While traditional Valentine’s Day designs figure romantic love in pairs, a new festival embraces the broader theme of love in all its aspects and variations. The All Need Love Festival offers an alternative to candlelit tête-à-têtes with a world-class round of attractions, perhaps first among them being the setting in the columned halls and galleries of Chicago’s Field Museum.
The festival was organized by Los Angeles events firm Mor Visual Entertainment, which has worked with the likes of Lincoln Center, MTV, Woodstock 1999 and the 2004 Olympic Games. All Need Love Fest’s executive producer Juliette Marquis came to Chicago some three months ago with the express purpose of setting up a music festival. As Marquis recaps, “Chicago has a unique culture in that so many people participate in going to the theater and going out to festivals and we really wanted to highlight that.”
The All Need Love Festival aims to suit all tastes. Musical entertainment is provided by masters from around the world, including Kahil El’Zabar and his Ethnic Heritage Ensemble, the Sufi flute-playing of Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Greek jazz singer Alexia, Bandoleros, DJ Dani Deahl, DJ Flylife, DJ Sadie Woods and headliners
DJ Flipper Dalton and Chicago’s own Funkadesi, about whom Barack Obama once quipped “There’s a lot of funk in that desi.”
Other attractions include a display of the sacred Buddhist art of butter sculpting by Sonam Dhargye (who has been personally ordained in the practice by the Dalai Lama), featured speaker and Kabbalistic master Yehuda Berg, and performances by Second City and famed mentalist Lior Suchard.
All of the activity takes place simultaneously. The festival goer will be free to float through a variety of themed areas—such as the Tibetan Hall or, for those coming unattached, the Zodiac Mixer—each with their own distinct feel and signature drink, such as the ruby red or yellow moon martinis. For those who come with an appetite, an African Safari-themed restaurant will be set up amid the life-size wildlife dioramas of the Field’s African Wing.
Marquis says the event seeks “to create an atmosphere of love for everyone to enjoy… where a group of guys, or singles will feel just as comfortable as a couple on Valentine’s day.” Moreover, she believes that all the performers represent love in one way or another. (David Wicik)
$175 for VIP and $115 for standard admission (both with open bars) at allneedlove.com.