New music and food fest celebrates Chicago-shot films, TV
Check out the Bluesmobile from "The Blues Brothers" or a video camera used on the television show "Chicago Fire" at the first CineFest Backlot Block Party -- a music and food festival that celebrates film and television projects shot in Chicago.
CineFest will run Friday, Aug. 28, through Sunday, Aug. 30. Exhibits about different productions, as well as video equipment and props from past movies and current TV shows such as the Fox hit "Empire," will be integrated into the festival's outdoor grounds at Chicago's CineSpace Studios -- one of the largest film and television studios outside of Hollywood.
"(At CineFest) you can go from experiencing Chicago blues to jamming with legends of rock 'n' roll, all while eating a lobster roll and taking your picture by 'The Blues Brothers' car," said festival producer Ron Onesti, owner of the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles.
Onesti is not the only suburban connection to the fest. Ryan Cooper and Burke Valley, the two winners of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent, will join finalist Aviation and the War on a band schedule that also includes Bret Michaels from Poison, The Blue Oyster Cult, the Chicago 6 Band and more.
For Top 10 talent finalists Joe Christopoulos and Matt Buenger of the band Aviation and the War, CineFest will be their first performance at a major Chicago music festival. Christopoulos, of Wood Dale, is looking forward to playing among props from the 1986 film "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," which he describes as his "favorite movie ever."
"We don't have too much experience with this," said Buenger, of Addison. "A festival is different from a solo concert. It is more of trying to win people over. It will be cool to be outside. We have an hourlong set, which is longer than usual."
Proceeds from the event will benefit the CineCares Foundation, which aims to decrease violence in Chicago's North Lawndale neighborhood by providing educational opportunities to children.
Among the movie props on display will be a Model T from the "The Untouchables." Other Chicago-shot movies -- including "Home Alone" and "A League of Their Own" -- will be featured in different exhibits. Scenes from certain films will be projected onto the venue's walls.
There will also be a variety of Chicago's most popular food trucks at CineFest. Everything from Italian to Mediterranean food will be served.
"I'm most excited about taking the best of food, various genres of music and this film and TV concept, throwing it all in the blender and turning it on high," Onesti said. "(I'm excited about) ultimately producing an amazing experience that celebrates all there is to love about the Chicago outdoor festival experience."
Onesti hopes that the festival will appeal to suburbanites and city-dwellers alike.
"You've got Lollapalooza and Riot Fest and they are monstrous," Onesti said of the two major Chicago music festivals. "They're tremendous, but at the same time, somewhat intimidating for the suburban community. This is a much more customer-friendly event that will allow people not accustomed to the real hard-core city experience to come out and enjoy something they would not usually see in the suburbs."
CineFest Backlot Block PartyWhere: CineSpace Chicago Studios, 2621 W. 15th Place. Chicago, (630) 962-7000 or cinefestchicago.com
When: 5 to 11 p.m. Friday, Aug. 28, and noon to 11 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 29, and Sunday, Aug. 30