In response to Lewis Lazare's article on the Poi Dog Pondering--Ravinia fiasco [Culture Club, September 12], I'd like to offer another perspective. As I spent that evening working at the park, I witnessed offensive, juvenile, and utterly ridiculous behavior on the part of the concertgoers. As mentioned in the article, there were probably mistakes made by Ravinia management, but if Poi Dog fans feel "cheated," they have no one to blame but themselves.
Unfortunately, this crowd decided to turn the park into a makeshift alternate to a Lincoln Park bar. While I'm sure some fans were not from the "downtown crowd" and some were "well behaved," plenty more created a fraternity-party atmosphere that led to a number of disasters. The result was trampled flower beds and bushes, ruined landscaping, a litter-strewn lawn, fights, and consumption of an astounding amount of liquor. Additionally, in a postshow discussion with coworkers (while waiting until the roadways and public transportation were safe for use), we shared horror stories of the evening: stolen products, stolen tips, harassment of all types, and threats to personal safety. I suppose the combination of a cheap ticket price, a good-time rock band, and all the liquor you could carry in was enough to attract this crowd, and Ravinia probably was ill-prepared. Still, this crowd did not deserve to be in a venue that does not have burly bouncers to chaperone the event, nor a new pledge class that will clean up in the morning.