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Great Chicago Fire Festival Moves To Northerly Island

By Rachel Cromidas in News on Jul 3, 2015 2:45PM

The great Chicago fest flub that was the Great Chicago Fire Fest is being moved to Northerly Island this fall, a couple miles south of the downtown Riverfront where the fest drew large crowds in its trial run last October.

We were just as excited as the next person to witness the spectacle created on the Riverfront by the experimental theater company Redmoon to celebrate the rebirth of the city after the great fire of 1871. And we were just as dismayed by the fest's lackluster execution, with soggy rafts that refused to catch fire and stubborn fest-goers who lined the riverfront from end to end, making it near-impossible to catch a glimpse.

But still we cheered Redmoon on, inspired just to see a new Chicago festival with an original idea.

Redmoon will be making a second-go at the fest this year, but this time around Northerly Island, the manmade, lakefront concert venue east of Museum Campus' Soldier Field.

Redmoon representatives announced in a press release Thursday night that the inaugural fest hit the downtown riverfront's capacity last year, and the move to Northerly Island was meant to fit a larger audience and provide the space for more theater performance.

"More than anyone, I shared the audience's frustration with the challenges the spectacle faced last year," Redmoon executive artistic director Jim Lasko said in a statement. "I can assure you we will burn this year."

The fest is planned for Sept. 26 from 5:00 to 8:30 p.m. and, as last year, will be free and open to the public.