When Cicadas Attack

It may only happen once every 17 years, but the upcoming arrival of cicadas in Chicago has been making quite a bit of noise with the organizers of an outdoor summer concert series.

The red-eyed insects are expected to make such a racket that the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park will begin its Chicago Symphony Orchestra series July 6th after the swarming subsides, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Ravinia president Welz Kauffman told the Times that while louder performances like rock acts could stand up to the sounds the insects make, pushing back the orchestra was a necessary step. Otherwise "the subtleties of what [the CSO does] would get completely lost and drowned out."

Festival organizers will also move some selected performances inside the Martin Theatre at Ravinia to combat the orchestrations of insects.

Cicadas spend most of their lives underground, sucking tree roots. They are expected to take the Windy City by storm in June, when they’ll tunnel out of the ground to begin a six-week process of mating and laying eggs in trees, the Times said. From there, the hatchlings eat and crawl back in the ground to await their return in 2024.

Artists scheduled for this year’s festival include Steve Miller Band, Joan Osborne, The Doobie Brothers, Hootie & The Blowfish, and Tower of Power, among others.