RH PREviews: North Coast Fest
Chicago is known for its summertime music festivals. As soon as the weather gets warm the Windy City becomes home to outdoor music celebrations such as Jazz Fest, Blues Fest, a variety of neighborhood fests, and the juggernauts that are Lollapalooza and Pitchfork. While in past years Lollapalooza has signaled the grand finale of the summer music season, this year there is a new kid on the block ready to send the summer packing with one final Labor Day weekend blowout. Grabbing A-list artists spanning the genres of Hip Hop, Jam Bands, and Electro, North Coast Fest is Chicago’s newest festival, and don’t tell anybody, it’s already one of our best.
The three day festival happening September 3rd-5th will feature performances from Lupe Fiasco, Nas and Damian Marley, Pretty Lights, Mayer Hawthorne, Flying Lotus, Moby, De La Soul, Jay Electronica, The Disco Biscuits and many more. In addition, there is a Red Bull stage dedicated solely to Chicago’s rising talent. In lieu of the festival, we caught up with one of the brains behind NCF, Pat Grumley of Cold Grums, to get the scoop on the NCF. Check it out below.
RubyHornet: What was the impetus behind North Coast Fest? Meaning, why did you decide to undertake such a big thing? Did you notice an opening, is this a group of artist otherwise not represented? What was the ‘aha’ so to speak that was like, ‘we should start a festival.’
Pat Grumley: NCMF was created by North Coast Music Group. North Coast Music Group is a collective of independent promoters in Chicago including myself of Cold Grums Productions, React presents, Silver Wrapper, Kingtello and Metronome Chicago. We’ve been working together more and more and have noticed a great trend that’s been bringing our demographics together. These are the hip hop, jam band and electronic crowds that have slowly been merging as of late. So we noticed this trend as being underserved in the Chicago area and thought it was about time they deserved a fest of their own. It’s really a fest that was born out of love and the idea of unity across different youth cultures and just trying to bring the people what they want.
RubyHornet: How do you look to impact Chicago’s festival scene?
Pat Grumley: Hopefully it’ll turn it upside down! Haha…but in all seriousness, we’re not sure what impact we’re looking to have. All we know is we have our niche and wish to serve them best as possible for now. We’re modest people who just want to serve the community with entertainment and add an extra benefit for our non-profit partners at the Latino Cultural Center, HeadCount and J Dilla Foundation.
RubyHornet: How were artists chosen to perform? Why these guys?
Pat Grumley: With these big festivals the first factor is who’s available. The summer festival season is so busy and hectic for everyone, it’s really a question of logistics and we were lucky to land such a great lineup in our first year. Then, once that’s figured out, we let our fan sides come out and play and we just go after the artists we love. We’re fans first, promoters second…
RubyHornet: What else should we know about the festival?
Pat Grumley: Just want to thank the literally hundreds of people that are working hard to make this happen and the thousands of patrons who are supporting us in our inaugural year. We do this for them and put our lives into these shows. We’re all independent so we don’t have a corporate structure to show us how things should be done, so we’re learning along the way…For anyone reading this now who is planning on attending the fest, there is some very vital and helpful info right now on our website regarding Will Call info. They can check it out here. We advise people grab their tickets from Will Call before Friday. It’ll be open Wednesday and Thursday for their convenience.