You can find a music festival somewhere in the Chicago area almost any summer weekend. Pitchfork and Warped wrapped up last weekend, and Lollapalooza and Riot Fest are on their way. But Whippersnap?
Never heard of it? Me neither -- until now.
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For an event in only its third year, the Whippersnap Music and Arts Festival in Yorkville has certainly put together a weekend stuffed to the brim with musical talent -- much of it from the suburbs.
Oh, and did I mention camping? The three-day festival kicks off Thursday, Aug. 8, with midafternoon sets by Althea Grace Roggenbuck and Under the Willow and ends with Dog1 at 2:30 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 11. Yes, the band starts at 2:30 in the morning! Sure, there's camping, but with late-night sets like that each of the three nights, nobody said you have to actually sleep.
In between sets, you can check out the various arts and craft classes, galleries and craft beer and wine vendors. And if you need a break, the campground's proximity to the Fox River affords chances for swimming, fishing and kayaking.
Let's be honest, though: Nature's awesome, but you're here for the music!
Moving from last year's location in Rockford, the 2013 edition of Whippersnap is set at Hide-A-Way Lakes Campground in Yorkville and promises to be even bigger than before, with 41 widely varied performances spread across three stages.
You want to chill with a jam band? Cosby Sweater will be playing with LaGrange native Joel Cummins, keyboard player for one of Chicago's ultimate jam bands, Umphrey's McGee.
You want to dance? IndigoSun takes a psychedelic groove and makes it into a dance track. These guys, hailing from Hoffman Estates, Mount Prospect and Oak Park, run the gamut from mellow and serene to funky and energetic. I've never seen them live, but rumor has it they really tear up the dance floor.
Itching for some prog rock? Try Amrita. It's at once mellow and driving, gentle but with a rhythm that forces you to feel the passion behind the songs these Schaumburg and Barrington natives have written. "Love Then Hate," off 2010's "Outside the Paradigm," has jumped to my song of the day list.
Looking for electronica? You can't go wrong with The Coop. Combining the best of early jam bands with futuristic sounds and electronic production, these guys from the Algonquin and Elmhurst areas are pushing the boundaries of both genres to come up with something new, original and energetic. Their Saturday night set is bound to have the dancers out in force.
The suburbs are well represented elsewhere at the festival with Thinner Teed bringing artists from Algonquin, Barrington and Lake Zurich; Genome, hailing from Naperville and Lake Zurich; and Afternoon Moon, from Bloomingdale, among others covering genres from jazz to funk to EDM. Check the schedule at whippersnapfestival.com for a full weekend lineup.
Thursday through Saturday, Aug. 8-10, at Hide-A-Way Lakes Campground, 8045 Van Emmon Road, Yorkville. $65 passes are still available at whippersnapfestival.com. RV rental or admission extra.
• Brian Shamie is a Daily Herald copy editor who thinks listening to music with a campfire nearby is one of the best ways to spend a weekend. He writes about the summer music scene every Friday.