It's happening. Even if no one shows up, it's happening. We are having a Vinemeet in Chicago.
This Vinemeet will be happening at the same time as the world-famous Chicago Blues Fest (see link for schedule).
Once we get closer, I will announce some kind of schedule that will include attending the Blues Fest (free!), visiting some of Chicago's amazing museums (not too expensive), and lots of bar-hopping and various other fun and entertaining stuff.
I will also be asking people to sign up to cover some of the things we attend, all assignment-desk style. There's the possibility of getting some press passes to various events, including Blues Fest, so that Newsvine writers can interview some of the performers. It can happen if we make it happen.
Travel arrangements are up to you, but here are some hotels that are in the Grant Park area (that's where the Blues Fest happens):
Congress Plaza Hotel. Somewhat dumpy, but really fucking cool if you wander around a bit. Rates are advertised for that time period at $159/night. It's directly across from Grant Park. It's old as the hills and seriously needs a rehab, but there's some fantastic mosaics that I am dying to photograph. I've stayed here before, though it's been years, and I walk by at least once a week.
The Hotel Blake looks very cool. Priced around $184/night, it's just a few blocks walk from Blues Fest and close to public transportation.
I'm trying hard not to get carried away with swanky hotels and trying to keep the cost under $200/night, so there are some places I would love for everyone to stay in so I can party there, but I'm leaving them out.
And, in fact, I'm just going to stop there because there are so many freakin' hotels in Chicago I don't even know how to continue.
I think what I need is some kind of idea of who is coming and what they're willing to spend on hotel rooms. There's always the option of sharing a room with some random Newsviner (I got my own room at the first Vinemeet I attended in Columbus, but ended up lying in a big King sized bed with a couple of newly-minted best friends until the sun came up, talking about god knows what. My own room was just a place to keep my suitcase). For the incredibly financially strapped, I do have some space I can make available (please email me privately about that).
I will entertain at least one evening in an as-yet-to-be-decided location. Probably Friday.
I need to know:
If you're coming.
What your hotel price range is and if you're willing to share a room with another Viner.
And from there I can move forward on hotels. If we get enough people, we may be able to secure a special hotel rate.
C'mon, peeps. Who's in?