Lakeside, the site of the Dave Matthews Band caravan, as seen from the air.
Updated: August 18, 2011 12:50PM
The Dave Matthews Band Caravan will bring crowds seldom seen in the neighborhood known as “the Bush.”
“Traffic patterns are one reason this area was never built up,” said Rich Melendrez, program director of the South Chicago Neighborhood House.
“The Dan Ryan is 20 minutes away. Lake Shore Drive is about 10 minutes away. The nearest L stop is 87th and State. That’s about 35 minutes by bus. This is no-man’s land.
“But when 50,000 men came in here and worked every day, they made it. They were in and out 24 hours. It’s all the same streets. Dave Matthews doesn’t frighten anyone around here.”
Lakeside will have secured parking for 30,000 cars. The Caravan website at www.dmbcaravan.com/chicago-travel provides thorough driving directions from various areas, encouraging use of the Skyway from the north and Lake Shore Drive from downtown. But avoid Lake Shore Drive on Saturday, when the turn at Jackson Park will not be accessible due to the “Chosen Few Old School Reunion Picnic” in the park, with special guest Frankie Knuckles.
CTA: Take the Red Line Train to the 87th Street stop, three miles west of Lakeside.
METRA: From downtown, board at the Millennium Park Station at Michigan and Randolph and travel to 63rd Street, where you transfer to Metra’s South Chicago branch trains to 87th Street. The concert site is four blocks east. Fans should make note of the available times at night for return trips.
Shuttles will run all day from the 87th Street Red Line stop and Metra until the concert ends. They are CTA shuttles and are not free. Daylong or weekend passes can be purchased in advance at L stations, CTA headquarters at 567 W. Lake, supermarkets, drug stores and currency exchanges.
The Caravan has secured rooms at certain hotel properties at discounted rates. They include the Hyatt Regency Chicago on the Riverwalk, 151 E. Wacker (starting at $139); Allegro Hotel, 171 W. Randolph ($139); Crowne Plaza Avenue Chicago Downtown, 160 E. Huron ($169); Crowne Plaza Chicago Metro Hotel, 733 W. Madison ($165); Hard Rock Hotel, 30 N. Michigan ($179) and the Wit Hotel, 201 N. State ($189).
Or go against the grain and stay in Indiana, about seven minutes from the venue. The Inn at Hammond, 7813 Indianapolis Blvd. (www.hammondhotelsmotels.com), isn’t as fancy-pants as the Wit, but you will be only seven minutes from the music.
There’s also the Horseshoe Casino Hammond, which doesn’t have rooms (the casino partners with Ramada Inn, Quality Inn and others in Hammond) but does have shuttles to Chicago (not to the concert site). Fans also can make funnyman Craig Ferguson part of their Caravan visit. He headlines the casino’s Venue at 7 p.m. Saturday (horseshoehammond.com).
Umbrellas not allowed, blankets allowed, lawn chairs allowed, coolers not allowed, compact and cell phone cameras allowed. For more, see dmbcaravan.com/general-faq/.