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Ravinia Festival's Customer Appreciation Day
Ravinia Festival celebrates its audience with Customer Appreciation Day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 19, a day filled with discounts and the chance to purchase added seating to some sold-out pavilion concerts, as well as promotions and samples from Ravinia’s supporters and sponsored advertisers. This is the first day that the Ravinia Box Office is officially open for walk-up sales, and all in-person purchases will be discounted by 20 percent (discounts are not available for the July 21 Gala Benefit Evening), making reserved seats for some shows as low as $8. The $7 service fee for ticket orders will also be waived for in-person purchases on May 19. Please note that, based on past experience, customers may begin lining up prior to 9 a.m.
A limited number of additional, temporary seats will be added to the sides of the pavilion for sold-out events (excluding the July 9 Santana and July 28 James Taylor concerts), and tickets for those seats will be sold exclusively on May 19 to in-person customers on a first-come, first-served basis (limited to four per buyer).
The opening-day festivities will be broadcast live from the festival grounds by 98.7 WFMT, the official classical music station of Ravinia Festival. Ravinia President and CEO Welz Kauffman will join WFMT host Carl Grapentine on the air to discuss the summer season beginning at 9 a.m. and continuing until 1:30 p.m. in the Mirabelle restaurant located inside Ravinia’s dining pavilion. The broadcast will feature glimpses of the complete Ravinia season and will include live interviews with artists appearing during the 2012 season as well as live performances by Steans Music Institute fellow soprano Alison Wahl with Kauffman on piano at 10 a.m.; pianists Marta Aznavoorian and Kauffman performing an excerpt from Holst’s The Planets at 11 a.m.; jazz/ragtime pianist Reginald Robinson at 12 p.m.; and, at 12:10 p.m., the Ravinia Jazz Scholars, skilled high school students who have studied with some of Chicago’s great jazz artists. All performances are open to the public.
Also in the Mirabelle will be an area filled with Ravinia’s supporters and vendors distributing free souvenirs, food samplings and promotional items from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Patrons can also stop by the raffle table in the Mirabelle to take part in free prize drawings every 30 minutes (one free raffle ticket per person). Prizes include tickets to sold-out events, lawn tickets to the July 31 CSO concert featuring Holst’s The Planets and a beautiful new telescope to use while you’re there, gift certificates, picnic gear and more. Ravinia Gifts, located on the first floor of the dining pavilion, will feature Ravinia apparel, picnic accessories and gift items at 50 to 75 percent off. Families can also engage in an “instrument petting zoo” where kids can experience and play instruments.
Ravinia Festival’s 2012 season, which celebrates the 50th anniversary of its Women’s Board, packs more than 120 separate events from June 7 to Sept. 9, featuring classical, chamber music, rock, R&B, jazz, country, dance, world, kids concerts and the summer residency of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Guest artists include Seal; Esperanza Spalding; Al Green; Yo-Yo Ma; Sarah McLachlan; Kiri Te Kanawa; Nathan Gunn; Demi Lovato; Itzhak Perlman; Glen Campbell; Colbie Caillat; The Knights; Gavin DeGraw; Diana Krall; Santana; Idina Menzel; Jaap van Zweden; Duran Duran; Sergio Mendes; Joshua Bell; Train; Natalie Merchant; Patti LuPone; Earth, Wind & Fire; Juilliard String Quartet; Colbie Caillat; Patricia Racette; Jimmy Cliff; James Taylor; Philip Glass; Dawn UpShaw; Daryl Hall & John Oates; Jake Shimabukuro; Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers; Crosby, Stills & Nash and many others.
Tickets to Ravinia events are now available online, prior to Customer Appreciation Day, at Ravinia.org. Phone sales begin on May 20 at 847-266-5100. A $7 service fee is added to all online and phone ticket orders. Ravinia welcomes all festival fans to follow, connect and interact online at backstage.ravinia.org, facebook.com (search Ravinia Festival) and twitter.com/raviniafestival. Ravinia Festival is a not-for-profit organization.
More About Ravinia Festival
Ravinia Festival is a premier musical venue, which attracts world class performers every year from around the world. Famous for its concerts on the Lawn, there are actually four separate venues where audiences can experience music year-round. There are also several restaurants and bistros, some of which have views of the concerts while dining. While many of classical music's preeminent talents have performed at Ravinia, the venue hosts music of all types and genres. Check out its website to see what shows are upcoming.