Saturday, July 10, 2010

West Fest and Old Town Folk and Roots Fest--Best Kids Areas of the Weekend

Folk and Roots Fest 2009-Chicago Hip Families.
Double click on the photo for full screen slide show options.

Though you may be tempted to hide out in the air conditioning this weekend, the fest season is in full swing, and kids and adults of all ages can hear excellent, world class, live music for a few bucks.   It's a summer right of passage and one of the best perks of living in the city.   If the music's too loud, move to the suburbs.

From birth on, we took our littles to fest in slings, backpack carriers and later in strollers.   We made sure we had silicone earplugs (available at Walgreens & CVS) that are easy to put in and stay there.   We brought plenty of ice water and kid snacks, and they were good to go.   As infants, they loved the music, the colorful crowds and the stimulation, and when they grew tired they just nodded right off and slept on our backs.   

They're seven and nine now, and to the welcome age of self locomotion, though I do miss having a stroller to hang stuff from sometimes.   But the ease of steering through crowds is worth it.   The kids are happily still die hard fest fans.   As parents of tweens know, those years where the kids willingly want to be seen with their parents fly by, so we plan to enjoy their company with some fun, funky family time NOW.

Our first pick today for "highly recommended" is Logan Square newbie, Boulevard Bash.   If you're out and about by noon, the crowds should be much lighter than the evenings and Chicago alt-country icon Jon Langford is worth a listen.    Your kids may know him from Wee Hairy Beasties, or Hide Out's annual Christmas Pantos.   Adults may recognize him from the Mekons, solo work and an impressive array of side projects.   

We caught the Sanctified Grumblers at The Bloodshot BBQ at Hideout last year and the kids and I enjoyed them, too.   Their pitch is "..from the ashes of the woodpile rises THE SANCTIFIED GRUMBLERS!! spreadin raggin, old time jug music to the good people!!"

12pm: Jon Langford and Man is Man
2pm: Sanctified Grumblers

Then we suggest The Old Town Folk and Roots Fest.   There are children's music and art tents, a dance instruction tent for all ages, and family friendly, excellent music on the main stage daily from noon to 9:30 daily.

One of the annual greats we've mentioned before is West Fest.  Click on WEST FEST to check out their web site for full line ups and details.   They're booked by Empty Bottle, so the line ups are way above average fest drivel.   The Bottle knows their bands!

Today on the family stage, they're featuring two of our favs, and past ChiIL Mama-Win-A-Disc-Wednesday Bands:   Mr. Singer and Little Miss Ann.   We highly recommend checking out their excellent tunes from 4:15-6 today.  Here's the family stage line up for the weekend:

West Fest KidsFest Family Stage
Rice and Wolcott

Saturday, July 10th
12-12:45Mindy Hester1-1:45James Sanden1:45-2:15My Gym2:15-3Laura Doherty3:15-4Super Stolie Band 4:15-5Mr. Singer 5:15-6Little Miss Ann Band 

Sunday, July 11th
12:00- 1Mexican Dancers1:15-1:45My Gym1:45 - 2:15Kiara2:30-3:30Mad Science3:30- 4Mary Macaroni4-4:45James Sanden5:00- 6Jeanie B

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