Festival fatigue

South Loop residents discuss the pros and cons of living in the neighborhood that Lollapalooza and the Chicago Bears call home.

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Terri Fron South Loop resident

How do you feel about festivals in South Loop?

IMG_5826“It makes you feel younger, if you’re older. The one fest that really tried my patience was the Deadheads, which wasn’t really a fest. I wish I could’ve gotten away for that because of all the garbage that was left on the street. But other than that I thought they were a great group of people. I love living in this area with all the fests. Naturally, I gotta do Taste of Chicago. Every so often we might hit Blues Fest or Country Western or something like that.”

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Greg McGowan, who lives a block east of S. Indiana Street on 18th Street, the thoroughfare that connects the neighborhood to Soldier Field, the Museum Campus and the lakefront.

“When the Grateful Dead came around here it was the worse concert ever. Not because they’re bad people, but because of the mess they leave behind and the city doesn’t clean it up. Mostly at the events, like Soldier Field and Bears games, it’s pretty orderly. The cops do a decent job of controlling the traffic and controlling the people.

IMG_5886But there are some games that are happening on Saturday or Sunday evenings when people get drunk all day. And by the time the game starts or after the game they’re peeing all over the place.”

(What do you think of the fests in Grant Park?)

“I think it’s good for the city. I like the excitement. I really do. I don’t mind living over here. I just wish there were more city involvement after these events because there’s garbage everywhere. And it takes three weeks [to get it cleaned up]. People have to clean it up them- selves as they go along.

I recently went to a Chicago Alter- native Policing Strategy (CAPS) meeting at the police department and they already knew it was a problem. And they are working on that. I give them credit. They just have to figure out how to do it.”

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Bob Williams, South Loop resident

IMG_5903“You got to avoid the crowd sometimes. Some of the crowds aren’t nice. Subse- quent to each concert over there or Bears game or whatever event is there, you got to deal with beer cans and beer bottles.

We need some kind of tax break. I mean we’re consistently putting up with this. We need to get it knocked down a little bit. They utilize this lakefront you know, … I’m not criticizing the usage of the lakefront, I think that’s great. But for us to be putting up with this consistently, you know, like week after week after week, all summer long. Parking is extremely difficult as well.”