Costs Of Delayed Mumford & Sons Concert Continue To Grow

By Jim Bochnowski in News on Jun 19, 2015 7:10PM

Picture via Mumford & Sons Facebook Page

The much-anticipated (and derided) Mumford & Sons concert, which has faced local criticism, weather delays and human rights concerns, is now also facing massive costs.

JAM Productions, the concert promoters putting on the show, has already paid the city $125,000 for a permit and security deposit. Now, as a result of the endless rain that descended on the city recently, JAM has been forced to pay the Chicago Park District an additional $65,000 to postpone the concert until tonight, the Chicago Tribune reports.

With rain threatening the area, the postponement of the show was completely up to JAM Productions, according to a Parks spokesperson. The firm's original contract with the city, obtained through a Freedom of Information request by the Tribune, claimed that "Refunds will not be granted for inclement weather" and "No rain dates will be issued."

The original contract also stated that neither side would be responsible if the show was delayed or canceled due to "war, revolution, terrorism, riot, or other disorder, fire, flood or act of God," which are surely all possibilities in the city of Chicago. So JAM was forced to amend the contract to hold the concert on a later date, resulting in the additional cost for the promoters.

But an outdoor afternoon concert in the Uptown neighborhood will result in plenty of issues, needless to say, so city officials did all they could to have the show take place as scheduled. Instead, a host of logistical nightmares have popped up. The original contract with the city required the concert organizers to be out of the park by 10:59 p.m. tonight. Now, it's unclear when they'll need to be off site. A 10-mile race that was supposed to take place on the lakefront path Saturday will be re-routed further south to avoid the area. And parking "still might be tricky for the weekend," as the chief of staff for Alderman James Cappelman said, in what could become a giant understatement.

Residential parking isn't the only issue with the delay. The area's homeless, expelled the day before the original show date, still have no sense of when they will be allowed back in the area. The city's Department of Family and Support Services as well as the Office of Emergency Management and Communications did not respond to Chicagoist's questions about when that population will be allowed back in the area. The Chicago Coalition for the Homeless was similarly left in the dark, according to Laurene Heybach, a senior counsel for the organization.

Heybach stressed to Chicagoist that much of the homeless population didn't necessarily want to be in the area during the event, since a loud, drunken crowd is extremely disruptive to their day-to-day lives. However, the city failed to offer them alternative housing, not even a heated church basement. At the end of the day, Heybach said, if the community were treated with respect and offered an alternative, "they would take it." Which makes the lack of any result all the more disappointing.