A Little Courtesy, Please

Tonight the Joffrey Ballet performed for free in Pritzker Pavilion. It was a beautiful night to see one of the world’s premiere dance companies, just like it was a perfect evening for the Stars of Lyric Opera the previous week. Although I wasn’t able to make it, I hope the audience tonight had a sunnier disposition than the group that clouded Millennium Park last Friday.


Thousands of people poured into the park to enjoy the amazing music. Friends of mine had arrived early and laid out blankets, but I had to work later so by the time I arrived the lawn was filled and the edge was a wall full of angry people. No one would move. Chairs were packed so closely that they were butting up against one another. Some people were actually cussing at people trying to get through.


I’ve been to hundreds of events in Chicago; I’ve been to several festivals and outdoor concerts and free shows; I have never seen a crowd act the way they did at Millennium Park to hear opera.


I’m not sure why the tension was so great last Friday. The park was understandably overcrowded, but so are many of Chicago’s popular events. It is my hope that in the future spectators will choose to share in the wonder that we can experience some of the most amazing artists in the world, for free, instead of heaping on vitriol on fellow fans.






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