Pygmalion Festival

The days of summer are slowly winding down. With a couple days left, we are still able to send the summer of 2017 off in style in the form of
The PYGMALION Festival. They’ve returned with an even bigger and better installment this year which sees them once again at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Canopy Club, 51 Main, Memphis on Main, and the intersection of Main and Market in Downtown Champaign. The event takes place over the course of September 20-24. For information on tickets head here.

This year’s edition includes Animal Collective, SuperDuperKyle, Thundercat, BadBadNotGood, Julien Baker, Noname, Oddisee, and more. There’s really something for everyone and that’s before we get to the deep undercard. CJ Run, Trouble Chasin’, The Lil Smokies, Ratboys, and Sunjacket. A full list can be found on the Pygmalion website.


PYGMALION has worked extraordinarily hard to expand the festival’s program scope. While music is one of the bigger showcases, other intriguing components have been added such as tech, arts and crafts, food, and literature. While you are jamming to your favorite artist from not too far of a distance, eating a slice of pizza from Papa Dels, make sure to wipe your hands and say hello to the possible innovators and entrepreneurs that build here. There is a big possibility you may run into some very dope people. While the festival has taken on character each year, the representation of the Urbana-Champaign community still exists and only gets stronger.

Author George Saunders




I love that the festival features a diverse array of musicians ranging from genres like rap and hip hop, indie rock, jazz, experimental music, and so much more. I am most excited to catch the huge Chicago act, Noname and her beautifully crafted ‘Telefone’ performance. Smino is definitely on my, “must see” list as well. Find me at Canopy taking an ‘Innamission’ from school Thursday night to catch this! Let it be known that the talented CJ Run will be opening up for Smino. Not to mention, they also shared the stage with Noname last year. It’s dope seeing your friends perform in a bigger setting than usual and opening up for your two favorite artists!


-Shannon Fricke


Ever since it was announced way back in May that Thundercat would be one of the artists playing at the Pygmalion Fest this year, I’ve been looking forward to this Fall, and now that we’re here, I’m happy to say that my hype hasn’t faded. This year’s Fest is looking to be one of the most exciting events of the year, with a star-studded musical line-up including some of my favorite artists. Personally, I’m most excited for BadBadNotGood, a Canadian Jazz quartet who have recently blown up thanks to a fantastic new album, IV, and some high-profile collaborations, including one with Kendrick Lamar on his newest album. I’m also looking forward to Animal Collective, Thundercat, Oddisee, and Smino.


-Nikhil Mehta

PYGMALION is right around the corner, which I’m super stoked about. I hadn’t really heard of most of the artists performing, so you know I had to check them out. The first artist name that popped out at me was, “The World is a Beautiful Place & I am No Longer Afraid To Die.” A funky name for a funky band. SuperDuperKyle has some great beats too. I didn’t think too much about him at first, but he really grew on me. Not that it makes much of a difference to him, but his fan base has a new member. I’m probably most excited to hear the Lil Smokies because (call me crazy, but) I got into country and bluegrass over the summer.


-Connor Sterling


PYGMALION is always an event worth looking forward to. It is a time when the creatives of our town come together to create something big. Most towns our size couldn’t pull off a festival quite like this. It is a testament to the creativity, talent, dedication, and diversity that we have here in CU. That alone is something worth celebrating. In terms of the lineup, Animal Collective, Sunjacket, Flint Eastwood, and The World is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die are all bands I can’t wait to see live. I have never heard of Julien Baker prior to the release of this lineup but she is quickly becoming one of my favorite artists so I’m looking forward to that set as well. Last but not least, I am so stoked to see our local bands sharing the stage with all these incredible artists. It’s a completely different dynamic to see bands play a festival set versus a set at a bar or a house show, so it’s really great to get to see that side of our locals – Winder, CJ Run, and Motes are some of my favorites!


-Bridget Mueller-Brennan


If you’re heading to the festival, chances are your mind is already made up with artists who you NEED to see. But don’t forget to get there early and take a chance on someone you never heard of. There’s a good chance that there’s a future headliner hidden in there or an artist that is due for a big break out. The PYGMALION Fest is shaping up to be a can’t-miss event for the Urbana-Champaign community, and we can’t wait until the festival officially kicks off on September 20th.


Tickets for the festival are currently still on sale. But the clock is ticking and if you want to guarantee your entry, grab them now before it’s too late.