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Fees or famine: Fests cost money

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM

We’re not fans of fees for city festivals. In fact, our philosophy could be summed up as “fees, fie, foe, phooey.”

But when the city loses $7 million over three years on Taste of Chicago and six other lakefront festivals, something may have to give.

Or, to be more precise, someone may have to give. As in all of us, in the form of admission fees or selling naming rights.

There’s no question the festivals are great for the city. They showcase the lakefront and bring Chicagoans together in a positive way, which has an incalculable benefit for the entire metropolis.

But the costs to the city can’t be incalculable as well.

So much as it pains us to say it, we agree the city should at least entertain the idea of festival admission fees.

Modest fees, that is. Fees that won’t turn festivals into exclusive affairs.

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