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Chicago Transit Authority says "rave" event on Brown Line cannot go ahead

Chicago Transit Authority cancels rave train
Chicago Transit Authority cancels rave train 00:50

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The Chicago Transit Authority this week abruptly canceled a "rave train" event that had been planned for this weekend on the Brown Line.

Redline, an underground events company, had been promoting the "Redline Express" event—which was to be held Saturday night. The company had promised DJs and other experiences on six chartered train cars from 7 p.m. until 11 p.m. Saturday night.

The website Secret Chicago said Sock and Buskin, called the "world's first fully mobile DJ duo"—was to team up with Soundboks, which is behind what the website called the world's most powerful portable Bluetooth speaker.

The plan was to set up a battery-powered DJ board with 10 wireless Soundboks speakers to send the music through a hybrid wireless system while the train was in motion.

The event was to start at the Kimball Brown Line terminal in Albany Park and find its way downtown, with occasional stops at the Washington/Wells stop in the Loop. The website for the event showed tickets were sold out ahead of time.

But on Thursday, the CTA announced that the whole plan was a no-go. The CTA said event was never approved by the transit agency, and added that the promotion raised issues about rider safety.

An event on trains for which tickets were sold was also not acceptable, the CTA said, as it "does not align with CTA's policy to charter trains only for private, non-commercial purposes."

"After careful consideration of all of these factors, this request could not be approved and no formal agreement was entered into between the two parties," the CTA said. "CTA notified the event organizer of this decision on Wednesday, June 12.  

But in its own release, promoter Redline said it had been working with the CTA to coordinate the event since November of last year—and said the transit agency was aware of all of its plans,"including ticket sales, sound logistics, and security (January 2024), event sponsorships, dates, and security deposits (March 2024), final details, sponsorships, and logistics (April 2024)."

Redline added that CTA personnel invited its representatives for a venue walkthrough, and had negotiated and drafted a written contract along with all final payment information.

"At no point did the CTA express any actual concerns with our event," Redline said in the statement.

Redline added that this is not the first time such an event has happened on the CTA, pointing to a multi-train charter event back in 2001.

"Any suggestion that our event 'does not align with CTA policy' certainly contradicts their actions as they have worked to plan this event with us over the last seven months," Redline said.

Redline said it was "exploring all options" to address the situation for people who had purchased tickets. The promoter said it was committed still to holding the rave at an alternate venue.

"Our message remains the same: All aboard—the Redline spirit will keep moving forward, with or without the CTA," Redline said.

We appreciate your support and will share more updates soon. Stay tuned—because we're full steam ahead.

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