The Committee on Special Events and Cultural Affairs and Recreation quickly discussed and approved a concession agreement for Millenium Park before sitting through a lengthy presentation on a science and tech festival planned for the end of the month. Agenda.

Committee Members Present: Chairman Joe Moore (49), Ald. Leslie Hairston (5), Ald. John Arena (45), Ald. Bob Fioretti (2), Ald. Michele Smith (43), and Ald. Walter Burnett (27).  Ald. Deb Mell (33) and Ald. Marty Quinn (13) walked in at the very end and were not present for the vote.

Six aldermen approved a concession agreement that would extend Goose Island’s agreement for three years to cater all concerts and special events at the Jay Pritzker Pavillion in Millenium Park. Mayor Rahm Emanuel introduced the ordinance at the last general council meeting in April. Dave McDermott, Chief of Staff of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events provided testimony in favor of the agreement on behalf of the city. He said Goose Island was selected after a publically advertised Request For Proposal and the term of the agreement is one year with two one-year extensions.

Ald. John Arena (45) asked for more information on expected revenue to the city. McDermott responded that for the first year Goose Island will pay a base fee of $90,000 plus 15% on sales over $400,000. If the contract gets renewed, Goose Island will pay a base fee of $100,000 and 15% on sales over $460,000 for the second and third year. Ald. Leslie Hairston (7) asked that Goose Island look into concession opportunities in her South Side ward. Ald. Bob Fioretti (2) asked how many events are planned at the pavillion over the next year. Ald. Michele Smith and Ald. Walter Burnett praised Goose Island for being such a successful company. Goose Island operates facilities in both of their wards.

The rest of the meeting was dedicated to a presentation on an upcoming science and tech festival the Illinois Science Council will host in downtown Chicago the weekend of May 28th-30th. It was a last minute addition to the committee agenda and the presentation was for information purposes only. Council regular George Blakemore walked into the meeting half an hour late and got into argument with Chairman Ald. Joe Moore about his right to testify. He eventually testified against both agenda items and stayed for the other committee meetings, where he also gave dissenting public comment.