Your Chicago Curated Weekend: 8/1 – 8/4

It’s another Lollapalooza weekend. The biggest music festival in Chicago is happening right now and tickets are surprisingly (or if you’ve kept up with festival fatigue, unsurprisingly) still available! But four (!) days of great bands playing in Grant Park isn’t for everybody, that’s why there are still so many great events going on throughout the weekend.

So let’s fill up your schedule with this curated weekend!


J. Michael Straczynski: Becoming Superman @ American Writers Museum, 180 N Michigan Ave, 6:30pm, All Ages
WHAT: An important figure in the comics and science fiction world coming to Chicago
SO WHAT: Legendary science-fiction and comics writer J. Michael Straczynski will present his new memoir Becoming Superman!  Straczynski tells his own story and reveals how the power of creativity and imagination enabled him to overcome the horrors of his youth and a dysfunctional family haunted by madness, murder, and a terrible secret. Books will be sold and signed at the event.
NOW WHAT: Tickets are $12, free for members and $6 for member’s guests

Laura Cortese & the Dance Cards @ Semans Violin, 4447 Oakton Street Skokie, IL, 7:00pm
WHAT: An excellent show inside a violin shop!
SO WHAT: Laura Cortese creates music as fiddler, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, bandleader and adding community builder and creativity instigator to her long list of talents! Her band Laura Cortese & the Dance Cards are a quartet of singing string players creating a new blend of pop music taking notes from folk tradition and vibes from  the 70s California sounds. Their original songs evoke lyrical rituals of folk music with ethereal vocal harmonies backed by rowdy indie-rock percussion to energetic fiddle melodies.
NOW WHAT: Tickets are $25 in advance and this event is BYOB


Flashback Weekend Chicago Horror Con @ Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare Hotel & Conference Center, 5440 N River Rd, Rosemont, IL, Various times, All Ages
WHAT:  Chicago’s largest and longest running horror convention
SO WHAT: Flashback Weekend Chicago Horror Con is celebrating their 15th anniversary with three days and nights of celebrity guests, parties, screenings, a huge vendors room, and special events! Special guests include Sam Raimi, Bruce CampbelL, Robert Englund, Lance Henriksen, Tony Todd & Virginia Madsen, Ted Raimi, Melinda Clarke, Alicia Witt, Cerina Vincent, ELM ST. reunion -Heather Langenkamp, Amanda Wyss, Lisa Wilcox, Tuesday Knight, NIGHT OF THE CREEPS reunion – Fred Dekker, Tom Atkins, Jason Lively, Jill Whitlow, Steve Marshall, Svengoolie (Rich Koz), & more!
NOW WHAT: Weekend packages are $75, two day passes for Saturday & Sunday are $60, Friday & Sunday single day tickets are $35, and Saturday passes are $40.


Pachanga con ¡Peligrosa! @ East Room, 2354 N Milwaukee Ave, 9:00pm, 21+
WHAT: Another great night from ¡Pachanga!
SO WHAT: ¡Pachanga! will get you dancing some of the best tunes from Cumbia, Salsa, Merengue, Reggaeton, Hip Hop and so much more being spun by some great DJs! This month will feature ¡Pachanga!’s sister party from Austin Texas ¡PELIGROSA! dishing out some DJ jam alon with Evie the Cool x Mo Mami (Babes Only), Solmeca,Memo Duarte, and Roger McFly. As always there will be special Pachanga inspired drinks and vendors selling their awesome wares!
NOW WHAT: Cover is $10 and the first 50 people get a Paleta!


Dancing In The Streets @ Chicago Brewing District, Hubbard Street between Paulina and Wood, 1700-1760 W. Hubbard Street, Noon – 10:00pm, All ages
WHAT: A chill and laid back festival amid some of the best breweries in Chicago!
SO WHAT: Dancing In The Streets is the brain child of On Tour Brewing Company founder, and major jam band fan, Mark Legenza. The fest will feature tons of tasty craft beer and jam bands providing great live music. Breweries will include Chicago Brewing District brewers All Rise Brewing Company, Around the Bend Beer Company, Burnt City Brewing, Finch Beer Company, Goose Island Beer Company, Great Central Brewing Company, On Tour Brewing Company, and West Town brewer Forbidden Root! The street festival is kid and pet friendly featuring free fun family activities onsite such as trampolines and games, t-shirt tie-dying (for a donation to Bear Necessities) by d’aprile properties. Canine Crews will be onsite with doggie bandana tie dying and dog activities while vendor See Spot Run will have fun supplies and swag for your pets.
NOW WHAT: There is an $5 optional donation benefiting West Town Chamber of Commerce, The Arts of Life, and Chicago Neighbors United.

Black Harvest Film Festival @ Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State Street, Various Times, All Ages
WHAT: A celebration of film by black filmakers!
SO WHAT: Returning for its 25th edition, Gene Siskel Film Center’s Black Harvest Film Festival runs throughout August featuring dozens of films (short and feature-length, narrative and documentary) from, by and about the black experience. A decent portion of the selected films have Chicago and Midwestern ties, including the opening night program featuring five world premiere short films from regional filmmakers. The month-long celebration culminates on August 29 with a special anniversary screening of Spike Lee’s Crooklyn (pictured above).
NOW WHAT: Tickets and a full schedule are available here.


Chicago Philharmonic’s Side by Side @ Hamilton Park, 513 W 72nd St, 3:00pm – 7:00pm, All Ages
WHAT: The Chicago Philharmonic’s fifth summer of their popular community concerts, Side by Side!
SO WHAT: In Chicago Philharmonic’s Side by Side series, student and community musicians rehearse and perform alongside our world-class musicians in free concerts throughout Chicago’s beautiful parks. This summer, the orchestra will perform works representing different cultural communities in Chicago, including pieces by by Mexican composer Arturo Márquez (representing Chicago’s Mexican community), African American composer William Grant Still (representing Chicago’s African American community), Polish composer Frédéric Chopin (representing Chicago’s Polish community), Italian composer Pietro Mascagni (representing Chicago’s Italian community), and a traditional Chinese piece Dance of the Golden Snake (representing Chicago’s Chinese community). Rehearsals take place form 3:00pm-5:00pm and the concert officially starts at 6:00pm. For this afternoon and evening at Hamilton Park, Chicago Philharmonic will feature conductor Scott Speck
NOW WHAT: The series is free to attend! Bring the kids and family to discover the beauty of classical collaboration!

Julian Ramirez
Julian Ramirez
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