Summer is the season of outdoor festivals in Chicago. Hot, outdoor festivals that seem to be becoming increasingly corporate and similar to one another. But experimental-music enthusiasts Matt Kimmel of Acid Marshmallow and Dan Smith of Neon Blossom have put together a festival to end the summer that is unlike anything you’ve heard before.
Neon Marshmallow Fest promises an extensive line-up with artists that are often hard to find playing live otherwise. Many are international and some are playing in Chicago or even the United States for the first time, but that’s not to say that there aren’t any locals as well. For example, David Wm. Sims of The Jesus Lizard fame brings his unFACT out on Saturday, and Plastic Crimewave Solo takes the stage Friday night. The nature of experimental, harsh noise, freak folk, drone and free jazz —just to name a few genres—means that shows are often fewer and further in-between and Neon Marshmallow is bringing them together for a weekend of what is described as a dream by the organizers.
The festival is essentially five shows, in total, with a night show Thursday, Friday and Saturday and a show beginning in the afternoon on Saturday and Sunday. “It’s a marathon of music. It’s good though,” Smith says.
But despite the chock-full schedule, the set-up of the event will get you closer to the music as well, and Kimmel and Smith have made their own adjustments to assure that the music is enjoyed at its fullest, not to mention that the fest will take place entirely indoors, which means plenty of air conditioning.
“It will be a more intimate and hands-on experience,” Kimmel says. (Lindsey Kratochwill)
Viaduct Theater, 3111 North Western, August 19-22. $20-$25 per show, or $75 for all four days. neonmarshmallowfest.com