Street Fest off this year in Palatine, but drive-in concert on the table

  • This was part of the action at last year's Palatine Street Fest near Brockway and Slade streets downtown. Palatine village council members Monday night agreed to pull the plug on this year's Street Fest.

    This was part of the action at last year's Palatine Street Fest near Brockway and Slade streets downtown. Palatine village council members Monday night agreed to pull the plug on this year's Street Fest. Daily Herald file photo

  • Ax and the Hatchetmen  performed at the Palatine Street Fest in the village's downtown in 2019. The Palatine village council Monday night agreed to pull the plug on this year's festival.

    Ax and the Hatchetmen performed at the Palatine Street Fest in the village's downtown in 2019. The Palatine village council Monday night agreed to pull the plug on this year's festival. Daily Herald file photo

 
 
Posted6/9/2020 5:18 AM

Palatine village council members Monday night pulled the plug on this year's Street Fest but agreed to consider the idea of a drive-in concert as an alternative event.

Street Fest had been scheduled from Aug. 28-30 in downtown Palatine. Launched in 2000, the event features live music, local cuisine and a plethora of family entertainment.

 

Village Manager Reid Ottesen, who assisted in creating Street Fest, said the potential of millions of dollars of lost revenue due to the state's stay-at-home order from the COVID-19 pandemic and recent employee layoffs and furloughs were among the reasons the event needed to be scrubbed. Deposits also were required soon for bands and other fest elements.

"Nobody wants the event as much as I do, going back to the original creation of it and why we were doing it as a reason to bring the whole community together," Ottesen told councilmen at Monday's session. "But the reality has set in."

Western Springs-based Duff Entertainment, which has a longtime relationship with Street Fest, has offered to produce the "carpool concert." Under the proposal, a maximum of four people in a car each would purchase tickets in advance for a roughly 75-minute show by a local or national touring band in a parking lot.

Patrons would be allowed to bring food and drink for in-vehicle consumption. Ottesen said Harper College likely would be the best setting for such an event in Palatine. He said he intended to contact school officials after the council indicated interest in such an event.

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Councilman Doug Myslinski made an unsuccessful pitch to his colleagues consider postponing Street Fest to September or October. He endorsed the concert proposal.

Palatine Mayor Jim Schwantz said it would have been difficult to secure the scores of volunteers needed to operate Street Fest amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It's been a struggle the last few years to get volunteers to cover all the (time) slots," Schwantz said. "So, now we'd be asking volunteers to potentially walk into something they wouldn't be comfortable to do."

A village document shows Street Fest wound up $8,600 in the red last year. Palatine's expenses were $217,000 -- including $40,000 for 11 bands -- compared to $208,400 in revenue.

Street Fest joins Palatine's Hometown Fest and St. Nectarios Greek Orthodox Church's Greek Fest on the village's canceled list. Greek Fest was set from June 26 to 28 and Hometown Fest from July 2 to 5.

Elsewhere, Mount Prospect has canceled the Lions Club Fourth of July Festival, the village's Independence Day parade and other summer events in anticipation of continued social distancing protocols for COVID-19. Buffalo Grove Days, which occurs over the long Labor Day weekend, also has been scrubbed.

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