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As Street Fests Multiply, Organizers Ask: “Are There Too Many?”

By Paul Wilson

When Rock Around the Block struggled in its rebirth in West Lakeview last June, one of its organizers acknowledged a reality of the current climate for Chicago street fests. “These aren’t cash cows anymore,” John Barry, Star Events chief executive, told a group of concerned business owners shortly after the festival. It was a quick Read the Rest…

How Do You Program a Music Fest? We Ask the Folks at Old Town School

By Patty Wetli

When Old Town School of Folk Music announced the Square Roots Festival back in March, in partnership with the Lincoln Square Chamber of Commerce, Alisa Baum, the school’s director of special events, and her staff went straight to work. They had acts to book. Expectations of an Old Town event are not the same as Read the Rest…

Want Free Food Tix to Square Roots? Volunteer

By Patty Wetli

The Square Roots festival, set for July 20 – 22, is sending out a call for volunteers. Take donations at the gate, check IDs, pour and serve beverages or sell tickets. Not a bad way to earn a t-shirt and food tickets for each shift worked. Organizers tell us they still have a need to Read the Rest…

Square Roots Festival: Preview Beer and Music Lineups

By Patty Wetli

Back in March, when the Old Town School of Folk Music and the Lincoln Square Chamber of Commerce announced their new joint collaboration, the Square Roots Festival, July seemed a long way off. But here we are at the end of June, and the inaugural Square Roots, set for July 20-22, is nearly upon us. Read the Rest…

Square Roots Fest Announces Eclectic Music Lineup

By Patty Wetli

Anyone worried that the inaugural Square Roots Festival, July 20 – 22, would be a tribute-band shadow of the beloved Folk & Roots Fest can now breathe a sigh of relief. Organizers just released the music lineup and it’s plenty eclectic, ranging from Afro-Colombian world fusion to orchestral folk. We’d say there’s something for everyone, Read the Rest…

Matty K’s Going to Party Like It’s 2011

By Patty Wetli

Matty K’s Hardware, 4874 N. Lincoln Ave., opened late last year but kindly waited until spring to throw its Grand Opening bash. Actually, “grand opening” doesn’t quite do the shindig justice–with a number of neighboring businesses as partners, it’s more like Lincoln Square’s first street fest of the year. Visit the store April 28-29, 8 Read the Rest…

Chicago Blues: An Urban Experience at the Old Town School of Folk Music

By Patty Wetli

The Old Town School of Folk Music hosts a six-week series dedicated to presenting authentic blues programs celebrating the history and tradition that made Chicago the Blues Capital of the World.  The series coincides with Chicago’s blues season leading up to the world famous Chicago Blues Festival. The program was curated by Barry Dolins, and Read the Rest…

Old Town Executive Director Explains Festival Decision

By Patty Wetli

The decision by the Old Town School of Folk Music to replace its popular Folk & Roots Festival with Square Roots, a joint collaboration with the Lincoln Square Chamber of Commerce, can be linked directly to the opening of the School’s East Building back in January. “The main instigation, from our perspective, was the new Read the Rest…

Old Town School Pulls Plug on Folk and Roots Festival

By Patty Wetli

Today’s announcement that the Old Town School of Folk Music and Lincoln Square Chamber of Commerce were teaming up to produce a new summer event, Square Roots, left many wondering about the fate of Old Town’s annual Folk & Roots Festival. Center Square Journal has confirmed that Old Town School is indeed pulling the plug Read the Rest…

New Square Roots Fest to Pair Craft Beer and Music

By Patty Wetli

Old Town School of Folk Music and the Lincoln Square Chamber of Commerce are teaming up to create a new summer festival, Square Roots, announced for July 20-22. Square Roots will feature: an eclectic mix of music performers, ranging from indie rock to world music; dance parties, jams and family activities; craft beers from local Read the Rest…

World Premiere Performances at Old Town School of Folk Music

By Patty Wetli

Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music continues its 55-day-long celebration of its 55th Anniversary with five world premieres specifically commissioned by the School to celebrate its rich history, diverse community and recent expansion project, taking place at the Lincoln Square campus in late February and early March.  Commissioned artists include percussionist-educator Raul Fernández (February Read the Rest…

Levon Helm to Headline Old Town School Benefit Concert

By Patty Wetli

Living legend Levon Helm from The Band brings his famous “Midnight Ramble” sessions to the Old Town School of Folk Music for two highly anticipated performances at the Gary and Laura Maurer Concert Hall, 4544 N. Lincoln Ave., Friday, March 16 and Saturday, March 17.  Each evening’s “Blue Jean Gala” program begins at 5:30 p.m. Read the Rest…

Kids Rock Free at Uncommon Ground

By Patty Wetli

Just because you’re a parent doesn’t mean your days of hanging out at rock concerts are over. As long as you’re willing to expand your definition of rock concert. Singer-songwriter Laura Doherty brings her brand of kid-friendly folk-pop to Uncommon Ground, 3800 N. Clark St., Saturday, Jan. 21, 3:00 -4:00 p.m. The free acoustic concert, Read the Rest…

A Crafty Idea: Urban Folk Circuit Sells Handmade Items at The Grafton

By Patty Wetli

Kelli Wefenstette sewed her first quilt when she was four, with a little bit of “help” from her grandmother. Jess Duff went through a friendship bracelet phase. As adults, Kelli graduated to recycled tote bags, Jess to soy wax candles and when the two women met at a craft show in July 2010, they immediately Read the Rest…

Old Town School of Folk Music Celebrates Opening of New Facility

By Patty Wetli

The Old Town School of Folk Music, already considered the largest community arts school in the U.S., just got bigger. Twenty-seven thousand square feet bigger with the opening on Monday, Jan. 9, of the new East Building at 4545 N. Lincoln Ave. Signaling the importance of the expansion to the city at large, Mayor Rahm Read the Rest…

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