Above and Beyond in Chicago: Why No Dancing?

February 15, 2015

This year’s Valentine’s Day in Chicago was marked with the sold out concert of the famous electronic music duo Above and Beyond. Thousands of people beat the frigid weather and filled the Navy Pier Grand Ballroom to capacity.

Two hours after the start of the event I was thinking of leaving. The headliner “Lane 8” was playing very mellow music with muffled sound and nobody was dancing. I was staring at the dance floor, which by that time was about three quarters of the way filled up with people, all just standing, checking out their phones. I could not help but noticing that I have a better quality sound in my car.

The VIP section had fewer people doing exactly the same thing, only on the second floor balcony. The windows around the ballroom were frozen with ice. I scribbled “Why no dancing?” When I went back there about thirty minutes later, I found that someone scribbled the answer “because Chicago can’t dance”.

At around 9:30 pm the Above and Beyond finally came on stage. There was a big shift in the atmosphere. The sound, the music and the lights improved drastically. The artists were typing messages on the big screen like “Chicago, we go way back” and “Life is made of small moments like these” and the crowd was cheering. At this point the ground floor was completely full and I saw a lot people dancing.

To my surprise, the Luna security personnel was directing General Admission people to use porta potties outside. Some three thousand people who paid about $45/per ticket were forced to use outside bathrooms with no heating equipment with zero degree temperatures outside! Most people checked in their coats by that point.

Only the VIP guests, who paid about $135/per ticket were allowed to use the bathroom inside the building. I could not believe it.

So while Chicago can dance, it has to go potty outside!!!?

There were a few other mishaps in the management of this event. The security blocked all exits but one so everybody in GA and VIP had to go all the way around and back one way. The drinks at the event were at skyrocketing prices: $10 for the club brand mixed drinks, $12 for the brand name drinks and $4 for a bottle of Aquafina.

There were three bar stands on the ground floor and with only one way in and out the lines to get any drink were enormous. There were two water stations with plastic cups and water jugs with free water but that ran out by 9 pm and nobody thought of refilling them. The water fountain upstairs was accessible by VIP only.

Was it worth $135?
Absolutely not.

Was it worth $45?
Not if you had to freeze to use the bathroom!

The promoters of this event were contacted for comments. They chose not to respond.


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