Welcome to IMC Fest!

At the end of Broadway Street, on the north side of Lincoln Square Mall in downtown Urbana, the Independent Media Center (IMC) is preparing for one of the largest events in its history. IMC Fest, which begins at 3 p.m. Friday and ends 2 a.m. Sunday, will spotlight local art, feature films such as Zeitgeist, speakers, and over 30 local and national music acts in efforts to raise money for a new radio station antennae. Much of the music starts around mid to late-evening and concludes each night with an after party, featuring local DJs and hip-hop performances. The weekend long event is the first IMC Fest since 2004 and the first in its new location. Previous IMC Fests were held at the Canopy Club and co-sponsored by other groups in the Champaign-Urbana area. Since the move to their new location, IMC volunteers had little time and resources to throw a self-sufficient event until Dan Blah, an active IMC volunteer, took on the task.
“I’m really enjoying this whole process,” Blah said, adding that he hoped festivals like this could become more regular with as many
as 10 to 15 per year.
“The whole idea of the IMC Fest is basically a way to expose the community to the various media, art spaces, and different facilities we
have in the building.”
Urbana’s IMC is a federally registered not-for-profit organization and one of the largest and oldest in the United States. It is a grassroots effort composed entirely of volunteers, absent of major advertisers, which is designed to support and promote alternative sources of media. In addition to hosting music events, the IMC sponsors the UC Books-to-Prisoners program, WRFU-FM, the Bike Project of Champaign-Urbana, and many others. IMC Fest will provide support for these programs as all artists are playing for free.
“We want to have a really good time,” added Blah. “I love all the bands playing.” In particular, Blah is looking forward to Sunday night, which includes a performance by Shirley King, daughter of blues legend B.B. King. “Young and old people will be drawn here by the music and seeing how they both respond will be really interesting,” he said. Tickets to IMC Fest are $10/day and $20 for a weekend pass. Tickets are available at the IMC or through their Web site at shows.ucimc.org. Beverages and organic foods will also be available throughout the event.

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