The revenue-strapped City of Chicago is for the first time charging admission for the best seats at Taste of Chicago main-stage concerts, but sales have been slow so far.
With Taste scheduled to start next week, nearly two-thirds of the $25 pavilion seats remain available to see Jennifer Hudson (Wednesday), Death Cab for Cutie (Thursday), Michael Franti (July 13), Chaka Khan (July 14) and Dierks Bentley (July 15) at the Petrillo Band Shell in Grant Park. Of 15,000 pavilion seats (3,000 per concert), 5,637 had been sold as of Thursday, the city reports.
Taste’s duration was cut in half this year as part of budget belt-tightening by the city, which has lost money on summer festivals in recent years.
“All in all, for a first-time venture, we're pleased with the response thus far,” said city spokesman Cindy Gatziolis. “The idea was to create a new experience at Taste - a guaranteed seat in the pavilion.”
She expects sales to pick up in the next week because “we know that a lot of people wait until about a week out to make a decision on whether or not they are coming to the festival.”
Admission to the lawn area outside the pavilion will continue to be free. More information and tickets for the concerts are available at tasteofchicago.us.