Summer in CU showcases cost-efficient schedule

The music scene in CU tends to be quite giving. Local venues often feature bills with five plus acts for a cover of $5 or under, the Canopy Club hosts weekly, cover-free residency shows, even Pygmalion Music Festival itself, CU’s premiere music event, is a steal for all of the amazing music you can catch for a several-day, multiple-show outing. This summer is no exception, with plenty of free shows every week to catch at various parks and downtown bars. If you were wondering where and when all of these wonderful shows will be taking place, wonder no more! We at the buzz have compiled a brief rundown for your convenience.
Champaign Park District Neighborhood Concert Series: Wednesdays 6:30 p.m. ­— 8:00 p.m.
What’s truly astounding about the Champaign Park District’s Summer Concert Series is the sheer number of shows they are putting on, with the total reaching over 20 shows featuring local and regional acts this summer.
The Neighborhood Concert Series builds upon the idea that originally started the whole thing—using residential parks as a venue to bring the neighborhood together. The series features six remaining shows, each of which will take place in a different park bordering residential areas in CU. The schedule runs as follows:
June 24 — The Craig Russo Latin Project (Latin) at Turnberry Ridge
July 8 — The No Secret Band (Cover) at Powell Park
July 15 — Vvvvv (Rock) at Davidson Park
July 29 — Lonnie Lester (Soul) at Johnston Park
August 5 — The Impalas (Blues) at Clark Park
Krannert Uncorked: First and Third Thursday Each Month
Head to the Krannert Center lobby on Thursdays at 5 p.m. to catch some excellent folk bluegrass music and free samplings from local beverage distributors (if you’re 21 years old of course). That’s right — a double whammy of cheap goodness. Check out these announced acts as example:
June 18 — Dottie and the Rail
July 2 — Robert Russell
July 16 — The Freak Brothers
The Highdive 10th Anniversary: Thursday, July 2
Yes indeed, the Highdive will celebrate 10 years of bringing us great local shows and events, and cover is free! The current lineup is as follows:
Beats By Otter
Lyle The Electrician
DJ Kosmo
Kid Sister
Champaign Park District Eat to the Beat: Fridays 12:00 p.m. — 1:00 p.m.
With close to 100 people in attendance at last Fridays show featuring Ryan Groff, this series is already a hit within CU. Pack a lunch, rally some co-workers, and start off your weekend right at the West Side Park in downtown Champaign.
July 3 — Nathaniel Seer (Acoustic)
August 7 — Tracey and Tricia (Folk)
September 4 — Kenny Kip (Jazz)
DJ Nights at the Cowboy Monkey
Head to the Cowboy Monkey Friday nights to check out some of our finest local djs. 80s and 90s dance music as well as hip-hop and mash-ups can all be heard.
June 12 — DJ Stifler
June 19 — DJ Mingram
July 3 — Beat Kitchen (Rock/Soul w/ Horns)
July 10 — DJ Stifler
July 17 — DJ Kosmo
July 24 — DJ Mingram
Champaign Park District Downtown Street Fests: Saturdays 7 p.m. — Midnight
Finish off your week of free live music with a show in downtown Champaign. With plenty of great downtown bars to hit up after, or even during the show, this event is sure to be worthwhile.
June 13 — Bruiser and the Virtues/Salsa Chicago Mambo All-Stars
July 11 — One Night Stand/Mister Sister
August 8 — Hurricane Gumbo/Blue Island Tribe
So, there you have it. A plethora of shows awaits you this summer in CU, even if you’re working one of those unpaid internships or have next to nothing in the old savings. If you are one of those fortunate souls who has any sort of income at all, share the wealth! Support the scene by attending shows when there is cover and by buying cds of local artists. Also, the Champaign Park District is taking volunteers for its events this summer, so that’s be a great way to pitch in as well. Visit them at today.

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