Smile Politely

The Overture: June 12-18

WHAT: First Gig Rock and Roll Camp for Kids

WHERE: Parkland College ($299 for the full week of classes)

WHEN: 6/12 – 6/16, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. each day

Today is the last official day to register for the First Gig Rock and Roll Camp for Kids, a weeklong day camp that strives to teach kids the fundamentals of being part of a band and playing live. Children get to learn about cooperation by being put in a band, choosing their band’s image and name, and picking songs to perform. They’ll enjoy professional musicians as guest speakers as they gear up for their very own live performance at the end of this week. The $299 price tag seems high, but the math comes down to $7.50 an hour to get your kid out of the house and playing music for a full week in a constructive environment. See the site for more information.


WHAT: We The Animals / Scanlines / The Dry Look

WHERE: Cowboy Monkey ($7)

WHEN: Friday, June 16 at 9:30 p.m.

Cowboy Monkey hosts local dark rockers We The Animals in addition to garage rockers The Dry Look as they support the return of Indiana’s Scanlines to the area.



WHAT: Folk and Roots Fridays

WHERE: Crystal Lake Park Lake House (free)

WHEN: Friday, June 16 from 12 p.m. – 1 p.m.

It’s the return of Folk and Roots Fridays, which occur every first and third Friday of each summer month. Bring some munchies and enjoy your Friday lunch hour with some sun and music.


WHAT: Old Fox Road / Self Proclaimed Narcissist / Trash Fire / Evie Bee

WHERE: Blips and Chitz (donations suggested for touring acts)

WHEN: Friday, June 16 at 8 p.m.

Self Proclaimed Narcissist hail from Washington state and will be playing this B&C show as they come through the area. Trash Fire and Evie Bee are spanking-new local acts that you’ll have to show up to check out, and emo punk stalwarts Old Fox Road will hold it all together.


WHAT: Friday Night Live

WHERE: Downtown Champaign (free)

WHEN: Friday, June 16 from 6-8 p.m.

The next session of FNL occurs this weekend and the organizers will be releasing their lineup either tomorrow or Tuesday on the event page. Come support local music in the lovely outdoor space downtown.


WHAT: Red Hot Summerfest

WHERE: The 51 Main parking lot (formerly The Accord)

WHEN: Friday, June 16 at 6 p.m. and Saturday, June 17 starting at 2 p.m.

Saturday of this day-long fest will feature the culmination of the First Gig Rock and Roll Camp for Kids with the campers’ show, which takes place from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. Five other musical acts will rock this outdoor lot party. See the site for more details.


WHAT: Coma Regalia / Black Nail / Artorias / Kelut / WorldsBiggestBassProShop

WHERE: Blips and Chitz (donations suggested for touring bands)

WHEN: Saturday, June 17 at 8 p.m.

This event is described as a true screamo gig, so bring earplugs if so inclined. Nearly all of the listed acts have been through C-U before and are excited to return and give it their all. This is also the debut of WorldsBiggestBassProShop, a noise project created by the hosts of the event.


WHAT: DJ-I.c.Dre

WHERE: Watson’s Shack and Rail (no cover)

WHEN: Saturday, June 17 at 10:30 p.m.

Another late night deejay set at Watson’s will really get your blood pumping, so I suggest you cool down with an ice cold adult slushie.


WHAT: Strawberry Jam

WHERE: Meadowbrook Park (free)

WHEN: Saturday, June 17 at 4 p.m.

Another lovely annual event in the parks of C-U includes the Strawberry Jam, held in Urbana’s Meadowbrook. Three bluegrass and folk acts will play this family-friendly evening that also includes a hayride and free strawberries and ice cream while supplies last. Get there quick for the full experience.


WHAT: Sleeping Okami, Kenna Mae Music & Snayl

WHERE: Iron Post ($6)

WHEN: Saturday, June 17 at 9 p.m.

Semi-local singer-songwriter Kenna Mae will debut her new band with this show. Also playing are the eclectic new group Sleeping Okami and dreampop extraordinaire Snayl.


WHAT: Sounds at Sunset

WHERE: Toalson Park (free)

WHEN: Sunday, June 18 at 6 p.m.

The first Sounds at Sunset of June will feature the jazz stylings of Katie Flynn and will take place at Toalson Park.


WHAT: Empowered: A Benefit Concert

WHERE: Independent Media Center ($10 suggested donation)

WHEN: Sunday, June 18 at 7 p.m.

Empowered will be raising funds for two important organizations: C-U’s Courage Connection, which serves the homeless and victims of domestic abuse, and the debut of the web series Empowered, which seeks to “turn poor representation of women in the superhero genre on its head.” Eight different musical acts will play the concert (with more TBA), and there will also be a raffle. See the event page for more info.

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