Dave Matthews Band Caravan to visit Chicago's South Side?

Photos by Erica Gannett

Photos by Erica Gannett

We're not going to make poop dumping jokes. Dave Matthews Band is bringing its rolling Caravan tour to four cities this summer. Officially, the band has only announced dates at an old airport in Atlantic City, Bader Field, Jun 24–26. Other bands on the (commercially) impressive bill: David Gray, the Flaming Lips, Ray Lamontagne, O.A.R. and dozens more.


On Jul 8–10, the four-stage fest promised to come to "the Midwest." All signs are pointing to Chicago. But where?


Two things to keep in mind: Lolla has Grant Park on lock and DMB wants to nobly avoid the entire LiveNation/Ticketmaster machine. Which means, for a festival of this size, that a massive open space is needed.


To sniff it out, I spent time in dark, dark places: Dave Matthews Band message boards. Rumors abound that the jam band will raise its tent at Park No. 523, a plot of lakefront land at 87th Street and the shore, the site of a former U.S. Steel plant. However, a call to the Chicago Parks Department confirmed that no request had been filed for that time frame for a park in that area.


Which does not discount the gig going down there. Park No. 523 is just a small portion of the open land at the mouth of Lake Calumet, the rest largely belonging to the Port of Chicago and the Department of Transportation. However, the Port of Chicago, which lies just south, had heard nothing about a festival being held in the area.


But, oh, how it's fun to watch fans of DMB squirm at the prospect of going to see such a white-bread concert in the working class areas of the far South Side. On the message boards you get ignorant vitriol like:


"I won't be attending Chicago if it's on the south side. Not risking having my car getting stolen or broken into or getting carjacked on the way there. That would be terrible if they played anywhere near that location."


"I thought these were supposed to be 'destination festivals.' Old steel mills in the hood are not exactly a destination for me"


"The southside of chicago is very dangerous."


"Have you seen what it looks like there. Like shit."


"ill get to dodge bullets"


"Watch what colors you wear so you don't get shot up by GDs."


"let snoop dog or dr. dre 'clean [the neighborhood] up', ill stick to downtown....this is the first time ive considered skipping the midwest stop, for my safety."


"If management decides on this location they are some of the dumbest people I have ever seen."


Judging by these reactions, that last fellow might be right. Personally, I think it'd be pretty awesome to put a festival on the site, right off the 87th St Metra stop. Scaring silly DMB fans is icing.



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