Riding in on the wake of a music festival-packed summer (many of which you probably missed because of obscure locations and expensive passes), is Champaign-Urbana’s very own Pygmalion Music Festival. Spread over four days from September 20 to September 24 and featuring over fifty bands of both local and national renown, this year’s fest is a quasi-Bonnaroo. The CU community has more musical talent than stalks of corn, so why not celebrate this achievement with a kick-ass lineup of concert after concert after concert? Hosting the event are seven venues spread across town, which to coordinator Seth Fein, is part of the festival’s appeal.
“The idea is that people act like super duper patrons to the bars that weekend as a thanks for hosting Pygmalion for us. And, with Krannert Center as a partner, we really feel like we have run the gamut in terms of presentation and diversity of venues,” said Fein (who’s also a buzz columnist).
Pygmalion Music Festival celebrates the fact that Champaign-Urbana has made a lot more musical advances than birthing REO Speedwagon. Flittering around the Canopy Club and Cowboy Monkey, etc. these days are plenty of artists on the verge, waiting for their Pitchfork review to set them off, as well as plenty of artists already well on their way.
For Fein, now is the moment to unveil the talent behind the curtain. “We have such a storied history and such a fantastic present that it only makes sense that someone goes out of their way to wake up the rest of the nation to all the great bands that CU has to offer.”
He has certainly found some showcases. Champaign’s own diamond in the rough, Headlights, are well on their way to indie fame and fortune with their recent album Kill Them With Kindess, which has received glowing reviews nationwide. Their girl-boy-boy line-up allows for a nice contrast – loose, feedback-driven guitars with lead singer Erin Fein’s sweet alto. More established artists like former Pedro The Lion singer David Bazan and Georgia new waver’s of Montreal are also slotted to play. Also, blogger favorites Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin will bring people in early to the Saturday headlining show at the Canopy Club.
However, the focus here is clearly on the local. Many have existed in various configurations for years, and exposure like this (“We have people coming from places as far away as Texas and Massachusetts for the weekend,” says Fein) could only help them grow beyond the environs of Myspace and launch them into national notoriety.