Elvis Costello goes on at 6:50 p.m. Van Morrison hits the stage at 8:20 p.m. Hootie and the Blowfish are due at 9:50 p.m.
Congratulations, you now have more useful information going into the 1999 Guinness Fleadh, which takes place Saturday at Chicago Motor Speedway at Sportsman's Park, than did those who attended the 1998 edition. Not only did the festival's promoters decline to make advance schedules available last year, but the performers' respective stages and starting times weren't even posted except in one hard-to-find location for part of the day; otherwise, you had to buy a $10 program just to know who was playing where.
Despite a stellar lineup headed by Sinead O'Connor and Tracy Chapman, the inaugural Chicago-area Fleadh, held at Arlington International Racecourse last June, took many lumps for fan-unfriendliness. This year the promoters say they've taken the criticisms to heart and remodeled the 12 hour festival accordingly.
"Whenever you do a large festival, you're always going to learn things, and we feel that we've learned them, corrected them and were going to have a great event this year," said Fleadh co-producer Joe Killian, who lives in New York.
The most obvious change is the event's location. Fleadh isn't one big concert but a sprawling European-style festival with music, poetry, dance and theater performances on various stages plus scattered food, drink and concession booths and an "Irish village" featuring crafts and small attractions. With so much overlapping activity running from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., you need to be able to get from one area to another with relative ease, but