Ravinia Festival, North America’s oldest and most diverse outdoor music festival, just announced future plans for an interactive music exhibit, The Music Box.
The building will contain a 65-seat indoor theater with interactive exhibits and a few gallery spaces. Ravinia management and BRC Imagination Arts came together and created a special effects show to illustrate the emotional power of music. Highland Park expects the exhibit to be completed by summer of 2019. An outdoor dining veranda will also be added in 2018.
The purpose of these additions is to attract younger audiences and educate them on the exquisiteness and importance of classical music. Indoor programming is extremely popular among millennials and the hope is that these additions will make classical music more popular again. They also hope that these new additions will make Ravinia a year-round destination rather than just a cool summertime spot.
Welz Kauffman, Ravinia’s president said that audiences arrive hours early to get a good seat, but then have nothing to do but sit and chat. “They talk to their friends, they look at the sculptures, they go to the gift shop and they still have three hours,” Kauffman said. These new additions will give Ravinia a new ‘edge’ and give concertgoers something to do before they wait for performances.
Sounds like an awesome idea right? Some local residents don’t think so, claiming that the project would be overwhelming and take away the park’s character. These plans required Ravinia to change its Planned Development agreement with Highland Park, which limited how many buildings could cover the park’s 36-acre grounds. Ravinia also asked executives to decrease restrictions on the number of donor evens that happen year-round and restrict delivery hours for trucks.
What are your thoughts about Ravinia Festival’s new exhibit? Let us know in the comments below!
All Images Courtesy of Ravinia Festival