The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Mumford & Sons Beachfront Concert Draw Concerns From Locals

By Jim Bochnowski in News on Jun 10, 2015 7:15PM

Via Mumford & Sons Facebook Page

Mellow banjo-rock superstars Mumford & Sons are coming to Chicago to play a concert at Montrose Beach and local residents are worried about everything, from the bike-riding menace of their fans to the sound of their folk-pop jams echoing across the Uptown neighborhood.

The sold-out concert on June 17 is the most recent battle in the war between locals and the beachfront concert venue. Last summer, Wavefront Music Festival, an electronic music festival that took place at the site in 2013, was cancelled after residents complained about "noise levels, heavy bass reverb and excessive traffic adding to an already busy holiday weekend." There was also the incident with the un-permitted Montrose Beach concert that ended in a 50 person brawl with multiple police injuries.

So with that experience seared into their minds, residents met with concert promoter JAM Productions and Alderman James Cappleman on Tuesday to voice their concerns regarding the show, according to the Chicago Tribune.

At the meeting, festival organizers assured Uptown residents that they will have everything under control. Specifically, according to David Carlucci, JAM Productions' director of festival operations, traffic employees will show up to the venue at 4 p.m. to start directing traffic to approved parking areas, although the gates open at 3 p.m.

Other city agencies are getting in on the plan to make the concert as painless as possible, with the CTA running extra buses and trains during the show. And because it's a Mumford & Sons concert, Carlucci told the Tribune that the concert will provide parking spots for 5,000 bikes and "valet for cyclists who use Divvy bikes," proving that the concert promoters have done their homework to successfully profile the kind of person who would go to a Mumford & Sons concert.

Still, the shadows of past events have left some residents uneasy. Kathy Ambo, who lives close to the concert venue, told the Tribune "I never felt they have the traffic under control. People will drive here no matter what." Of course, it's Chicago, and traffic is always a mess no matter where you are.

But at the end of the day, do residents of Uptown have anything to worry about? As Carlucci told the Tribune, Mumford & Sons' music is "not obnoxious by any means" and "the audience is not the type of audience you have to worry about." He and the owner of the bar formerly known as the Dolphin apparently have similarly narrow opinions about the kind of crowds particular music genres only draw.