Chicago increasing security at Pritzker Pavilion events after murder, other crimes in Millennium Park area

Starting Wednesday, June 22, the City of Chicago is imposing new security requirements for guests attending concerts and events at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. The changes come after several recent incidents in and around Millennium Park, which is a popular tourist attraction.

"They check your bag, they wand you, but that's all good – safety precautions. We all want to be safe and enjoy music in the park," said Ruquiyah Rahman, concertgoer.

Monday marked the start of the Millennium Park Summer Music Series.

Beginning Wednesday, the city said in a press release that guests will not be able to enter the Pavilion from Michigan Avenue.

Instead, guests must go through a security checkpoint at Randolph Street, Monroe Street or the Millennium Garage. Security checkpoints will open 90 minutes before any event or concert starts.

"I have no problem with it. I think it's good that there's security," said Angelica Palomo, concertgoer.

While some feel good about the changes, with fewer checkpoints, others fear entrances may become too crowded.

"Trying to get into a show with a bunch of kids in tow right at dinnertime in the heat of the summer... That's definitely a tough ask, would definitely make me reconsider," said Brian Flannery, concertgoer.

The park will also be closed to the public for one hour before gates open.

"That's what's so great about this series and Millennium Park is that it feels like it's open to the city, so funneling everybody into one chokepoint definitely isn't the vibe of Millennium Park," said Flannery.

Visitors under 18 must be with an adult over the age of 21 after 6 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, and must be able to produce valid ID.

Prohibited items at Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park include: 

  • Pets (except for service animals)
  • Hammocks
  • Totems, flags, banners, lawn stakes
  • Tents, canopies, shade structures, umbrellas (staked or golf)
  • Balloons
  • Noise makers
  • Laser pointers
  • All metal knives and cutlery (**corkscrews and plastic/compostable cutlery ARE allowed)
  • Skateboards, scooters, bicycles, personal motorized vehicles (exception ADA mobility devices)
  • Drones, hoverboards, motorized toys
  • Professional grade walkie-talkies or radios
  • Unauthorized solicitation and materials including handbills, flyers, stickers, samples, giveaways, etc.
  • Illegal and illicit substances of any kind including drugs or drug paraphernalia
  • Firearms, explosive, weapons of any kind (including pocket knives, pepper spray, fireworks, etc)
  • Open flames
  • Outside Alcohol Prohibited at select events