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Community Blog: Pygmalion Music Festival

If you talk to anyone from the Chicagoland area and ask them what the highlight of their summer was, I guarantee you at least 75% of them will tell you it was Lollapalooza, the annual three-day music festival in Grant Park.

College students flock in groups to music festivals like Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo, which allow them to discover the new, indie music pervading popular culture and the radio airwaves. Unknown to many University of Illinois students, Champaign-Urbana has its own answer to Lollapalooza, the Pygmalion Music Festival, which kicks off this Thursday, September 27.

Though not very well known, this music festival has played host to many well-respected Indie bands and performers in the past few years, including Of Montreal, Janelle Monae, Iron and Wine, Andrew Bird and Explosions in the Sky. Several of the acts that have appeared at Pygmalion Music Festival have become immensely popular in the Indie music scene over the past few years, and they have gone on to headline at Lollapalooza and other Indie music fests.

This year, Pygmalion’s lineup includes Grizzly Bear, Dirty Projectors, Best Coast, Cloud Nothings and many others. Sleigh Bells, another well-known band on the Indie scene, was also slated to play this year, but they unexpectedly canceled within the last week. Though Sleigh Bells’ appearance at Pygmalion had gained some considerable hype, the lineup is still any indie music lover’s dream, and it is certain to be an amazing three days of shows.

Grizzly Bear, one of the better-known bands on the lineup, is certain to attract a large crowd. Their music, like most Indie music, is a very experimental mixture of just about every musical genre that exists, from folk to pop to rock to electronic. Made up of five friends from Brooklyn, Grizzly Bear has performed at Coachella Music Festival in California, Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago (basically an even more Indie-hipster version of Lollapalooza), and Lollapalooza itself. They have also toured with acts like Radiohead, Feist and TV on the Radio. Their 2011 album Veckatimest hit number 8 on the Billboard Top 200, a huge accomplishment for any band, but especially for an Indie one. If you decide to see only one band at Pygmalion this year, Grizzly Bear should definitely be it.

The venues for the concerts are spread all over Champaign and Urbana, including Canopy Club, High Dive, Downtown Urbana and the Krannert Art Museum. Tickets can be purchased on the website, http://pygmalionmusicfestival.com/.

Make sure to check out this awesome event happening right in our own community. You will probably see some of these bands winning a Grammy one day!

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