Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival | Music Sidebar | Chicago Reader

Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival 

The expansive Logan Square festival features a lineup of top shelf local music and nearly 30 curated gallery exhibitions.

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The 1900s

The 1900s

John Sturdy

Stretching along its namesake street from California to Kimball (2250 to 2850 N. Milwaukee), the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival runs Fri-Sun 7/23-7/25, from 4-11 PM Friday and from noon-11 PM Saturday and Sunday. The fest's three outdoor music stages feature an impressive cast of local players. Bookings on the Main Stage, at Milwaukee and Logan by the Illinois Centennial Monument, include the Drastics and the Opposite Sides on Friday; the 1900s, the Blue Ribbon Glee Club, Black Bear Combo, and Mr. Russia on Saturday; and Angel Melendez & the 911 Mambo Orchestra, the Megitza Quartet, and Detholz! on Sunday. Among the highlights on the Cole's Bar Stage, at Belden just off Milwaukee, are White Mystery, Paper Mice, the Runnies, Nathan Xander & Witchhouse, Jon Drake & the Shakes, and the Thin Man. The Landmark Stage, on Milwaukee at Diversey and Kimball, is open only Saturday and Sunday and features performances by the Warm Ones, Furious Frank, Bulletproof Lincoln, Green Pasture Happiness, and the Jason Stein Trio, among others. The festival also encompasses almost 30 curated gallery exhibitions, both at established spots like Anywhere Space (2328 N. Milwaukee), Mixed Motion Art (2355 N. Milwaukee), and Elastic Arts (2830 N. Milwaukee, second floor) and at a number of pop-up spaces; the gallery at 2515 N. Milwaukee also hosts music. Other attractions include theater and dance performances, screenings from the Chicago Independent Film Festival (2735 N. Milwaukee), and an open mural painting at Medill and Milwaukee (Saturday and Sunday from noon-5 PM). Most of the festival is free, but there's a $5 suggested donation for entry to the Main Stage area. For more info, call 773-549-3255 or visit

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