Occupy Festival, targeted for West Loop, postponed
Concert delayed as concerns about organization, profits are considered; Concert could be relocated
03/27/2012 1:33 PM
A West Loop music festival that was ostensibly designed to support the Occupy movement has been indefinitely postponed, as its organizers seek to convince people that it’s in line with the movement’s values.
The festival was originally scheduled to be held in the West Loop’s Union Park at Ashland Avenue and Lake Street on May 12 and 13, just days before the NATO summit was set to hit Chicago.
But the festival caught significant flak for its ticket pricing scheme, which originally included the option of VIP packages. Commentators also questioned where proceeds for the event would land, as the organizer’s original announcement said that only 50 percent of net profits would go to Occupy Chicago.
In a press release issued Tuesday morning, festival officials announced they would be delaying the event indefinitely, and making some changes to the festival’s organization — though it was unclear what form a new event might take, or when it might be held. Now, 100 percent of the festival’s proceeds will be donated to Occupy Chicago, the release said, because wages and labor will be written into the main expenses.
“We are not trying to brand Occupy or profiteer, we are trying to raise money for the movement and keep its momentum going in a good direction with messages through music and art,” said the event’s organizer, Graham Czach. “We are not trying to speak on behalf of the movement, we’re just looking to provide a different platform for people to speak out and utilize their creativity in support of a movement they believe in.”
The event might be moved from Union Park to indoor venues around the city with significantly reduced ticket prices from the original $35 for one day or $55 for two days, the release said.
Czach said in the release that he’s still hoping to make the event happen.
“I will keep trying to bring people together as a musician and Occupy member whether it’s through this or something else,” he said. “Because there are a lot of issues that need to be addressed in our society, and I’m not satisfied by indifference.”