Gay community braces for more changes at Market Days 2009


Photo Credit: Northalsted Merchants Assoc

Northalsted Market Days, the largest street festival in the Midwest, is quickly approaching - are you ready?
Market Days, to many, is the true embodiment of Gay Pride in Chicago with a two-day festival that runs the length of Halsted from Belmont to Addison and brings out all of the boys and girls from as far away as California, New York and Miami!
But are you ready, and willing, to pay more for VIP Treatment at Market Days?  A new VIP section has been added to this years festival with the highest priced tickets selling at $50 per person.
A few years ago the suggested donation "door cover" went from $5 to $6 per day, and that's to just cover the cost of putting on the event.  I wonder if that's being raised to?
Those folks who organize Market Days - the Northalsted Merchants Association (NAM)- are changing things up though by introducing a VIP section and Stage.
The Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, IN is sponsoring the VIP Stage at Addison this year and NMA are selling tickets for a "Front of the House VIP" section next to the stage for $50 and "Back of the House VIP" for $30.  The $50 tickets include 2 cocktails and the $30 tickets include 1 cocktail.

Photo Credit: Northalsted Street Merchants Assoc

***UPDATE*** Special Events Management - the production company behind Market Days - has said that the VIP area will be a standing room only section that will give VIP's an up close and personal view of the performers at the Addison Stage.  There will also be private port-o-johns available as well as easy access to a special beverage/beer tent within the VIP Section.
It was also noted that the money raised will help to continue the beautification of the North Halsted community.  ***UPDATE***
Entertainment scheduled at that stage include: En Vogue on Saturday night at 9PM; CeCe Peniston on Sunday at 3:30; and Jody Watley closing out the event at 8:30.  
There's plenty of other entertainment scheduled over the course of the weekend like, Dot Dot Dot, 16 Candles, and the Village People at sages that don't have a VIP Section.
  • What: Northalsted Market Days
  • When: Saturday, August 1 & Sunday, August 2
  • Where: Halsted from Addison to Belmont
  • How Much: $7/$30/$50
  • Purchase VIP Tickets online
What do you think about charging extra to get close to the stage?   Are you planning on buying a VIP Ticket?  Are you willing to pay $50 to stand closer to the stage?


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  • And that's $50 per day....per person!

  • just to clarify. The VIP Areas at Market Days were created by the event's benefactor: Northalsted Area Merchants Association and not Chicago Special Events. They were created to provide a more intimate setting outside of the busy event traffic and provide a better experience for those who want to be up close to the entertainment but don

  • Im not going to pay for "beautification" when there's real problems like homeless LGBT youth on Halsted.

  • I agree with rjrh. For too long, business owners on Halsted have refused to acknowledge that LGBT youth are a part of the community and in need of (and deserving of) services geared towards them. How about an under-21 afternoon at a gay bar on the strip? Or a local bar sponsoring a social group or hangout spot for gay youth?

    Let's all remember the "admission fee" is a donation--it's illegal to charge anyone a required entry fee to walk down a street in Chicago. A $50 fee to see En Vogue at a free outdoor festival is nothing more than an attempt to make more money from the event.

    Tony a mouthpiece. The Northalsted Area Merchants Association is in now way a "benefactor". They're interested in one thing and one thing only: making money. That's the point of a business association--Market Days is nothing more than a business association marketing event.

    Halsted looks pretty good to me as it is--especially compared to other neighborhoods (and even other parts of Lakeview) that have real aesthetic problems. I'd be a lot more impressed if greedy Northalsted merchants were putting proceeds from that $50 toward a cause that didn't make them sound totally full of shit.

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