Since I wanted it for myself, I offer up to you an iCal file holding the Chicago Summerdance ’09 schedule. I used Max M’s icalendar library for Python, which works pretty well, although the file doesn’t validate. I can’t for the life of me see why not. That error may or may not be why it doesn’t seem to work in Google Calendar, but it works just swell in Apple iCal, which is what I wanted it for.
I used BeautifulSoup to scrape most of the information from http://explorechicago.com but then I realized that there are about a dozen events in locations other than Grant Park. Since I’d written the scraper assuming certain invariants about the location and hours, I decided to clean those up manually instead of fussing over the scraper. Unfortunately, any edits I manually made to the ICS file resulted in something which didn’t parse. So I fired up an iPython shell and worked interactively with the icalendar library to adjust the hours and locations. It seems to have worked pretty well, although it would be annoying if I had to regenerate the ics file.
I’m hoping that more web publishers come to realize that ICS is the RSS of Calendars and routinely offer event schedules in this form, but in the meantime, here’s a way for you to keep up with one of my favorite Chicago summer traditions…
NOTE: The downloadable PDF lists two events that are not on my calendar (and not on the Explore Chicago website, as far as I can tell).
- The Etcetera Band, 4 July 2009
- Ghannata International, 13 August 2009
Too bad, ’cause I’ve liked Ghannata when I’ve seen them before, and the schedule already seems a little lighter on African music than in years past…
UPDATE: My friend Amanda has one-upped me and put together Google Calendars for maybe all of the summer outdoor concert series and outdoor movie screenings.