Looptopia–So what’d you think?

Looptopia has come and gone, but I sincerely hope that it was successful enough to be a yearly event as planned. I am saddened that it was so freaking cold–the whole experience would have been different if it was just 10 degrees warmer–and it sent me home before everything really got going. But I did get to briefly meet up with Metblogs authors Dan and Goose and catch a few awesome shows.After seeing Rob’s comment, I am sad to hear that things went downhill. What about you? So, was it what you expected? Did you enjoy the spectacle? Or was it just a big cluttered nightmare? How late did you stay? Post your experiences here!

8 Comments so far

  1. Dan Telfer (unregistered) on May 13th, 2007 @ 1:47 am

    Yep, I just want to briefly echo Erica and say that I was there from 5:30 to 9:00 and had an awesome time. Redmoon was dominating every corner, and the theater we managed to see was not only Fringe and quality but really well attended.

    While I missed the chaos that happened later, I have to say I have heard many retellings in person the next day. It sounds like, though people were told it would be all night, 99% of the people who normally make the Loop’s pulse beat during the day simply had no idea, AT ALL, that this was going to happen.

    I think it’s a very, very valuable point to bring up, as someone did in the previous comments, that this was the Chicago Loop Alliance’s project not the City itself’s. As a frequent patron of the city’s fringe theater festivals I think we need to remember that, because if we take this out on “the city”, the opportunity to improve on this is thoroughly lost. The city will just tell you “Oh yea? You didn’t like it? Fine, we’ll not let it happen next time.”

    From what I can tell, simply having the neighborhood “lit up” after midnight would have made all the difference. It sounds like it was almost all people from outside the city stuck in the streets- this is so horrible because most native Chicagoans already know the Loop is dead at night. So the tourists were probably completely bewildered by the lack of options, while Chicagoans were probably hit with a huge wave of “I knew it was stupid to come to this neighborhood after 5pm”.

    I am still filled with excitement at the idea that this could happen next year with better planning. But the city needs to get behind the Alliance. It sounds to me like when it came down to it, there was simply no staff or security during the late hours (sound like the “City” was only vaguely aware Looptopia was happening) and the neighborhood businesses need to be invited to directly participate. I can only hope there is room in the funding to hire more marketing people to wrangle in these businesses.

    I mean, did we just ruin our own slumber party? That’s just sad.

  2. Chicago 2016 (unregistered) on May 13th, 2007 @ 8:09 pm

    Yeah, I definitely heard it was a big cluttered nightmare.

  3. Kevin (unregistered) on May 14th, 2007 @ 9:14 am

    Calling this a “big cluttered nightmare” really misses the whole point. Thousands of people had a really great time – you only had to watch the TV coverage that night, read the stories the next day, or even interact with people who were there to know this. To suggest that there was nothing to do after 5 pm means you just didn’t pay attention to the schedule or go to anything. Tons of my friends went down and had a great time. They may not have stayed past midnight or so when it was bound to be a very different kind of thing, but from all accounts the 5 pm to midnight or thereafter was a smashing success. All these naysayers with their negativity about a first-time event that was a lot of fun for everyone is kind of disappointing.

  4. Goose (unregistered) on May 14th, 2007 @ 10:05 am

    Speaking as a person whose theater company performed, I was impressed with the organization of the event. I expected total chaos, but as far as I could tell, everything ran on time, and there was very little confusion as to who did what and when and where. I was a little disappointed with the lack of enthusiasm from Loop area businesses – it seemed as though many of them closed early – but overall, I’d say this thing was pretty successful. And anyway, it was the first one. I didn’t stay late at all, though. I understand things got pretty chaotic around midnight. Hopefully next year’s will be better.

  5. Bonnie (unregistered) on May 14th, 2007 @ 11:51 am

    I can only think that the people who posted anything positive on this blog were either:

    1. not at the ‘event’


    2. the organizers trying to save face.

    Ask anyone that was there and you will find someone frustrated and annoyed with the whole unorganization and lack of open venues of Friday night!

  6. Fuzzy (unregistered) on May 14th, 2007 @ 3:57 pm

    Bonnie, from reading everyone’s comments and talking to people who were, yes, actually there, I think there’s at least a third category — people who left downtown by 9 or 10. It sounds like things really went to pot after 11 or so. That’s not to say it’s not disappointing it wasn’t run better, but I don’t think there’s any need to assume that someone who says they did have fun is lying. (Oh, and some people just have low expectations :-)

  7. liz (unregistered) on May 15th, 2007 @ 9:55 am

    I was there–I got a late start since I decided to sleep a bit to prepare and the nap ran late.

    First off–yes it was nowhere near a full night event. I was expecting something along the lines of fĂȘte de la musique in France–an all-night street music festival–where you couldn’t sleep through the night even if you wanted to. Most things closed way too early for something that was suppose to run into the wee hours of the next day, and frankly we didn’t feel very “welcome” there after midnight.

    A friend of mine was playing at the cultural center at 1am, but we couldn’t get into the building because there were like 25 cops blocking every entrance (which I learned later was because the place was at capacity–my friend who was performing had to be snuck in through the loading dock!).

    I was digging the Red Moon installations–it was really surreal. We also hit a packed gallery opening but the art inside didn’t exactly warrant the crowds–it was just one of the few places left open. And they had a “No alcohol past this point” sign which was a little weird.

    Cool concept, poor execution. I do hope they do it again, but with feeling! :-)

  8. Dan Telfer (unregistered) on May 15th, 2007 @ 11:34 am

    It’s quite clear there are only two kinds of Bonnies in the world:

    1) Bonnies who love Looptopia.
    2) Bonnies who are made of sentient banana pudding.

    Ask anyone who’s met a Bonnie, and they will draw the same clear distinction.

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