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posted: 8/11/2012 6:00 AM

Carol Stream fest showcases teen music talent

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  • Video: Austin Jones


Some communities plan activities to keep their teens busy.

Others let teens pick the event and plan it for themselves -- such as Carol Stream's seventh annual Teen Music Festival.

"We listen to their voice instead of saying, 'we did this for you,'" said village Trustee Matt McCarthy, the board's youth council liaison. "It's all put together by the youth council, and they pick the bands, the date and talk to vendors and get donations to do the sound."

The fest runs from 2 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11, and includes 10 local bands playing 40-minute sets.

Performers include Austin Jones, Buying Trouble, Make it to Midnight, Nick Gaines, Reclaiming the Ruins, Sound Tactics, The Onset, and YOLK.

"We have such a large variety from acoustic sets to crazy, loud, rock band-ish types," said Alex Pejic, the Teen Music Fest coordinator. "It's a variety festival for a lot of people to enjoy."

Groups must have one member who is a local high school student in order to participate Saturday.

"There's some who are rookies and there are some who have been together for a while. The talent range is from what you'd expect to extremely good," McCarthy said. "We want to give everybody an opportunity to shine and everybody an opportunity to be involved."

The fest typically draws about 500 teens throughout the day who dance and celebrate their favorite bands, McCarthy said. People are also welcome to bring chairs and blankets to sit on the grassy lawn.

"Some of the performers have built themselves quite a nice fan base. They have thousands of people from around the world looking into their music online," Pejic said.

"There are people traveling from an hour or two away who have said 'we're coming to see you because it's a free performance.' A lot of them play at other venues, and that's why they love this event -- because their fans are able to come and enjoy for free."

Food and refreshments will be served by The Hot Dog Palace and Starbucks, and sundaes donated by Culver's. T-shirts will be for sale.

Any proceeds from the event go to purchase items for the Carol Stream Christmas Sharing Program.

The Carol Stream Youth Council is made up of 12 high school students appointed by the village board based on their leadership qualities.

The free, public event is at the Ferraro Town Center, located at the southwest corner of Gary Avenue and Lies Road. For information, visit

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