Lincoln Yards plan imperils Chicago's indie music scene – Crain's Chicago Business

Chicago has a uniquely vibrant and world-renowned music culture, full of both history and contemporary relevance and innovation. Providing the creative backbone for this vital segment of Chicago’s appeal is a dedicated, delicate, interconnected, far-reaching ecosystem of independent artists, clubs, record labels, promoters, media outlets and retail establishments.

The proposed LiveNation/Ticketmaster involvement in the Lincoln Yards development directly and starkly imperils this invaluable civic asset. It is an issue that reaches far beyond the beloved Hideout, a music club on Wabansia Avenue. It impacts all of us who not only work in the independent arts community, but those of us who live in it, revel in it and shout its wonders to the rest of the world.

At a Nov. 29 meeting at Park Community Church, Ald. Brian Hopkins and Sterling Bay Managing Principal Andy Gloor went to great pains to establish their “of the neighborhood” bona fides.

“We’ve been working hard trying to create an authentic neighborhood,” Gloor said. A noble sentiment. You know who else has been doing that? All of us in the creative community. For decades. Without asking for special considerations, financial handouts or opaque, insider deals.

“Authentic” is not something one draws up in a boardroom behind closed doors, or tosses around as an attractive marketing term. It is a matter of great importance to all of us. In the world of music, one can have a massive budget, the hottest maker of hits at the control board, a crack songwriting team and a marketing plan generated by the best minds an MBA can buy. But without an honest human element, the resulting music will be garbage.


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