Music Under the Stars With 13,000 of Your Closest Friends

Ravinia has announced their summer ’06 schedule. Each year there seems to be more pop/contemporary music and less classical on the bill, a reflection of the audience their trying to attract. While there are a number of performances I’d be interested in seeing (Elvis Costello, Bonnie Raitt and most especially Los Lobos) even if I wanted to fight the crowd, getting pavilion tickets for anything popular at Ravinia is a hopeless cause. Because they give donors first crack, by the time tickets go on sale to the general public, the hot shows are long gone.

I’m not willing to donate money for the privilege of buying tickets concert tickets and I refuse to pack in with the crowd like sardines on the lawn ($10 bucks, audio only as you hear the music piped out to the surrounding lawn over huge loud speakers), all the while folks step over and around you and talk throughout the entire performance. I’ve passed on hearing any non-classical music at Ravinia in years.

My preference has been to go on nights when music is performed in the smaller venue, The Martin Theatre. The lawn is far less crowded and the music tends to me a bit more unusual than the greatest classical hits that are performed to attract bigger audiences.

It looks like Elaine Stritch is bringing her cabaret act to Ravinia in August. Unfortunately, tickets are only sold as part of a larger series.

Much of the schedule is a Baby Boomer’s dream: Steve Miller Band, The Beach Boys, Tom Jones, an ABBA tribute band (twice!) and Peter, Paul & Mary, in their wheelchairs.

There’s also a CSO 10-punch lawn pass available which offers a break if you’re a frequent flier. And as always, college students can get free lawn passes for certain performances, an excellent offer.

Here’s the music festival I’m bound and determined to attend at least once this summer, The Grant Park Music Festival in Millennium Park. Not only are lawn tickets free, but their schedule of classical music seems far more eclectic and interesting than their North Shore counterpart.


One thought on “Music Under the Stars With 13,000 of Your Closest Friends

  1. Ravinia is so unenjoyable with the huge crowds and rather lame acts (in my opinion), especially when you figure in the commute. It used to be great when not so many folks knew about it and the artists were a little more shall I say “new and exciting”. Now they are just re-treads.

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