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'Green' music good for the soul, bad for your dough

Wicker Park’s Green Music Fest had a number of relaxing features, but prices were hard to endure.

Published: Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Updated: Wednesday, July 6, 2011 16:07

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Festival goers browse the various craft’s offered by vendors. Photo by Cassandra Clegg.

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Festival goers stand in front of some of the street art on display. Photo by Cassandra Clegg.

You know you are on your way to a Chicago festival in Wicker Park when you hear the music in the distance, encounter meticulous graffiti art and are greeted by the chimes of a Mexican ice cream cart before entering the Green Music Fest.

For just a $5 donation, festival goers had the chance to listen to terrific indie music; taste food from organic and local, eco-friendly restaurants; and knock back a few beers from nearby breweries. Together, all three make for a winning combination if mellow delights are your kind of thing.

The Green Music Fest featured a mixture of young adults, couples, babies and dogs—lots of dog.

Many festival goers were decked out in dark-rimmed glasses, straw-hat fedoras, sundresses and flip-flops. The attire was a true-sign that the summer is alive and upon us.

Music from the likes of Yo La Tengo, Blane Fonda, The Thermals, Les Savy Fav, Trampled by Turtles, The Life and Times and Musikanto graced the stages of Green Fest this year off of the intersection of North Avenue and Damen Avenue.

It seemed appropriate that this year's Green Music Fest took place in the heart of hipsterdome—Wicker Park—after moving from its original location in Ukrainian Village.

The music fest has grown since then. The relocated fest featured up to 7 local restaurants, three breweries and an expanded craft vendor section.

Despite the price of $6 a beer, there was surprising number of people drinking, allowing for the perfect opportunity to relax to the music of 93.1 XRT, who was broadcasting live at opposite stages.

Perhaps the highlight of the festival was sitting on the curb of Damen Avenue and watching a group of thirty-somethings break out into an impromptu dance to Whitney Houston's "I Want to Dance with Somebody." Amazingly, one woman grooved without spilling a single drop of beer.

The Green Music Fest provided a nice juxtaposition to the fun chaos of the Chicago Pride Parade with the cool low-key fun of other Wicker Park music fests. However, because it was rather small and pricey, to meet the costs of niche green culinary tastes, I do not think it is a fest to be enjoyed by everyone.

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