Organizers announced the final lineup of bands and DJs, artists, restaurants and kid’s activities for the 8th Annual Pilsen Fest. One of the city’s most culturally rich neighborhoods will be on full display when the renowned arts and music festival stakes a spot along four blocks of Blue Island, August 18th and 19th. Reflecting the unified spirit and creative talents of its eclectic community, Pilsen Fest 2018 will give the anticipated 60,000-plus attendees an experience deep-rooted in cultural artistry and local Latino heritage. As always, Pilsen Fest features Grammy award-winning musicians, local cuisine, cutting-edge art, children’s activities, and handcrafted goods. The outdoor street party, which only requests a $1 gate donation fee for admittance, also promotes cultural literacy and health and wellbeing through key partners like the bilingual magazine El BeiSMan and the Pilsen Community Market.
“Pilsen Fest carries a ‘one village, one sound’ philosophy,” said Pilsen Fest Director Esmirna Garcia. “Our mission simply is to embrace and celebrate diversity, solidarity and unity.”
Pilsen Fest offers a vast array of musical genres and styles on three stages headlined annually by Grammy winning and Latin Grammy winning acts. The 2018 edition also gave local singers, songwriters, bands, soloists – and DJ’s – an opportunity to compete each week for a spot in the Pilsen Fest music lineup. The full weekend music lineup is as follows (for more information on anyone listed herein, contact firstname.lastname@example.org):
Saturday, August 18
12:00 – Iris Blue
1:30 – Fernando Doppel
3:00 – Canika
4:30 – Karma Wears White Ties
6:00 – M.A.K.U Sound System
7:30 – Dromedario Magicos
9:00 – Nortec B+F
12:30 – Panorama
1:30 – The Off Days
2:30 – RAI
3:45 – Fundamental Kink
5:15 – You Are Here
6:45 – LV
8:15 – Nani Castle
Mr. Bobby’s World (DJ TENT)
2:00 Triple threat – Vincent Roslewski, Rafa Ramirez, Ron Tinsley
2:30 Dirty dish – Amy Unland, Le Sprite
5:00 Vice – Eddie Riot, Mr Bobby, Rob Threazy
6:30 Heart Techno – Microdot, DJ LT, Lionel6
Sunday, August 19
12:00 – VojoDeyl
1:30 – Enrique Calderon y Su Orchesta
3:00 – Rimel
4:30 – Lady Midnight
6:00 – Budaya
7:30 – Sin Color
9:00 – Hello Seahorse
12:30 – Pablo Serrano
1:30 – Shots Fired Shots Fired
2:30 – Machin
3:45 – Ricky Liontones
5:15 – Avantist
6:45 – Bicho Blanco
8:15 – The Philharmonik
Mr. Bobby’s World (DJ TENT)
12:00 – Mark Matras b2b Mr Latinhouse
1:00 – Banana Camp: DJ TUTT + Jack Richards + Keith Wolnik
2:00 – MIA DnB: Delamota + Mega Mike + MC Questionmark UK (MIA DNB)
3:00 – Los Marafackas
4:00 – Mr Bobby
5:00 – GroovinLove: LoveBug b2b Groovin Kiki
6:00 – CZ Boogie
7:00 – Sussie4 (DJ SET)
8:00 – DIZ
The Spoken Word
One of the ways Pilsen Fest promotes cultural literacy is through a live poetry exhibition called The Spoken Word. Each night right before the headliner’s set, local accomplished writers take to the main stage to recite their profound works. Saturday’s featured artist, who will be presented with Pilsen Fest’s 2018 José Revueltas Award for Literature, is Raúl Dorantes – a resident playwright of Colectvio El Pozo. Dorantes is credited with nine original works presented by Colectivo El Pozo since 2009, staging Spanish-language original theater works that capture the reality of immigrants in Chicago.
On Sunday night, T (Tee Muñoz), non-binary, queer, brown, poet and visual artists, will take the stage. They use their art as a form of resistance and protest, and hope their work causes audiences to reflect on how the uncomfortable realities of marginalized people can be lived through it all. According to T, while calling for action is essential, being able to be aware and breathe through pain is the first step.
The Art Pavilion
Inspired by the artistic zeal of Pilsen, one of Chicago’s most underappreciated art scenes, art is also a central focus at Pilsen Fest. Like the music, the Art Pavilion is always one of the main attractions, featuring the artwork of some of the Pilsen area’s most prominent local visual artist. In addition to over 40 local arts and crafts vendors, Pilsen Fest’s featured artists this year include the following (with the first four artists listed being the newest additions announced in this release):
- René Arceo: a printmaker and a cultural worker who builds bridges that connect artists and arts institutions to foster printmaking.
- Rebecca Wolfram: a nationally-renowned painter who resides in the northeast corner of Little Village.
- ELLOO: pronounced like “hello” (and with a British accent) is an urban artist who specializes in street murals that feature toothless, bright colored, adorable monsters.
- RED: a visual artist born who creates characters that are playful and often reminiscent of childhood nostalgia.
- Sam Kirk: Pilsen Fest’s 2018 Fewrmín Revueltas Visual Arts Award Winner for contributing to the cultural richness of the neighborhood with her prominent murals that reflect neighborhoods.
- Alma Domínguez: explores the boundaries of reality, with a flare of surrealism. Her paintings seek to raise political, social and environmental awareness.
- Karla Wong: pushes the limits and steers away traditional elements in favor of touches of surrealism, painting magical characters using emblematic symbols of Istmeña culture.
- Verónica Martínez: uses portraiture as a means to celebrate difference and it’s many intanglements with class, taste, nostalgia, and history.
- Lucie Šťastná: combines classic documentary drawing with non-traditional elements, techniques or methods in her murals.
- Tomáš Staněk: paints on walls and canvases, graphic design, book binding, analogue photography, and rapping with his DBKL crew.
- Josef Sedlák: graffiti and mural artist, co-founded the comic magazine XRXmag along with Tomáš Staněk
- Carlos Barberena: runs the printmaking project: Bandolero Press & La Calaca Press.
Featured performance and theater artists as well as LatinX authors (announced in this release) at Pilsen Fest this year include:
- Juana Iris Goergen: this Latin American Literature professor at DePaul University has received the Contra/Tiempo and José Revueltas Poetry Awards and several teaching awards.
- Camazotz: Colectivo El pozo is excited to be preparing its 13th production. “Camazotz”, an original play about an undocumented bat deity from Mexico who lives in Chicago for one year.
- Antonio Zavala: a correspondent with a major news service and a columnist for La Raza weekly, also contributes to El BeiSMan and Contratiempo magazines, just finished his first work of fiction.
- Carolina Herrera: a regular contributor for the cultural magazine El BeiSMan in Chicago. #Mujer que piensa, her first novel, was published this year.
- Marc Zimmerman: has authored and edited nearly 40 books. Zimmerman’s stories, as well as his articles on Chicago Latino art and literature, have appeared regularly in El BeiSMan.
The Food & Spirits Pavilion
A taste of Pilsen’s thriving culinary arts scene is also among the many highlights at Pilsen Fest. Such as will be the case at the Food & Spirits Pavilion. This year’s featured vendors are:
- La Ciudad (Doña Petra): specializing in delicious traditional home-style Mexican ‘Antojitos’ and street food popular in México City
- La Casa Del Pueblo: specializing in tamales, tortas de camaron, and chicharrónes en salsa verde
- Taquería El Milagro: specializing in tacos filled with tender chicken legs submerged in mole rojo, or sumptuous, slow-cooked beef in a rich tomato sauce
- Cantón Regio: specializing in brochetas dangling from a little metal stand
- La Esperanza: specializing in a fresh, five-star spin on run-of-the-mill beans and cheese
Other participating vendors in this category include: Yvolina’s, La Cebollita, La Ciudad, Honky Tonk, Gaby’s Funnel Cakes, Ice Cream Las Fuentes, Slice Pizza Factory, La Jefa Food Truck, El Campeon Pina Coladas, Lagunitas, Banhez Mezcal and more.
The Kid’s Corner
Empowering children to embrace their cultural identity in fun and artistic ways is one of Pilsen Fest’s main objectives. There are many opportunities this year for kids to partake, including the following (with the first three activities listed being the newest additions announced in this release):
- Slow & Low: Chicago Lowrider: master craftsmen, innovative mechanics, custom pin stripers and muralists who contribute to the overall visual aesthetics of Lowrider culture and community will be on-hand for a visual feast.
- Sculpture Workshop with Alfonso Pilto: the self-taught artist who uses clay and garbage as his principal materials and who has been featured throughout the world will lead a riveting sculpture workshop for children.
- Scales & Tales: an educational Encounter with Exotic Animals led by Beth Wagner who has been providing Chicagoland with insightful and fun animal shows for 20 years.
- Knight Moves Chess Club: the nationally recognized that meets every week at the Rudy Lozano Branch of the Chicago Public Library will be on hand at Pilsen Fest to take on all comers.
- Creating Monarca Butterflies with Patricia Carlos Domínguez: At Pilsen Fest, this local writer, director, producer of Children’s Theatre will host a special activity for kids based on the Monarch Butterfly’s annual migration to Mexico.
- Art Workshops by the National Museum of Mexican Art: The NSMA will host educational arts and crafts stations for kids to learn and be inspired.
- VojoDeyl (folk band visiting from the Czech Republic): This visually-impaired musician will wow kids with his violin.