WBEZ | Chicago music festivals http://www.wbez.org/tags/chicago-music-festivals Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en 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 Chicago drafts a new cultural plan http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2012-07/chicago-drafts-new-cultural-plan-100914 <p><p>The city of Chicago today releases a draft version of its <a href="http://2012chicagoculturalplan.blogspot.com/2012/07/draft-chicago-cultural-plan-2012.html?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ChicagoCulturalPlan2012+%28Chicago+Cultural+Plan+2012%29">2012 Cultural Plan</a><a href="http://www.chicagoculturalplan2012.com">,</a> after months of public and private meetings. This is the city&#39;s first cultural plan in about 25 years; the last one was created under then-Mayor Harold Washington.</p><p>Some proposals are big-ticket items.</p><p>A &quot;museum campus south&quot; would see new infrastructure built around the Museum of Science and Industry and the DuSable Museum of African American History.</p><p>Despite recent cuts to music festivals, three entirely new festivals are proposed, as well as a dedicated, year-round city festival site.</p><p>One of the biggest initiatives involves overhauling arts education at Chicago Public Schools, which would include a district-wide curriculum, new state standards and city funding. There&#39;s also an emphasis on bringing arts and culture to the neighborhoods through proposals such as neighborhood cultural councils and matching funds for cultural districts.</p><p>The timeline for implementation ranges from the present to 20 years.</p><p>Starting next week the city will convene four town halls across Chicago to gather feedback, before presenting its final plan:</p><p><strong>July 24</strong> &ndash; 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. - <strong>Malcolm X College </strong></p><p>1900 West Van Buren<br /><br />&nbsp;</p><p><strong>July 25</strong> &ndash; 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. - <strong>South Shore Cultural Center</strong></p><p>7059 S. South Shore Drive&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>July 28</strong> - 10 a.m. to noon - <strong>St. Augustine College-Essanay Studios</strong></p><p>1345 West Argyle St.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>July 31</strong> - 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. - <strong>Chicago Cultural Center</strong></p><p style="margin-left:-.5in;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 78 East Washington St.</p><p style="margin-left:-.5in;">&nbsp;</p><p style="margin-left:-.5in;">&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 16 Jul 2012 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2012-07/chicago-drafts-new-cultural-plan-100914