UPTOWN — An official with JAM Productions is urging Mumford & Sons ticket-holders to take public transportation or bike to the upcoming show near Montrose Beach.
"We've stressed and continue to stress that there is no parking," said operations manager David Carlucci, who addressed residents Tuesday evening regarding the June 17 lakefront show, which is expected to draw 35,000 people to the Montrose Beach area near Cricket Hill. "Please do not drive to Montrose Beach Harbor."
That message will be posted on JAM's website and on signs installed around the neighborhood, Carlucci said.
There will also be a bike valet, meaning a professional valet company will give you a ticket in exchange for your bike, bring it to a 2½-acre fenced-off area and secure it to one of 600 bike racks. Carlucci said they expect to valet 5,000 bikes at the show.
And there will be extra CTA buses and trains running throughout the evening and more city workers out directing traffic. Doors to the show were originally supposed to open at 3 p.m., but Carlucci said after meeting with city agencies they decided to push it back to 4:30 p.m. to alleviate congestion and traffic.
But what if people drive anyway? That's what a couple residents out of the roughly 15 who attended the meeting wondered.
"I get home between 6 and 7 p.m. and parking is already bad," one resident said. "It's going to be worse."
Carlucci pointed to potentially offering resident permits, which would allow residents to park on the street if they showed identification to a police officer.
But Ald. James Cappleman, whose 46th ward includes the show, did not clearly say whether or not they would be using them.
"Our office is revisiting this whole issue of parking. We are going to be having more concerts. Let's face it: The park district needs the revenue. We want to have the revenue to rehab the Clarendon Park Field House. We will be revisiting [this issue] block club by block club. We are hoping for the Uptown Theatre to open up."
Urging ticket-holders to take public transportation is the "the best message we can send," Carlucci said.
JAM projected that 20 percent of ticket-holders at a recent Dave Matthews Band concert would take public transportation, Carlucci said. But the show surpassed their expectations, with 49 percent traveling by bus or train.
It helps, he said, that the 35,000 Mumford & Sons fans who will hopefully be loading onto CTA buses and trains are not wild teenagers.
"It's not an EDM festival. It's not AC/DC. They're going to Wrigley [Field]. This audience is a great audience. The audience tends to age from 25 to 45. They all have credit cards, they all have money and there's a lot of families."
The Maccabees and another band that has yet to be determined will open for Mumford & Sons.
The headlining indie rock band recently performed at a three-day festival in Sea Side Park, NJ on the beach and there were no incidents and no arrests, Carlucci said.
"We don't expect over all of the shows that we'll have more than 10 arrests," he added.
To ensure public safety, there will be a lot more police officers patrolling the area, said Carlucci, adding that they will "increase their force probably 10-fold."
An officer attended the meeting, but he said he was "not privy" to details.
Resident Melanie Eckner asked if there any measures in place to protect the Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary, which draws people from all over the region to see migrating birds.
Carlucci said since the stage will face Lake Michigan, and not toward the street or buildings, "there is no impact on the bird sanctuary."
Plus, the lines of people will not be near the sanctuary, according to Caitlin McElroy, a staffer with Cappleman's office.
"It'll be west on Montrose [Avenue] if there's a line," she said.
Carlucci said JAM is responsible for repairing any damage to the grounds, which he expects will be minimal unless there is heavy rain.
"We'll do cleanup immediately, and we'll be totally gone by 8 a.m. Friday morning," he said.
Both Carlucci and Cappleman emphasized that the Mumford & Sons show is much smaller than Lakeview's pride parade and that it'll bring people to Uptown, which will pump money into local businesses.
"[Lakeview] prepared for the pride parade, we can prepare for this crowd, which is much, much less," Cappleman said.
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