Smile Politely

The summer is always Greener

It’s hard to make any complaints about free music. It happens all the time in this town and there are times when I’m not entirely sure if people (myself, included) even appreciate it as much as they should. Midstress bassist Mikael Brackett made a good point when I interviewed the band a short while back:

I think it’s a lot about paying for what you’re getting. If you have a price set on it — and it’s an odd phenomenon that I don’t necessarily agree with or understand — but people will not come out to a free show, because it might not be “worth it” in that sense. I mean you’re getting music, you’re getting what you came for, but it’s just because there was no price set on it, it doesn’t seem like as important.

After hearing that, it made me rethink the idea of a free concert and the value that it actually has. As someone who’s always been a part of the audience and never part of an act or a band playing in free events, I, for one, have been lackadaisical at times and not given my best effort to get out to shows because of that exact reason. There’s a point where you realize the worth of something and weigh whether or not it is important enough to give up your time to attend. After all, time is money, right?

Regardless of that old saying, it is important to point out the amount of time bands put into these sorts of events. I feel like people not involved in the coordination of the event can certainly overlook that aspect. Oftentimes I think to myself, “well, other people will show up if I don’t, right?” I’m sure others have shared the same sentiment. We want to show our support for the local music scene as much as we possibly can, but for most of us there aren’t enough hours in the week to get around to every single show we want to attend. There’s too much going on in this town for that to come even close to happening.

There’s a point where you almost feel like there’s too much going on, but that’s an awfully good problem to have in any town. Blossoming with opportunity, Champaign-Urbana is something that we all know has riches of events that happen on a weekly basis. There’s no secret to this. This is especially true on the weekends, and we’ve been ones to show you what is going on around town and give our best recommendations of how to fill your time — and oftentimes where to spend your hard earned cash.

Although this is one of those opportunities where we could show you a place and a time where you can spend that hard earned cash, we’re not necessarily doing that. Yes, there will be plenty of opportunities for you to spend money on food and drink throughout the City Center Summer Stage event this Saturday, but what is important to this section of the magazine are the sounds that will fill Campustown throughout the afternoon on Green Street. The whole premise of this conversation has been based around the free event and the implications of billing something in that way. “What’s the importance? Why should I spend my time going to something like this?” you might be saying. I can give you nine reasons why, and they just so happen to be the names of nine bands that are giving up their time for you. That’s worth something, right?

City Center Summer Stage is an event presented by Smile Politely Show Series, Champaign Center Partnership, and 88.7 WPCD on Green Street in Campustown, as well as the post-party held at Joe’s Brewery.

FREE Admission, Outdoor Stage
6:15 p.m. The Dirty Feathers
7:15 p.m. Evil Tents 
8:15 p.m. Grandkids 
9:15 p.m. New Ruins
10:15 p.m. Common Loon
11:15 p.m. Elsinore

Post Party @ Joe’s Brewery 
11:30 p.m.Midstress
12:30 a.m. That’s No Moon
1:30 a.m. Santah



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