More gates, separate box offices at this year's Nightmare in Elgin
The city of Elgin is working to ensure this year's Nightmare on Chicago Street won't be bogged down by long lines at the entrances.
The city hired Ravenswood Event Services at a cost not to exceed $19,000 to provide ticketing through TicketWeb and run security for the Oct. 20 event, said Barb Keselica, the city's special events and community engagement manager.
There will be four gates, instead of three, each with five lines. Ticket sales the day of the event will take place at three box offices outside the gates. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 on Oct. 20.
Attendance will be capped at 18,500 people, last year's record-breaking crowd, officials said.
This year's Nightmare scenario will depict an apocalypse during a homecoming parade, Keselica said.
Maps will be in the format of a yearbook, and event T-shirts will be sold in four colors, each symbolizing Elgin High School, Larkin High School, Elgin Academy and St. Edward Catholic School. There will be a homecoming king and queen contest, and the traditional costume contest will be moved inside the night club Medusa on Chicago Street, Keselica said.
The headliner will be the New Hampshire "junk rock" band Recycled Percussion, which finished third on the TV show "America's Got Talent" in 2009 and performed in Las Vegas and at an NFL Super Bowl preconcert.
"So many of Recycled Percussion's instruments look like the props we have on the streets at the event and their full-throttle energy fits in perfectly with the atmosphere we are trying to create," Keselica said.
This year's footprint will be the same, but retail vendors will be located in the parking deck on Chicago Street to make more room for the outdoor "Mad Max" area with cage matches, grinder vehicles and drag queen performances in the outdoor parking lot at Chicago and Spring streets, she said.
About 275 volunteers will perform street theater entertainment for the event, which is estimated to net $5,000 after an estimated $260,000 in expenses, she said. Last year's event netted $20,000, the first profit since the first Nightmare in 2011.
"We are continually trying to see where we can reduce expenses and increase revenues," she said. "So much of the profit is based on ticket sales (and) the committee has already increased sponsorships by over 200 percent."