Sacred Rose: Chicago’s new music festival is a ‘choose your own’ affair

A new festival is blossoming this weekend in Chicago. Sacred Rose, to be held August 26-28 at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, promises to be a “your choice” musical adventure with stages dedicated to fans of jam bands, Americana, psych rock and rock. other experimental styles.

The lineup includes Phil Lesh & Friends, Khruangbin, The War on Drugs, Umphrey’s McGee, STS9, Goose and Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, and Margo Price will also be the general artist appearing in surprise sets throughout the weekend. (The Black Cougars were also scheduled to appear, but recently canceled all tour dates.)

Sacred Rose is the brainchild of Chicago-based festival and event producer Collectiv Presents after witnessing a shift in audience engagement for North Coast, its everlasting Easter Sunday weekend festival. Work. Although North Coast also started in 2010 as a hippie playground combining funk, America, jam and electronica, it has changed in recent years to focus entirely on EDM, which left a big opening for Sacred Rose.

“At the start of North Coast, it was a multi-genre festival, but over time, as that fan base grew older, the Venn diagram of those musical genres [we offered] started to move outward and the common space in the middle started to shrink,” says Michael Berg, co-founder of Collectiv Presents. By 2019, Collectiv Presents had transitioned the North Shore to an all-electronic format. But, says Berg, “From that point on, we started thinking about how we could serve that other part of our community being the jam band/indie rock/psych rock/Americana/funk side of things that all had a presence in the North Coast and were also an integral part of our ecosystem.

Thus, Sacred Rose was born – the name of a combination of iconic Grateful Dead art and imagery and Berg’s late grandfather, Bert Rose, once a professional pianist in Chicago, who turned him to music at a young age.

The development of two niche events, says Berg, paid off. With other events, “people might see a lineup poster with fewer names they know and might start to see less and less value in it. By redefining it, we now give people more of what they want. Berg also adds that since the year-long Dave Matthews Band Caravan in 2011, there hasn’t been a jam band event of this scale in the area. “We feel like this ticks a box that hasn’t been ticked for the Chicagoland area.”

Held a week before the North Coast weekend September 2-4 at the same location, the team can purposefully use the space over two weekends with special layouts that capitalize on a true festival experience. In addition to numerous art installations, there will be chill-out areas like the Rainbow Lounge with colorful hammocks, and the Collectiv Presents team will transform SeatGeek Stadium’s sports dome into a “laser dome” complete with lighting and DJ sets. similar to a Pink Floyd laser. light show, says Berg.

Food options will also be plentiful, including vegetarian and vegan options. Vendors will include locals like Harold’s Chicken and Lou Malnati’s as well as Island Noodles and the very appropriate Cosmic Charlie’s Grateful Grill. As of press time, VIP tickets are nearly sold out and general admission tickets are still available.

Here’s a look at five of the acts not to be missed this weekend:

Saint Paul and the Broken Bones

Paul Janeway of St. Paul and the Broken Bones.

Rick Diamond/Getty Images

One of the finest in the modern neo-soul movement, this eight-piece ensemble from Birmingham, Alabama is nothing short of a spiritual orchestra. Led by charismatic vocalist Paul Janeway (a mix of Cee Lo Green, Al Green and Otis Redding) and a horn section, 90 minutes with them will have you believing. (8:15 p.m. Friday, the Dreamfield stage)

Phil Lesh and his friends

Phil Lesh

It wouldn’t be fair to have an inaugural year of a jam band festival without a member of the Grateful Dead. Sacred Rose has brought in famed bassist Phil Lesh, though he’s not coming alone. The “friends” part includes Jeff Tweedy and Nels Cline of Wilco, among others, with fans now dubbing the unique set “Philco”. (screenings at 9 p.m. and 10:45 p.m. Friday, The Canopy Stage)

kitchen dwellers

The inhabitants of the kitchen

The event also has a few impromptu surprises in store, like this bluegrass-folk-rock fusion act inspired by, as they say, “the wanderlust of the American West”. Having frequently worked with Andy Thorn of Leftover Salmon, they are fully selected for this event. (2:15 p.m. Sunday, the Dreamfield stage)

Kaiyote Break

Hiatus Kaiyote

Kaiyote Break

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Jazz, funk and experimental R&B combine in beautiful harmony with this Grammy-nominated Australian quartet that has fans like Erykah Badu, Questlove and Drake (who featured enigmatic singer Nai Palm on his album ‘Scorpion’). Hiatus Kaiyote’s latest release, “Mood Valiant,” is the band’s triumphant comeback after Palm recovers from breast cancer, featuring songs inspired by travel. (5:15 p.m. Sunday, the Vega stage)

Kamasi Washington

Kamasi Washington

Kamasi Washington

Arturo Holmes/Getty Images

The Los Angeles jazz savant shakes up the genre with high energy and a playful attitude when it comes to arrangements and collaborations – the most recent being a cover of ‘My Friend Of Misery’ for the charity/anniversary album ‘Blacklist ” from Metallica. Washington’s calculated takes on the saxophone are a real mood-maker to wrap up. (7:15 p.m. Sunday, Vega Stage)

Gerald R. Schneider