So there are many reason that this weekend's The Chicago Bluegrass and Blues Festival at the historic Congress Theater is a unique experience worth any Chicago music fan’s attention. We know that it has Béla Fleck, Dr. Dog, The Emmit-Nershi Band, Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater (plus 23 more bands, to see full lineup go here). It is also well known that is Chicago’s only winter music festival (and the nation’s largest).
But there may be some aspects that you don’t know, and they are listed below. What you will find is that the CBB Festival, at heart, is a festival put on for music-festival lovers by music-festival lovers. They don’t just want to put bands on a couple stages and call it a day, they want to make it a one-stop, comprehensive, music-festival experience. Indoors… in the winter. Don’t believe it? Well… just read about the 10 bonuses for CBB Festival goers below; and trust me, you will be surprised about this event.
1. There is unlimited re-entry until 6pm, and as long as you leave the building before then, you can come back in whenever! They don’t want to tell you you have to eat and drink here, so feel free to move freely in and out until evening time. Check out other FAQs here: http://cbbfestival.com/about/
2. There’s somewhere to smoke without leaving venue & going out in the cold. They don’t judge, they know that to be trapped inside all day long is not appealing to their friends who enjoy nicotine from time to time. That's why they will provide an on-site smoking section, it will still be quasi-outdoors, but totally within the festival’s confines and out of the wind.
3. KIDS 12&UNDER ARE FREE. Yeah that’s right, you read that correctly. The CBB Fest feels for their brethren who feel like they can’t go to a festival because they have little ones and either don’t want to leave them along, or feel that buying them a ticket is a waste of money. Fear no more, the festival has got you on this one, any child under the age of 12 will be admitted free of charge.
4. Buy a ticket and a holiday gift with one purchase, thanks to Bike and Roll’s Green Pass package. By purchasing a ticket through this link, and adding on a “Bike and Roll GREEN PASS” entitles the purchaser to a half-day bicycle rental for 2 people at any of their 9 locations around Chicago. Representing a 64% discount off the normal Bike and Roll price ($70), and printed by the city’s only green certified printer on recycled paper using soy inks, this is a great “green” gift for yourself or a friend. The Green Pass expires 12/31/10. To purchase or to learn more click here.
5. Just to give you an idea of what this year's fest has in store, and to get you excited about this year’s festival, they have released a preview footage of the soon to be released concert film “Windy City Dawg – David Grisman & Friends @ the Chicago Bluegrass & Blues Fest” – View it here.
6. One will be able to eat great food at the festival. Browns Restaurant (formerly Browns Chicken) is the exclusive food sponsor, and will be offering up deliciousness; including Hot Dogs, Polish Sausage, Nachos, Browns’ Famous Mushroom, and Chicken Wings.
7. The festival will even be providing live video/audio of the stages! This festival is about sharing good music, even to those who haven’t paid to get in. Preview the action and learn more at http://www.tourcast.tv/.
8. There will be a pre-party the Thursday before the festival.. On December 10 five bands will take the stage at Elbo Room, hosting an evening of Chicago’s best Rock-Folk musicians. This is a “teaser” for the 2nd Annual Chicago Bluegrass & Blues Festival on December 12 since two of the bands, Goodbyehome and Cobalt & The Hired Guns, are going to be performing there as well! Click here to learn more.
9. Wait, there is another pre-party as well, and its free! The OFFICIAL FESTIVAL EVE PRE-PARTY will be held on, 12/11, at Heartland Cafe (http://www.heartlandcafe.com/). It will be $5 or free w/ Festival ticket or confirmation e-mail.
9 – 935 pm Barehand Jugband
9:50 – 10:30 Rust Belt Ramblers
10:45 – 11:30 Le Percolateur
11:50 – ? Band Called Catch
Curfew @ 110 AM
10. There is a free after-party for all of us late-night people! The OFFICIAL CBB FESTIVAL AFTER PARTY will happen at Elbo Room, it will be $5 or free w/ CBB Fest Ticket Stub! Come check out:
Coyote Afloat 9:15pm-10:15pm
Mandy & the Bandits – 10:30-11:00
Zach Pietrini & Broken Bones – 11:15 – 12:00
Kurt Helmbacher (Solo Acoustic) 12:15am – 1:15am