Chicago event company ready for possibility of summer activities to resume

Coronavirus

CHICAGO — A Chicago event company said it’s “ready to get back and celebrate community” after City Hall directed police and other departments to prepare for the possibility of summer events this year.

For people who plan music festivals for a living, the past year has been filled with worry and doubt.

During a normal summer, Michelle Krage’s team at Star Events orchestrates more than two dozen concerts in Chicago.

“We primarily focus in raising money for non-profits,” said Krage.

That fundraising has come to a halt. This year, the company is promising better days are ahead – and that promise may now have a timeline.

The city has directed departments around Chicago to prepare for some degree of normalcy to return this summer.

“Obviously our numbers are looking very good. We’re at the lowest number of positivity for example that we’ve been I think since the start of this pandemic, and summer comes to Chicago,” Mayor Lightfoot said.

Krage is already brainstorming pandemic precautions.

“We can do it safely if our great city allows us to do it safely, and the mayor, we’re ready to get back and celebrate community and being together,” she said. “More distance between booths, finding ways to have sanitation work every hour.”

As she keeps her fingers crossed she has a reason to implement those changes.

StarEvents took out a loan to keep its employees on the payroll, received a donation last month from the Barstool Fund to stay afloat. Barstool Sports has raised over $36 million from its fans to give to small businesses across the country. The only requirement is the business needed to keep its payroll active last year as restrictions mounted.

“We just want to make sure you guys get through this,” founder Dave Portnoy said in a FaceTime video with StarEvents.

Krage says the vendors she works with and the non-profits her company has supported over its 25 years in business are counting on the return of StarEvents.

“When we come back I hope that we can continue to pay it forward as well,” Krage said.

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