Push the boundaries. That's pretty much the only rule for performances at the Chicago Fringe Festival, an unconventional expo of new theatrical works from around the world. Now in its fourth year, the Windy City's festival joins in a dramatic tradition shared by cities including Indianapolis, New York, and the original outpost, Edinburgh. The week-long event provides a prominent stage for up-and-coming productions, helping little-known companies catch some buzz and established groups test out new ideas. A lottery system determines the year's lineup, a process that keeps each festival exhilaratingly unpredictable while delighting statisticians.
It's no secret that street food requires lots of creativity: not only are people working in smaller spaces without the furnishings of a full kitchen, but they're hoping their food will stand out amid Chicago's many food trucks and street vendors. StreetFood Artistry celebrates their creativity, inviting hundreds of mobile food artisans to show off their culinary treasures in one convenient space. In that same spirit, the culturally conscious affair also gives visibility to local artists—whose work will be on display—and musicians, including DJ Alvin Black III, who will perform throughout the day. General admission include non-alcoholic beverages and access to the entertainment.
But StreetFood Artistry is more than just one annual event. The not-for-profit corporation was founded by Patrice N. Perkins, an attorney who works with creative-minded entrepreneurs. This year, she's introducing Stand Out Creative, an initiative that will help support one of SFA's participants: one participant will win a financial award to help grow their brand and will be set up with 50 hours of pro bono legal services. The winners will be chosen in part by fan-favorite votes at the event.
During the main event, southpaw David Diaz, former WBC world lightweight champion, will dispute the finer points of pugilistic philosophy in a 10-round debate with “Red Hot” Robert Frankel. Diaz, a Chicago native, won the national Golden Gloves three times, and currently holds a professional record of 35-3-1, winning 17 fights by KO. For the co-main event, light heavyweight Andrzej "The Polish Prince" Fonfara (15-2, 6 KO's) will take on Adam Jaco (10-3, 4 KO's). To pique the audience’s appetite for cobra-fast jabs, dancerly footwork, devastating star punches, and the sweet music of pummeled human meat, undefeated Russian welterweight Anton Novikov (18-0) and California’s Dashon Johnson (11-3-3) will test the adhesive on each others’ hairpieces for eight rounds. Junior welterweights Aslanbek Kozaev (13-0) and Hector Alatorre (16-13-0) will also battle. Doors open at 7 p.m., fighters touch gloves at 8 p.m., and the judges begin a slow waltz at 11 p.m., signaling the end of the evening’s festivities.
The North Coast Music Festival is a three-day hat doff to the waning days of summer. Send off halcyon hours in style and gird your gooseflesh for the inevitable onslaught of winter with a lineup that includes electronic, hip-hop, jam-band, and indie-rock artists both famous and obscure. On Friday, the electronic poppiness of The Chemical Brothers will waft from the stage until it enters the noses and eventually implants itself in the brains of concertgoers. Saturday's lineup features the progressive improvisation of Umphrey's McGee and a DJ set by Moby, or Richard Melville Hall on his birth certificate, who has provided hot, ambient beats to films such as Any Given Sunday, The Beach, and Citizen Kane. The festival's final day presents Chicago product Lupe Fiasco and crowd-moving collaborators Nasty Nas and Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley.
Up to 1,200 fans can dance and sway to the legendary sounds at Durty Nellie's. Planted across the street from the Palatine Metra station, the venue is easily accessible by public transit or private piggyback, the better to explore a 30-tap, 120-bottle beer list full of potions from Three Floyds and Goose Island as well as from France and Germany.
Organized by a diverse leadership team of filmmakers, public attorneys, journalists, and other progressive professionals, the Chicago International Social Change Film Festival seeks to spark social change by providing a high-profile venue for independent, activist artists from all over the world. Over three days, ideas flow freely among festival-goers at the luxurious Showplace ICON during discussion panels, cocktail parties, and world-premiere film screenings. Though international in scope, the festival provides a local focus as well, featuring appearances from Illinois activists and films made by Chicago high-school students.