"Concert venues-Northerly Island" Top 5 Page for this destination First Merit Bank Pavilion Tip by Dabs
First Merit Bank Pavilion, Chicago: 1 reviews and 0 photos
Last visit June 2014
First Merit Bank Pavilion (formerly Charter One) at Northerly Island was totally reconfigured between my last visit and my most recent visit in June 2014. The location of the stage and seat configuration changed and they added lawn seats which got off to a bad start with a couple of very muddy shows. If it's raining, the show still goes on unless there is lightning. There's a very strict curfew of 11pm, if you haven't heard your band's favorite song and it's 11pm, expect to be disappointed like the Backstreet Boys' fans in 2013.
On a cool summer evening though, this might be the ideal venue, you get a nice breeze from Lake Michigan, a beautiful view of Soldier Field lit up in the evening, a view of the Chicago Skyline.
Since our 1st visit, the seats have been reconfigured and face away from the Lake, we had tickets in Section 206 in row G that I got at a discount from Goldstar, I watched most of the show on the jumbotrons that flank the stage as the band was just too far away and Tommy Shaw of Styx too short. None of the seats are covered in the 100 or 200 sections, I think the 300 section seats are since they are grandstand seating. The 100 section seats are blocked off by beefy security guards so you can't advance forward even if there are empty seats. I'm not sure if they are using the lawn seating for every show, maybe just the ones that draw huge crowds like Jimmy Buffett and Phish.
You can't bring in outside alcohol and the website offers confusing information on whether you can bring in any other food or beverage. There's plenty for sale at the venue at outrageously inflated prices, $11 for a tall boy beer and I'm guessing even higher prices on the fruity alcoholic drinks.
Skip the $30 VIP parking, it's either a short walk or a short trolley ride from the parking garage in the North Garage at Soldier Field which is included with every ticket purchase. You can even take a pedicab if you want to pay for it. The garage is located on Museum Campus Drive with a second entrance from McFetridge Drive. Getting out after the show was a lot quicker than I expected.
Dress Code: Dress for the weather, if it looks like rain, bring a rain coat or hope you get lucky and score one of the cool Charter One rain ponchos. It's close to the Lake so the shows earlier in the season will be cooler, later in the season warmer, than the temps out in the suburbs or away from the Lake
Address: 1300 S Linn White Dr
Phone: 1 312-540-2668
Theme: Live Music
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