In case you were out of town, or fled the mosh pit(s) up the street in lieu of some peace and quiet in Roscoe Village, there was a big, exciting, and sweaty fest which occurred this past weekend, as tens of thousands of people poured into Wicker Park’s main hub at the intersection of Milwaukee/North/Damen, to enjoy dancing in the streets, hula-hooping, ART-biking, and shopping, among other activities, all whilst eating lots of food and drinking beer, sangria, and water, and listening to great music on no less than three stages.
One visual which comes to mind is Robert Soller’s amazing ART bike, which made its way down Division street, as Phlash was there to capture the excitement. In other visuals, Eric Earley, lead vocals of Sunday night South Stage headliner Blitzen
trimmed wife beater after the third or so song, as the crowd went wild. Well, maybe we’re over-exaggerating, but it was a great performance, and the members of Portland-Oregon-based Blitzen Trapper, who even tried out a few new songs on the encouraging crowd, seemed happy to be in Wicker Park and playing the open air stage, as were their appreciative fans.
Robert Loerzel of the Underground Bee shot these amazing photos of Wild Flag on Saturday night, and Philin Phlash was spotted handing out LOVE T-Shirts to his new favorite band, Everest, which played on the North stage Saturday afternoon. For our part, we caught a bit of Murder by Death as well as a hip hop act on the mid center stage, around mid-day on Saturday.
At the chamber of commerce booth, poets Kathleen Rooney and David Landsberger were composing poems for a $5 donation, or pay-what-you-can, with proceeds benefiting the after school writing tutoring program 826CHI and Rose Metal Press. After a long day on the streets taking pictures, passing out booklets***, and tickets to the pipeline FUNdraiser this Saturday, we were off to a bbq shortly after putting in our donation and request for a poem based on the word “heat,” and were delighted to get an email from Kathleen the following day, featuring a poem entitled SUMMER, which appears in italics at the bottom of this story. Per Kathleen, 41 poems were written, yielding donations of $202.50!
In addition to poetry, our dispatch from the trenches of Wicker Park Fest included meeting lots of people, babies, and dogs, some of whom were celebrating their first Wicker Park fest, like this adorable weeks old infant. Others, like Thurston, a long haired Daschund, pictured, were no stranger to the fest. Thurston was enjoying his second year in the arms of proud owner, Andrea.
Though we heard anecdotal reports of $300 designer skirts marked down to $20 from friends, we wanted to get more details about the shopping arm of the weekend, so we followed up with Adam Burck, executive director of the Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce, which organized the Sizzling Summer Sidewalk Sale, the largest in recent memory, to see how it went.
“We have received overwhelmingly positive feedback on the Chamber’s Summer Sizzle Sidewalk Sale from retailers. Folks said they had great foot traffic and sales as a result of the event. Local shoe store violette reports their best day ever!” Adam replied via email.
The RGB Lounge also set out wares over the weekend, in the form of a two-day trunk sale featuring, per its same dam lo’ sweater trunk show page, the “best in local street wear and vintage from Chicago Bread, akin, portage chicago, ends wealth, social con, royal mindset, made, bear illa, orange kat kustoms, grassroots, equilibrium and pontential villain.”
En route to see Blitzen Trapper, The Pipeline popped in at RGB Lounge just around closing time on Sunday, when a very tired but happy Nic Sementa, organizer of the sale, reported that the weekend had been a success. “People were like zombies pressed against the window [of RBG Lounge] on Saturday,” Nic recalled, before showing us a few remaining custom pieces by Portage Chicago, as well as Ends/Wealth Corp.
More Pipeline fest photos in the gallery, below, as well as in our photobucket album. Note: Feel free to use any photos from our blog, website, or newsletter, provided there is a photo credit and link back to the original source, chicago-pipeline.com.
*** Many thanks to the crew at Ash’s Bucktown Smoke Shop for allowing The Pipeline to leave our laundry cart and rollaway bag full of booklets in their shop. The streets were too crowded for a cart!
by -Kathleen Rooney