This summer’s concert lineup at Wrigley Field is larger than ever:
June 29: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
June 30: Dead & Company
July 1: Dead & Company
July 15: Jimmy Buffett/Huey Lewis
July 17: James Taylor
August 11: Billy Joel
August 12: Florida Georgia Line
August 24: Green Day
August 25: Lady Gaga
August 26: Zac Brown Band
This means there will be more first-time concert-goers at the ballpark. I’ve been to three concerts at Wrigley: The Police in 2007, Paul McCartney in 2011 and Bruce Springsteen in 2012. If you’ve never been to a show at Wrigley and one of these concerts appeals to you, here are some tips about Wrigley concert-going.
- Don’t drive to the park. Just don’t. The usual night-game parking restrictions are in effect and the area is generally even more congested than usual, because Waveland and Sheffield are closed before and during shows for the bands to load in and out their equipment. The few area parking lots usually charge way more than they do for ballgames — think playoff pricing. Take public transit.
- Be prepared for even more security searches than you’d find at ballgames. For many concerts, cameras aren’t permitted (though of course you can take photos and video with your cellphone, so that prohibition is kind of pointless). They’ll search you more carefully for any alcohol or other contraband. Be smart.
- Try to resist the overpriced merchandise. Sure, it’s tempting, but you’ll probably find some of it on eBay a couple weeks later for much lower prices.
It’ll be interesting to see how they arrange to get ticketholders to the field seats this year. In the past they had set a path that led from the bleacher entrance underneath the seats and onto the field, but that option no longer exists now that the bullpens are complete.
Here’s a tip if you can’t make it to the show and want to hear it anyway. The webcam run by Sports World across the street from Wrigley has audio. During concerts the sound from the ballpark comes through loud and surprisingly clear. If you don’t mind hearing the occasional bus or fire engine siren interrupt, you can listen to an entire concert this way.
And if you go to a show, you never know who you’ll see. Look who was standing right behind me at the Bruce Springsteen show in 2012:
(Not sure who anyone else is in this photo, but Theo looked like he was enjoying the show.)
The only thing I’m a bit worried about regarding these concerts is getting the field back in shape for Cubs baseball. They’ll have three days after the July 1 show, four days after the July 17 show, two days after the August 12 show and two days after the August 26 show. As long as the weather holds up they should be able to do it, but they really do need to make sure the field is baseball-ready.
I’m not planning on going to any of the concerts this year — there’s no act scheduled that really interests me that much — but if you’re going, hope these tips help, and enjoy the show!
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