By ERIC SCHELKOPF
After raising more than $4,000 last year for The Patrick Grange Memorial Foundation for ALS Research, Localpalooza will return for a second year later this month.
Headliners The Ivorys, independent hip-hop artist Rich Jones, indie soul band Honey & the 45s, Americana/punk group Bad Bad Meow, indie rock band Namorado, garage/rockabilly trio The Dyes and opener Elle Casazza are set to perform July 22 at Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago.
More information is available by going to www.eventbrite.com. I had the chance to talk to Burnside & Hooker guitarist Michael Vogus, who once again is organizing the event.
Q - Great talking to you again. This is the second year of Localpalooza. How successful was it last year? Did it achieve all your goals?
Thanks again for taking the time to chat with me. You have always been super supportive of us and the local music scene as well, and we appreciate that.
I think last year was a great success - we raised more than $4,000 for the charity and had a great turnout. What I found really cool about this event is that it provided a platform for all parties involved to reach a new audience.
We had a great turnout from people associated with the charity, who may not have known many of the local bands in the scene today and it allowed the charity to reach a new audience of people who weren't familiar with them. I think that is a huge accomplishment and we look to build on that again this year.
Q - Are you glad to be moving to a bigger venue - Lincoln Hall - for this year's event? Was it cramped for space at last year's event at Schuba's Tavern?
Lincoln Hall is definitely one of my absolute favorite venues in the city, so we are thrilled to be there. I don't think last year was necessarily cramped, but Lincoln Hall is better suited logistically to handle an event with seven bands on the lineup.
We also have several bands on the bill that have sold out Lincoln Hall on their own, so we are expecting a full house and can use all the space we could get!
Q - How did this year's lineup come together? None of the bands played at last year's event. Do you want to feature new bands every year?
This year's lineup came together extremely quickly; I was surprised at how many bands were interested in the event! We had over 60+ bands reach out to us, so landing on a lineup of only seven was really difficult.
I have known most of the bands on the lineup for quite some time - either playing shows with them, having our paths cross at festivals, or just being a fan of their music. This lineup is stacked from top to bottom, so come out early and plan to stay late.
I haven't really thought about if we want to have new bands every year, the lineup just happened to work out that way. I think we won't have the same bands play back-to-back years so we keep it fresh, but I would absolutely welcome back any of our bands in the years to come.
Q - Does the fact that so many bands are willing to play at Localpalooza say something about the Chicago music scene?
Yeah, I think it speaks to the work ethic in this scene. There are a TON of great bands across all genres in Chicago and they work their tails off in creating and promoting their art.
It's an honor to be able to give them a platform, and more importantly PAY them for providing that art. I can't encourage people enough to get out and see local shows...every band at some point starts out as a local band playing small clubs.
You never know when you'll stumble upon "the next big thing." Plus everyone loves having that story of when "I saw that band at Schuba's when they only had 20 people in the crowd!"
You can only get those stories from getting out and going to shows like this!
Q - Unlike last year, your band, Burnside & Hooker, will not be playing at the event. It seems that the band is busy recording these days. When can we expect a new album from the band?
Yeah, while I haven't put much thought into having the same bands play the event each year, it was a bit intentional not having Burnside play it every year. I didn't want to be "that band" that makes the event about them.
I want this to be something much bigger than just a Burnside show. That's not to say we won't play it again, but it will not be something we headline every year.
We are in the studio now working on a new single that should be released at some point this summer, and we're working on having another release at some point in Spring 2018. We've had a pretty crazy year since we played Localpalooza in 2016 - three of our seven members had a kid, and we're expecting one more in September.
Once we all get back on normal schedules, we'll be back out playing shows again.
Q - Are you looking to make Localpalooza an annual event? How do you see it evolving in the future?
Yes, our goal is to have this continue every year. The idea is to continue to grow as much as we can and keep raising a ton of money to support the charity and fund ALS research and awareness.
Based on the interest we had this year, and depending on turnout this year, we are talking about doing a two-night event next year with more bands. We'd like to eventually get to the point where we could do this outside as a festival.
So please come out and support us and help us continue to grow as the show is only $10 and all funds go to the Patrick Grange Memorial Foundation!