CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Rahm Emanuel has introduced a measure that would mean a major change in the music and entertainment at the city’s annual Taste of Chicago summer festival.
WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports the mayor wants aldermen to approve a $25 admission fee for seats at Taste of Chicago concerts at the Petrillo Music Shell, which had been free in the past.
Admission to the festival itself, and sitting on the lawn at the Petrillo would still be free, as would admission to concerts at other stages at the Taste.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports
“What I can’t ask taxpayers to do – and I’m trying to make a change here – is every year for the last, I think it’s three years, the Taste has lost money. And so, in the end of the day, the taxpayers are on the hook,” Emanuel said. “So I said we’re going to do it different.”
The mayor said Taste visitors could decide for themselves whethery they want to pay for seats or use free seating on the lawn.
“Some of us may have similar music tastes, and some of us won’t; and you’ll make a choice,” he said.
Another change the mayor wants would be to offer three-course meals at the taste, prepared by renowned chefs. Those would be sold for $40.
“I told you during the campaign, we are going to reform, rethink the Taste of Chicago, because year-in and year-out, it has lost money, then the taxpayers paid. And not everybody went,” Emanuel said.