The fourth season of WBEZ’s Off-Air series cranks it up | WBEZ
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You actually DO have to be there!

WBEZ Listeners enjoying last year's Chef Battle

Before I get into blatantly teasing you, let me thank all of our listening and web audience who managed to squeeze in to one of our capacity crowd events last season.  Whether you came out to the Goose Island Brewery Dock for Chicago Chef Battle 2010, the hysterical Alternative History of Chicago Theater (Abridged), or the thought provoking Mutants, Androids, and Cyborgs discussion at Northwestern University, your presence is what makes all the planning worthwhile.  And, if you hadn't shown up, Breeze and I would be working at a local Kinko's producing copies.  So, thanks.

Also, I'd like to welcome to our little team Jessica McCloud, the new Assistant Events Coordinator.  You'll see her at Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! as well as the Off-Air events and at our three WBEZ Community Bureaus this year.  She rocks!

As always, with Off-Air there's something for everyone (except for, perhaps, fans of NASCAR, Burning Man or Rick Perry) - the return of the Chicago Chef Battle 2011 (tickets are going FAST for this one so step it up!), The Fourth Annual Winter Block Party for Chicago's Hip-Hop Arts (graffiti art, a film, poetry, and breakdancing like you've only ever seen in Electric Boogaloo), a Drive-In Double Feature featuring the Zombie Apocalypse, a celebration of the Chicago Manual of Style...

...yes...'s going to epic.  I feel like Frodo, carrying the ring to Mordor, or Beowulf battling Crispin Glover and Angelina Jolie...

On top of the Off-Air Series, we have around 20 free programs at our neighborhood bureaus and some brand-new Off-Air Pop Up events that are created in the spirit of experimentation and interactivity between us and you.

For now, here is the link to check out all ten in our fourth season -


I'll be regularly blogging about these experiences, backstage at Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!, and reporting back to you about all the happenings surrounding your friendly neighborhood Public Radio Station.

This year, WBEZ Off-Air goes to eleven.*

* That's a Spinal Tap reference.  We're really only doing the ten events, plus the Pop Ups, plus the Bureau programming, so I guess it goes to, like, 30 or something but WBEZ Off-Air goes to roughly 30 doesn't have the same pop culture street cred...

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