|Ravinia in Highland Park, Illinois|
|Address||200 Ravinia Park Rd, Highland Park, IL 60035|
|Status||Open (since 1904)|
|Capacity||Apx 18,250 (3,250 Pavilion, 15000 Lawn)|
|UM Appearances||1 (2014)|
|Fan Rating||10 (1 vote via UMANON)|
|Allows Outside Food/Drink?||Yes - both are allowed (including alcohol, no glass)|
|Food Quality||Low (Ballpark Quality)|
|Drink Price||Low ($2 - $5)|
"In 1904, the A.C. Frost Company created Ravinia as an amusement park intended to lure riders to the fledgling Chicago & Milwaukee Electric Railroad. The amusement park boasted a baseball diamond, electric fountain and refectory or casino building with dining rooms and a dance floor. The prairie-style Martin Theatre (then called Ravinia Theatre) is the only building on the grounds that dates back to that original construction. Over 100 years later, Ravinia Festival is the oldest outdoor music festival in North America and is lauded for presenting world-class music. The festival attracts about 600,000 listeners to some 120 to 150 events that span all genres from classical music to jazz to music theater over each three-month summer season. Over the years, the festival has hosted such luminaries as Louis Armstrong, The Ballet Russe, Luciano Berio, Leonard Bernstein, Lucrezia Bori, Dave Brubeck, Pablo Casals, Van Cliburn, Aaron Copland, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, George Gershwin, José Greco, Jascha Heifetz, John Houseman, Janis Joplin, Yo-Yo Ma, Luciano Pavarotti, Itzhak Perlman, Oscar Peterson, Stephen Sondheim, Isaac Stern and Frank Zappa."
For most attendees Ravinia is experienced on the 36 acre (150,000 m²) parkland and lawn. The unique setting allows for open seating and picnicking, where families and attendees can choose to use as much (or little) space as they need, with a powerful sound system broadcasting the live performance throughout the park. Most attendees choose to bring complete picnics and dinners to shows, with various lawn chairs, coolers full of food, blankets, candles, and lawn accessories in tow. Ravinia is one of the few concert venues in the country to allow full meals to be brought in and consumed at concerts, even allowing alcoholic beverages and bottles of wine. Accordingly, most grocery stores and specialty restaurants in and around the Highland Park area offer ready-to-eat "Ravinia picnics" for purchase.
Once at the park, visitors can eat, listen to music and visit the Ravinia Gift Shop.
The park is served by the Metra commuter railroad station Ravinia Park outside the front gate with special stops before and after concerts. Visitors get dropped off and picked up right at the front gate. Attendance often tops 600,000 annually.
Tips and Tricks
"Parking gets really difficult so its always good to get there early. Lawn spots fill up real fast as well so its good to be there when doors open. There is parking at the botanical gardens near the venue, it is a good distance of a walk, but they offer a bus shuttle from the botanical gardens parking. The botanical gardens parking does fill up, so be prompt. I have smoked in the middle of the lawn before but never had a problem, so just be cautious. There is a high quality restaurant, but they also offer ballpark style food. I suggest bringing your own booze and food only if youre sitting on the lawn because pavillion gets different. Pavillion has seperate security. You can also take the metra to get there. The train stop is right in front of the venue. But make sure its the metra that take you to Highland park." - Brittany S