CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago City Council has voted to charge $25 for seats at concerts performed during Taste of Chicago, ending what has long been a free feature of the annual food festival.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel proposed the charge seeking to reverse years of losses incurred by the festival. While the mayor didn't guarantee the charge will stem losses, he said something had to be done.
Officials say the $375,000 raised would help chip away at $2.7 million in losses at the festival over the last three years. Lawn seating for 30,000 other music fans will still be free.
Cultural Affairs and Special Events Commissioner Michelle Boone recently told aldermen the $25 ticket charge would be considered a bargain once the list of 'national headliners' with whom she is negotiating is unveiled.