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You can’t BYO booze to these Millennium Park events

Hundreds of local residents, tourists and jazz enthusiasts gather at Millennium Park Labor Day weekend each year to enjoy the largest free jazz festival in the world. | Patrick L. Pyszka/City of Chicago

With its free shows, skyline views and generous BYOB policy, Millennium Park is hard to beat once summer rolls around.

But not all events in the downtown park venue are created equal: You won’t be able to bring your own booze to some Millennium Park happenings again this year.

Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events officials said they are continuing a ban on outside alcohol at the events with the highest attendance for the same reason as last year: Safety.

Last year, when the new security measures were first announced, Office of Emergency Management and Communications Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau said terror attacks at major cities and entertainment venues around the world led to the city tightening its security measures at certain summer events.

“The City’s public safety officials have reassessed and strengthened the security measures at one of Chicago’s busiest tourist and cultural destinations,” Tate-Nadeau said in a March 2018 statement. “We want everyone to enjoy their experience in a safe and secure environment.”

Bringing in outside alcohol is prohibited at these shows and concerts this summer:

• Chicago House Music Festival, May 24–25

• Chicago Blues Festival, June 7–9

• Chicago Mariachi Festival, June 30

• Grant Park Music Festival Independence Day Salute, July 4

• The Broadway In Chicago Summer Concert, August 12

• Chicago Jazz Festival, August 29–September 1

In addition to the outside alcohol ban at these events, there will be a security perimeter and bag checks for all Millennium Park events again this year.


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