An award-winning country duo will headline this year's Northwest Fourth Fest in Hoffman Estates.
For $10, attendees can gain access to see Thompson Square at 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 5, on the Village Green. The fenced-off area will be located across the street from the Sears Centre Arena, where the festival is being held for a second year. A limited number of VIP tickets close to the stage will be sold for $37. Tickets go on sale Wednesday.
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The Thompson Square performance will be the only portion of the five-day festival with an admission cost. Organizers felt that charging for music during one night of the festival would be a good experiment in its second year.
"It's a lot of entertainment for very little money," said Sears Centre Arena General Manager Ben Gibbs. "Based on last year's huge response (to the festival) we figured well, let's charge a very nominal fee and bank on having 7,000 to 10,000 people come out (for Thompson Square)."
Arena officials have said that the arena is willing to foot the upfront costs to host Thompson Square and accept a loss if one occurs. If their concert makes a profit, however, the arena and the village's Fourth of July Commission will share it.
There will be six other musical acts over the length of the festival, which runs from Wednesday, July 3, to Sunday, July 7. The lineup on July 4 includes local rock band 7th Heaven at 4:30 p.m., cover band Modern Day Romeos at 8 p.m. and the Elgin Symphony Orchestra at 9 p.m. in conjunction with the fireworks. Rock band .38 Special is scheduled to play at 8 p.m. on July 6.
Two bands -- Sniper and Libido Funk Circus -- will play on July 7, at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively.
Other highlights of the festival include a longer fireworks show, food and drinks from local vendors and carnival rides. An arts and crafts fair will also be held inside the arena on Saturday and Sunday, along with a business expo hosted by the Hoffman Estates Chamber of Commerce.
Parking is free, and organizers say they have worked to ensure that there is better traffic control than at last year's event. The east parking lot and Pratum Avenue will remain open throughout the length of the festival and about 9,000 parking spaces will be available.
"We do encourage everybody to arrive early," Gibbs said.
Northwest Fourth Fest is hosted by Hoffman Estates in partnership with Elgin, Hanover Park and Hanover Township. For information on the festival or to purchase tickets for Thompson Square, visit northwestfourthfest.com.