Music, food and an alcohol-free environment for Anonapalooza
It is rare to find a festival that does not serve alcohol, but at Anonapalooza, it is a feature that co-founder Dave Mayday takes pride in.
"We wanted to offer a family-friendly event in a sober environment," Mayday said. "It's not a festival centered around beer gardens, but in a beautiful park that you can enjoy."
The third annual Anonapalooza music festival has the most bands ever, featuring 40 live bands on four stages in Good Templar Park in Geneva. The event takes place from noon to 7 p.m. Saturday, July 30, and Sunday, July 31. Admission is $5, with all proceeds donated to Serenity House in Addison.
Co-founders Lee Veinot and Mayday wanted to make an event that featured music and food, but with no alcohol. Mayday was also familiar with Serenity House, which provides housing and care for men and women recovering from alcohol and substance abuse, and knew it could use more support.
"I have met a number of people who have gone through (Serenity house) ... and know it was a really great experience to be at Serenity House," Mayday, of Wheaton, said. "It gives them time to really spend with their issue. With the state budget cutting back, we knew it would help them."
Serenity House is facing a 14 percent reduction from the state, according to Lisa Snipes, vice president and development director of Serenity House.
"Dave approached me on a project very dear to his heart (three years ago) and he said he wanted to help raise money for Serenity House, and we were all ears," Snipes said. "(Anonapalooza) keeps growing every year ... there's more advertising and we're publicizing it more. Bands are coming to us and saying they want to be apart of it now."
To help advertise the event, Mayday brought Glenn Birmingham of West Chicago aboard. Birmingham, director of operations, said the event used to be heard by word-of-mouth, but he is using social media and a new website to spread the word.
"I'm friends with Dave, and he told me what he was doing and showed me the website and I said I could make this a lot better," Birmingham said. "So I came on and offered my services to fill the gap."
As for booking the entertainment, Birmingham said they have had to turn away bands. He said the main reason for more offers is Facebook and other social media have brought it more attention.
The concert series headliner is Andrew Belle, who has had music featured on television shows such as "Grey's Anatomy" and "Vampire Diaries." Belle, who grew up in Carol Stream, is making his first appearance at Anonapalooza.
"Andrew is touring all over the place and has quite a following on Facebook," Mayday said. "He has younger fans, so we're excited about him."
The event features four different stages: the Living Stage, the Dead Stage, the Backwoods Stage and the Blue Stage. Each stage provides a different genre of music: classic rock, metal or hard rock, acoustic instruments and blues music, respectively. Mayday said the event provides food and games like volleyball, baseball and other family-oriented games.
"It's a fun event, and all ages can come and enjoy it," Mayday said. "There's a lot to see and you can eat with your family but you don't have to see the same bands. There's stuff for everyone."
For a complete schedule, call (630) 909-9121 or visit anonapalooza.com.
What: Anonapalooza Family Summerfest, featuring 40 bands on four stages. All funds raised will benefit Serenity House in Addison.
When: Noon to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, July 30-31
Where: Good Templar Park, 528 East Side Drive, Geneva
Cost: $5; free for kids younger than 5 and adults older than 65
Details: (630) 909-9121 or anonapalooza.com