Carlos Kalmar conducts the Grant Park Orchestra. Photo by Patrick Pyszka

“The Grant Park Music Festival on Monday announced it has removed all seating restrictions for its upcoming season, following the city and state’s lifting of all pandemic restrictions last Friday,” writes Miriam Di Nunzio in Monday’s (6/14) Chicago Sun-Times. “Beginning with the July 2 opening night concert at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, seating will be free (first-come, first-served) and at full capacity in the pavilion and the Great Lawn. Reservations are no longer required. Artistic director and principal conductor Carlos Kalmar will return to lead the Grant Park Orchestra, with Christopher Bell directing the Grant Park Chorus, in an eight-week season running through Aug. 21. All concerts are free and will take place Wednesday, Friday and Saturday evenings at 6:30 p.m. Run time will be 90 minutes, without intermission. The July 2-3 annual ‘Independence Day Salute’ will incorporate a multi-media experience with video on two screens flanking the pavilion stage. The program will feature a host of traditional favorites…. The festival had earlier announced restricted seating, including socially distanced lawn ‘pods’ and pre-concert reservations for all concerts.”