BY JUDY CARMACK BROSS
Make room for Winnetka, music fans. The summer festival scene is headed to the North Shore and becoming a source of pride for its residents. In addition to more stages featuring international emerging artists from Australia to Nashville, musicians will be appearing on street corners throughout the village. Last year’s inaugural Winnetka Music Festival attracted almost 8,000 fans, generating rave reviews from attendees. Guests at a recent rocking kickoff party for his year’s festival learned that the free festival, whose theme is “You heard them here first,” will be held Father’s Day Weekend, June 15 and 16.
Although the list of this year’s performers won’t be officially released until later this year, the emerging and edgy groups are entertainers receiving top accolades in the music industry and have been spotted on the stages of renowned fests such as Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza and on Jimmy Fallon, Winnetka’s sparkling Jetta Boschen shared recently. WMF will expand this year to five stages including three main stages, a family stage, and the intimate indoor Winnetka Chapel stage. Many local volunteers, merchants, and restaurants are already on board.
Festival Chair Scott Myers reports:
“We are really excited to build off of the success of our 2017 event. Some calculate even as many as 8,000 people attended and we expect that to double. With more stages, more food trucks, more craft beer, and more musicians, this year’s music fest will offer more great options and still maintain the intimate neighborhood feel that made it so welcoming.”
WMF will offer a wide range of music genres performed by 26 top emerging artists. The performers in this festival were handpicked by Val Haller, Winnetka resident and founder/owner of ValsList Music and ValsListRadio. One of the Festival’s creators, Val has received praise from WXRT, the New York Times, and O, The Oprah Magazine for her talent in music selection. According to Ms. Haller:
“The remarkable success of last year’s inaugural event has put our boutique music festival on the radar of artists and booking agents across the country. This year’s interest is high, and we have some fabulous bands coming our way. With the continuing support of our sponsors, WXRT, and new sponsors like the Chicago Cubs, we are solidifying our position as a premier emerging artist festival—a showcase of the best new talent that’s coming on the music scene today.”
Four bands will kick off the Winnetka Music Festival starting at 6 pm, Friday, June 15. Throughout the day on Saturday, people will be able to stroll the streets of Winnetka and hear artists around every corner. Not only will there be artists performing on stages, street buskers—students from New Trier High School selected for their musical talents—will be stationed in restaurants and other locations throughout town. In addition to hearing top emerging artists, families can anticipate performances for children, including the beloved Winnetka Children’s Theatre.
“Executing an event of this scale and quality has only been possible through the work of many different groups. The Winnetka Music Festival is truly a collaborative project of ValsList, the Village of Winnetka, the Winnetka Park District, local businesses, and the Chamber of Commerce, as well as residents. Its success can be attributed to their hard work and joint efforts.”
For more information about the Winnetka Music Festival and how to get involved, visit, winnetkamusicfestival.com.