can fix the streets that we have been living with. I’ve never seen 83rd Street look so good, even when the Mills were going strong. But don’t anyone take a side street because they are full of potholes. 83rd Street is a direct route from the train, so it had to look good. Now that they have ran everyone out of the neighborhood but the very poorest of us all, they have the land and the money to fix things!!! Our husbands and fathers and grandfathers made a living on this land and paid their taxes to the City and all they got in return is nothing. A rundown neighborhood.As usual the rich are going to make money out of our neighborhood and we will get nothing.The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Nothing changes does it.

  • The Sarge

    Change only comes when there’s money to be made by the connected ones. After living in this city for 55 yes it is no wonder that the jails are not full of these thieving politicians. But then we have politicians deciding who’s gonna go to jail…

  • Enough Already

    I share the cynicism f these other comments. I live in South Shore but I am not lucky enough to have Leslie Hairston as an Alderman. My streets are in terrible shape, there are abandoned buildings and vacant lots all over, there is trash everywhere. Moneyed interests are landbanking in the 7th ward and vacant lots are for sale for $300/sqft because the Jackson family has been pushing this development to the exclusion of everything else and the landbankers think in a few years they’ll get rich. Meanwhile no one can open a small business. It’s a scam. follow the money.

  • Southeast Side Music Venue Prepped For Dave Matthews Concert « CBS … |

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  • Michelle Nyson

    I’m all for boosting the local economy, but being from out of state we are getting very limited information regarding the concert. We have been told not to take public transportation, due to the vacinity. Can’t find an exact address for the concert location. Can’t find any information regarding earlier news was that there would be shuttle service from different locations in surrounding areas. Not sure how thousands of people are going to travel to/from hotels when we’re given little to work with. Help!!

  • Michelle Walker

    I would like to see more of these types of concerts in my community. I beleive that this could be the beginning of a tourist attraction for Chicago and bring much revenue to the city and our community. I would like to see a river boat transportation and possible and amusement park to enlighten Chicago. I beleive that long ago Chicago was famous for River View and Old Town right here in the city of
    Chicago. :Lets do this and I would like to be an instrument in the developing if possible.
    Michelle Walker

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