Mayor Daley may have said Taste of Chicago will "always be free," but the company bidding to privatize the food festival still wants to negotiate.
Late last year, the city began taking bids for private companies to take over the annual festival, which has been losing money over the past few years. Celebrate Chicago LLC was the only company to submit a bid, which included a $20 admission fee and up to $65 for concerts.
The ticket cost became controversial among residents, and Daley publicly said he oppsed the bid.
"It's a food festival," Daley said. "You go down there for 12 days for food and beverages, that's what it was for. It's not the music festival. That's unacceptable."
Celebrate Chicago LLC is run by the Illinois Restaurant Association and music powerhouses JAM Productions and AEG Live. According to the Sun-Times, the company is pressuring the city to move forward with its Taste bid to allow enough time to book big bands.
But with a lame duck administration, that's harder than it looks.