Preview: Mamby on The Beach 2017

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With Mamby on The Beach entering only its third year in Chicago, we cannot wait to see how they outdo themselves from last year, and the lineup has helped to provide some answers already. The charge will be led this year by Walk The Moon, MGMT, Local Natives, Misterwives, and Flying Lotus, names that need no explanation to raise your excitement of seeing them on the beach this summer.

Mamby has also done quite well at including local representation is the fest this year. In a city where every artist seems to collaborate with one another or be in multiple groups, this is incredibly important and admirable in a city with so much pride. So which hometown heroes do we have this year? Here are some of of the local artists to prioritize when attending Mamby 2017. The festival is June 24-25 at Oakwood Beach at 39th Street. BJ The Chicago Kid

One of the most obvious and easiest inclusions on the list, this is a can’t-miss for hip hop fans attending the fest this year, especially for those that couldn’t catch his $5 show at Chop Shop this year. With the world’s eyes on Chicago’s hip-hop scene, we are eager to see where BJ The Chicago Kid, and many of our other favorites, end up.


West Side rapper Saba took a huge step forward in his career in 2016 with the release and following tour for Bucketlist Project. At 22 years old, this is one of the most up and coming emcees in the city. He is a part of the Pivot Gang, a hip-hop collective that stacked the lineup at Lincoln Hall this past January for the hometown Bucketlist Project show. Other involved performers include Joseph Chilliams, MfN Melo, the late dinnerwithjohn, and more. This humble, quietly confident rapper is a must-see on Saturday and makes the top of our list for local acts to see.

Ravyn Lenae At only 19 years old, the vibrant soul singer Ravyn Lenae has taken the city by storm this year. With 27.4k Soundcloud followers to her name, she can boast collaborations with NoName, who she opened for at The Metro, as well as Appleby, Joseph Chilliams, Saba, Monte Booker, and more. We wouldn’t be surprised if she’s a top line festival artist within two years, so catch this special set while she’s still potentially performing in the daytime at these festivals.


Backed by the eternally cool Closed Sessions, who also represent such artists as Jamila Woods, Webster X, and Kweku CollinsoddCouple will transport you back to the 90s, though its bass riffs will keep in tune with the present–where you should be. This group will take you for a ride through which your thought process will be an intricate one, beginning slowly. It’ll become increasingly happier and more excited for what the weekend is to bring.

Kaina X Burns Twins As we continue with the young up & comers, enter Kaina and the barely-legal Burns Twins. While this is a relatively new project, do not doubt how unique and tight this jazz/soul collective is. Many of their performances have happened in intimate venues around the city, albeit some of our favorite venues such as Lincoln Hall, but an outdoor set is bound to be one of a kind.

The list goes on with such names as Sir The Baptist, Windy City Soul Club, and more. For those looking to enjoy some of the non-headliners beyond that local love, consider the following.

Cut Copy

This band’s sound encapsulates the comforting feeling of hearing waves crash on the beach. That’s why Cut Copy will make an ideal headliner at Mamby on the Beach. They are everything you feel when you smell the tropical aromas and feel the carelessness of summer vacation. The music of Cut Copy combines 70s disco with 80s synth dance, 90s indie pop with the pounding jazz sections of the early 2000s.

Gavin Turek

And that brings us to this artist right here. Gavin Turek is the type of musician whose song plays on your Spotify Radio, and puts a little shock into your footwork as you walk home. Turek contrasts the music of such bands as Cut Copy for more than just a change in genre. She takes you to a new place mentally. It’s summer, and you’re soothed by the calm breeze as you watch Turek’s fluid dance letting her voice breeze by you, through the sandy air. 


If you miss Imogen Heap as much as we do, don’t fret because we found you something better–and you get to see it live. MUNA blends the ethereal vocals of such artists with the fast, anxiety-driven and sometimes therapeutic synth beats to hold you in a warm pair of arms.

Justin Martin

End your weekend with another calming sound from the fingers of a DJ. Justin Martin mixes the light, whispy vocals of female artists to carry you through the rest of your day. This DJ will stimulate your mind, while letting you preserve your energy for the rest of your Beach day.

Just when we thought that Chicago's festival scene may have peaked with Lollapalooza, Pitchfork, North Coast, and the endless street festivals in the shadow of the monstrous Taste of Chicago, Mamby on The Beach is primed to become a staple in all of our summer calendars. Regardless of if you've been before or not, this is a year not to miss.

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Matt Brooks