WBEZ | North Coast Music Festival http://www.wbez.org/tags/north-coast-music-festival Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Please don't stop the music http://www.wbez.org/blogs/britt-julious/2013-09/please-dont-stop-music-108622 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP291709502256.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="(AP/Scott Eisen)" /></div><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-6fbb9ac7-f35b-fcb0-f217-31e23c13da42">&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t care who&rsquo;s playing,&rdquo; a close friend said about Lollapalooza. I had an extra wristband for the three-day spectacle in Grant Park and mentioned I would attend with my sister.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-6fbb9ac7-f35b-fcb0-f217-31e23c13da42">&ldquo;You don&rsquo;t care about any of the artists?&rdquo; I asked. This seem impossible. Lollapalooza, more than any other festival in the city was packed (perhaps bursting at the seams) with musical artists local, national, and international. Taking early acts who sweltered under the high heat of August and headliners who were often the largest draw for the weekend into account, I found it hard to believe that there was literally no artist to draw her interest.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-6fbb9ac7-f35b-fcb0-f217-31e23c13da42">&ldquo;It&rsquo;s not about the music,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;I just need to be there.&rdquo;</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-6fbb9ac7-f35b-fcb0-f217-31e23c13da42">I began my professional writing career covering music. I interned for <em>Venus Zine</em> and <em>ALARM</em> magazine, two local independent staples of the music scene in the aughts. I attended what felt like hundreds of concerts throughout college, first for the enjoyment and later to review the performances. I even hosted a show for two years with Brooklyn Radio and briefly wrote for Pitchfork. So not caring about the music was ridiculous. What other purpose does a music festival serve than to provide music for eager and curious audiences?</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-6fbb9ac7-f35b-fcb0-f217-31e23c13da42">Apparently, a lot of things.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-6fbb9ac7-f35b-fcb0-f217-31e23c13da42">Last weekend, I attended the North Coast Music Festival. I&#39;ve attended in the past, but this year felt distinctly different. This is no fault of North Coast. I noticed this differentness at other festivals too. And the differentness was not always a good thing. In many cases, the differentness seen with the crowd felt like an attempt to take away everything that made and makes music festivals so great. The musical lineups are still fantastic. I would even argue that they&#39;re better than ever. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>Wavefront is beautifully curated and a special homecoming for the city and its musical roots. It is severely underrated. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>Lollapalooza is a local extravaganza that brings in audiences from across the country. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>North Coast is eclectic and diverse. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>Pitchfork feels as fresh with its lineup as ever, yet steady in its mood. Pitchfork is a festival that I have grown into rather than abandoned. It has only gotten better.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>But a creeping weariness grew throughout the course of this festival season. I wasn&#39;t sure if I was just getting older, or if the crowds around me were changing. Maybe I changed too and didn&#39;t realize it. I am 25 years old. That both means something and it doesn&#39;t.&nbsp;</span>I&#39;ve been attending concerts and raves and festivals since I was a teen. Revelry is not new. But revelry as I knew it and revelry as it currently is are not one in the same.&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-6fbb9ac7-f35b-fcb0-f217-31e23c13da42">Media coverage on the Monday following Lollapalooza always felt a little ridiculous to me. Yes, music publications and websites always covered the performers, but a gaggle of online gossip and celebrity entertainment websites always covered the festival, too. However, their coverage steered largely toward who was there, what they wore, how much swag they posed with, and what parties they attended. Lollapalooza was not a music festival so much as an interchangeable word to document celebrities in their leisure time. Lollapalooza could have been Coachella or Bonnaroo. Who played that weekend? Who cares? The star of a CW television show took selfies at a downtown club locals rarely frequent!</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-6fbb9ac7-f35b-fcb0-f217-31e23c13da42">For the first time, I saw that translate to regular audiences at the smaller festivals. Not the celebrity glut, mind you, but the idea that the festival was everything <em>but</em> the festival. Elaborate yet miniscule costumes were worn, drugs were sold what seemed like openly, a general drunkenness permeated the air. I saw a lot of young people who were probably not from the city passed out on the sidewalk while their friends texted with abandon. At the festivals, there were more backs turned away from the stages than toward it.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-6fbb9ac7-f35b-fcb0-f217-31e23c13da42">I consume music so that it is around me at all times. I listen to it during my commute to work. I play songs to help me better concentrate while working. And concerts and DJ sets are a regular occurrence. Smart Bar is a second home. Shows are highlighted and frequented on a weekly basis at minimum. I see the music festival to listen to acts I am not familiar with and acts that have yet to step foot into the city.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-6fbb9ac7-f35b-fcb0-f217-31e23c13da42">But if you do not live this lifestyle, if you do not spend tens of hundreds of dollars on music throughout the year, then a music festival becomes the amalgamation not just of musicians, but of everything that surrounds music culture. It is the drinking and the drugs and the recklessness. It is getting in a little trouble. It is getting in a lot of trouble. It is the gluttony, especially.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-6fbb9ac7-f35b-fcb0-f217-31e23c13da42">Last weekend, two concertgoers (Olivia Rotondo, 20, and Jeffrey Russ, 23) died of drug overdoses at the New York stop of Electric Zoo. According to a report from the <a href="http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/agony_of_ecstasy_at_killer_nyc_rave_GzuQPIxiKrQg5PNLHFq7AM" target="_blank"><em>New York Post</em></a>, Rotondo told an EMS worker on Saturday, &ldquo;I just took six hits of Molly,&rsquo;&rsquo; before collapsing in a seizure and dying. The last day of the festival was eventually canceled. </span></p><p>This is, for many people, their one time to live beyond their everyday. The only reason why the older people around me at these festivals don&rsquo;t act as severely is because their bodies can no longer take the impact of three days on edge.</p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-6fbb9ac7-f35b-fcb0-f217-31e23c13da42">Not that all of these things occur at the same time or even at all at any normal concert, but they could, and the music festival becomes the way to amplify this, to turn it into something unnatural and extreme. In many ways, when talking to friends and acquaintances about why they want to attend a festival, it is to live through an idea of what they <em>think</em> should happen. They don&rsquo;t know for certain if other festivals or concerts are like this. But they are pulled toward the headiness of allusion, all of its promises wrapped up in Youth personified. <em>I am the VIP. I am the one who will go to the places they will never go. I am the one who will see the things they will never see. I am the one who will live the life they will never live. </em>&nbsp;</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-6fbb9ac7-f35b-fcb0-f217-31e23c13da42">On Saturday, I stood excitedly by a smaller stage to see a solid and lively set by teenage DJ duo Bondax. I had been anticipating their set all weekend after spending the summer living off of their breezy hits <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-TrUW7ugr8" target="_blank">&ldquo;Gold,&rdquo;</a> <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCTsZZC9ECA" target="_blank">&ldquo;Giving it All,&rdquo;</a> and <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9uge7OCNsOI" target="_blank">&ldquo;Baby I Got That.&rdquo;</a> My friends had not arrived to the festival yet, so I took a chance and asked a group next to me who they were excited to see.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-6fbb9ac7-f35b-fcb0-f217-31e23c13da42">&ldquo;What? Oh, I don&rsquo;t know,&rdquo; one girl said while re-applying a sequin to a friend&rsquo;s face. She stumbled for a bit, stepping on my toes, looking off into the distance &ndash; at what, I don&rsquo;t know. I turned around. There were just more bodies idling. &ldquo;I can&rsquo;t even remember who&rsquo;s playing!&rdquo;</span></p><p dir="ltr"><em>Britt Julious is the co-host of&nbsp;<a href="https://soundcloud.com/wbezs-changing-channels" target="_blank">WBEZ&#39;s Changing Channels</a>, a podcast about the future of television. She also writes about race and culture in and outside of Chicago. Follow Britt&#39;s essays for&nbsp;<a href="http://wbez.tumblr.com/" target="_blank">WBEZ&#39;s Tumblr</a>&nbsp;or on Twitter&nbsp;<a href="http://twitter.com/britticisms" target="_blank">@britticisms</a>.</em></p></p> Mon, 09 Sep 2013 10:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/britt-julious/2013-09/please-dont-stop-music-108622 Can a music festival be made for everybody? http://www.wbez.org/blogs/britt-julious/2013-08/can-music-festival-be-made-everybody-108532 <p><p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-22b6706e-bdbb-20cb-48c5-8e85917ddc57"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/IMG_7934.jpg" title="(Courtesy of North Coast Music Festival)" /></span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>If Chicago is a city of festivals, a city</span> for festivals, then now is the time when truly homegrown festivals must fight to maintain relevancy in an increasingly competitive and potentially oversaturated market.</p><p dir="ltr">Chicago offers everything from beach-side techno pseudo-raves to 90s acts reliving their glory days amid the gleaming heft of some of the world&rsquo;s greatest architecture.</p><p dir="ltr">But there are only so many dollars to be spent by any one person. So the question is: how does a festival that has a little bit of everything continue to find success?</p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-22b6706e-bdbb-20cb-48c5-8e85917ddc57">The creators of the <a href="http://northcoastfestival.com" target="_blank">North Coast Music Festival</a>&nbsp;(running Aug. 30 - Sept. 1), stick with what they&#39;ve promoted since the festival&rsquo;s beginning: a weekend that speaks to the eclecticism of the modern music listener. </span><span>Consider North Coast the personal iTunes collection of music festivals. Any given night, we might find ourselves at indie rock concerts or deep in the basement oasis that is Smart Bar for a propulsive set of heady deep house. But the music we own is more often a collection of everything in-between. Maybe there is a little French synthpop or early aughts r&amp;b or contemporary bass.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-22b6706e-bdbb-20cb-48c5-8e85917ddc57">Contemporary tastes are across the board, a reflection of a curious and welcoming ear and access to a variety of sounds in an instant. In many ways, this mimics the goals and structure of North Coast. </span></p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/IMG_9956.jpg" style="float: right; height: 207px; width: 310px;" title="(Courtesy of North Coast Music Festival)" />&ldquo;There&rsquo;s crossover,&rdquo; said Michael Berg of Silver Wrapper, a local promotion company and founder of North Coast with React Presents.</p><p>North Coast originally began with a focus on electronic acts and rock or jam bands.</p><p>&ldquo;We decided to try and put on an event that encompassed everything that wasn&rsquo;t at a Chicago event already,&rdquo; Berg said about the festival&rsquo;s early years.</p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-22b6706e-bdbb-20cb-48c5-8e85917ddc57">However, as the festival has grown, so too has its variety of performers. Berg describes North Coast (now in its fourth year) as a Venn diagram with four circles: hip hop, electronic, jam bands, and indie rock. In the middle is someone who enjoys all four types of music. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>&ldquo;Who we aim to get is that middle of the Venn diagram. People who are interested in relevant and different musical genres that are affecting the music of the city,&rdquo; Berg said.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-22b6706e-bdbb-20cb-48c5-8e85917ddc57">But that middle audience is not the festivals sole goal. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>&ldquo;We want to offer something for everybody,&rdquo; Berg said. &ldquo;Whatever you&rsquo;re interested in, we want to make sure we have it there.&rdquo; </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>In creating a lineup that includes all four genres, the creators hope to bring in audiences who might have only paid attention to one music community before. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-22b6706e-bdbb-20cb-48c5-8e85917ddc57">One of the most pleasurable experiences of going to a festival is discovering an act that you might have been ignorant of in the past. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>Taking place in Union Park, North Coast makes hopping from one stage to the next expected, rather than a chore. Discovery is built into the structure of the experience. Notable acts for this year&rsquo;s festival such as Passion Pit, Purity Ring, AlunaGeorge, and Bondax are chosen for their relevancy. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>However, Berg notes that although it is a national and international bill, for those traveling to the city, &ldquo;you are still going to see a lot of Chicago pride.&rdquo; </span></p><p>Local acts include Gemini Club, Psalm One, and Manic Focus (a musician who cited the first North Coast as an inspiration in making his music, according to Berg).</p><p>&ldquo;In the same way that we try to represent every genre in the festival, we also try to choose a couple of local acts that also represent that diversity of music,&rdquo; Berg said.</p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-22b6706e-bdbb-20cb-48c5-8e85917ddc57">While Chicago do not have a camping festival to literally ground the outdoor music-going experience, what we do have makes up for it. </span><span>We arguably live in the best city for music in the country, at least in the summer. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>Chicago is where festivals make a home and North Coast, with its bits and pieces of everything is more at home here than it could be anywhere else.&nbsp;</span></p><p dir="ltr"><em>Britt Julious is the co-host of&nbsp;<a href="https://soundcloud.com/wbezs-changing-channels" target="_blank">WBEZ&#39;s Changing Channels</a>, a podcast about the future of television. She also writes about culture in and outside of Chicago. Follow Britt&#39;s essays for&nbsp;<a href="http://wbez.tumblr.com/" target="_blank">WBEZ&#39;s Tumblr</a>&nbsp;or on Twitter&nbsp;<a href="http://twitter.com/britticisms" target="_blank">@britticisms</a>.</em></p></p> Tue, 27 Aug 2013 10:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/britt-julious/2013-08/can-music-festival-be-made-everybody-108532 Eliot Lipp comes to Chicago for North Coast and gifts WBEZ with a mix http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-08/eliot-lipp-comes-chicago-north-coast-and-gifts-wbez-mix-102110 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/eliot%20lipp.JPG" style="height: 349px; width: 620px; " title="(WBEZ/Joe DeCeault)" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="http://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F58232707&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>We were lucky enough to snag music producer Eliot Lipp for Friday&#39;s <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em>. Though he&#39;s called all three coasts -- Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City -- his home, he lives in New York now, and is here for the weekend to perform at an <a href="http://www.poggled.com/event/chicago/5422/bottom-lounge-north-coast-after-party-eliot-lipp">after party for the North Coast Music Fest</a> at the Bottom Lounge. He talked with Tony Sarabia, and also shared the above track, which was mixed for WBEZ.</p></p> Fri, 31 Aug 2012 10:39:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-08/eliot-lipp-comes-chicago-north-coast-and-gifts-wbez-mix-102110 Lotus discusses new album at North Coast Music Fest http://www.wbez.org/story/lotus-discusses-new-album-north-coast-music-fest-91985 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-September/2011-09-14/Lotus-2010_sitting.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Electronic jam band <a href="http://www.lotusvibes.com/">Lotus</a> recently released their fourth self-titled album that delves even more into the realms of synthetic music. <a href="http://www.vocalo.org/musicvox">MusicVox</a> host Jesse Menendez spoke to Lotus's Jesse Miller at the <a href="http://www.northcoastfestival.com/">North Coast Music Festival</a> in Chicago about the band's new direction in sound and their use of vocals as an instrument.</p><p><em>Interview edited by Adam Peindl.</em></p></p> Fri, 30 Sep 2011 18:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/lotus-discusses-new-album-north-coast-music-fest-91985 Behind the stage of North Coast Music Festival http://www.wbez.org/story/behind-stage-north-coast-music-festival-87475 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-06/north-coast-music-festival-2011.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>In only its second year, <a href="http://www.northcoastfestival.com/">North Coast Music Festival</a><a href="http://www.northcoastfestival.com/"> </a>has established itself as one of the premier festivals in the city. On May 31st, the full line-up of artists was revealed, and once again it will rival those of Pitchfork and Lolla.</p><p>North Coast Music Fest Co-founder, Mike Raspatello joins Jesse Menendez on Vocalo's <a href="http://www.vocalo.org/musicvox">MusicVox</a> to talk about this year's line up, how the festival came about last year, and what it takes to book and produce such a massive fest, among other things.</p><p>The festival will take place over the Labor Day weekend (Sept. 2-4th) in Union Park. The line-up includes David Guetta, Bassnectar, Wiz Khalifa, Common, Gogol Bordello and others! For more info visit <a href="http://www.northcoastfestival.com">North Coast Music Festival</a>.</p></p> Mon, 06 Jun 2011 19:39:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/behind-stage-north-coast-music-festival-87475