Archive for the ‘looptopia’ Category

rebecca_1Rebecca Taras, NBC Chicago Street Team


Happy Memorial Day Chicago! It’s time to mark your calendars with street festivals, rooftop cocktail hours and of course, the sounds of summer. So grab a group (and in some cases, a bottle and a blanket) and experience a concert in the city before the curtain closes on summer.

Still Going Strong

Chicago’s acclaimed Grant Park Music Festival, led by Principal Conductor Carlos Kalmar and Chorus Director Christopher Bell, opens its historic Gala 75th season on Wednesday, June 10, at 6:30 p.m. at the state-of-the-art Frank Gehry-designed Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. The opening night concert features Maestro Kalmar leading the GRAMMY®-nominated Grant Park Orchestra and internationally-renowned pianist Stephen Hough through Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, Key’s patriotic Star Spangled Banner, as well as one of classical music’s greatest hits, Pictures at an Exhibition composed by Modest Mussorgsky. nbcpritzker

All Grant Park Music Festival performances are free to the public. Open lawn and pavilion seating are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Season memberships to the Festival are available, starting at $80 for a specific night of the week (all Wednesdays, Fridays, or Saturdays) or $135 for a season-long membership for all 31 concerts.  Reserved group seating is also available for most concerts. Membership and group sales information is available by calling 312-742-7638 or by visiting the Festival’s website at http://www.grantparkmusicfestival.com The summer series is short, so catch one before the season ends on August15th.

Northshore Classic

Ravinia’s 2009 season presents a diverse lineup of more than 120 events from June 5 through Sept. 19, with 38 debuts, more than 25 free or specially priced events and over 135 guest artists and ensembles including the summer residency of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra featuring Ravinia Festival Music Director James Conlon. Guest artists include Lang Lang, Pink Martini, Herbie Hancock, Yo-Yo Ma, Ramsey Lewis, George Hearn, Jackson Browne, Thomas Hampson, Patti LuPone, Christoph Eschenbach, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Diana Krall, Juilliard String Quartet, Joe Cocker, Susan Graham, John Legend, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Bonnie Raitt, David Hyde Pierce, Carrie Underwood, Matthias Goerne, Elvis Costello and many others.

nbc-raviniaTickets to Ravinia events are now available online at http://www.ravinia.org/. Orders are also being accepted now by fax at (847) 266-0641 or through mail by sending a printable online order form and payment to Ravinia Festival, P.O. Box 896, Highland Park, IL 60035. Phone orders at (847) 266-5100 and walk-up sales are accepted throughout the season Monday-Saturday10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays and holidays (closed July 4) 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Ravinia Festival is located at Lake Cook and Green Bay roads in Highland Park .

New Kid on The Block

It may not have the history of the Grant Park Music Fest or Ravinia, but Lollapalooza quickly became a legendary festival with a huge following. The third annual GALApalooza, benefiting Parkways Foundation and produced by C3 Presents, will be held Thursday, August 6that 6 p.m. at the Petrillo Band Shell in Grant Park. The concert space is transformed into a lounge-like atmosphere prior to the Lollapalooza festivities. While crews are making final preparations for the legendary festival, GALA-goers will enjoy a chic, open air cocktail party with outdoor lounge seating, an intimate and creative dining experience, and a concert featuring Lollapalooza artist Vampire Weekend, whose self-titled album was dubbed the 10th best album of 2008 by Rolling Stone Magazine. GALApalooza and Lollapalooza will be their only U.S. shows this year. Chicago sensation Hey Champ, who is opening for Depeche Mode on the Lollapalooza main stage, will take the stage to treat guests to a l set. In addition, GALApalooza features sounds from DJ White Shadow, performances by Park District Kids, and a silent auction and raffle featuring priceless VIP experiences.  nbc-lola

The James hotel is offering a special overnight package on August 6 which includes two general admission tickets to GALApalooza, overnight accommodations in a king guestroom, and valet parking at The James Hotel. Rates start at $579. For more information or to book this package visit http://www.jameshotels.com/

Lounge experiences are available at the $2,500, $5,000 and $10,000 level and single tickets are available for $150. For more information on sponsorship opportunities or to make reservations, please call Alison Krzys , Director of Communications for Parkways Foundation at 312-742-4807 or visit http://www.parkways.org/.

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Reggie Brown, NBC5 Street Team

Tonight was an exciting night for the Street Team at Trump Tower for the 2008 Emmy nominations party hosted by Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun Times. Congrats to the Street Team members who were nominated for the Outstanding Achievement for Alternate Media/New Media Interactive category for coverage of Looptopia Live, the nominees included: Marcus Riley, Zach Christman, Mark Luciano, Kaylee King, Theresa Carter, Erik Sorensen, (Yours Truly) Reggie Brown , Jim Grillo, Angie Gormas, Susan Noble, Shlomi Rabi, Jennifer O’Neal, Laura Lodewyck, Chasity Johnson, Blagica Bottiglero, Liz Holland, LeAnn Trotter, Nicole Thomas and Damaris Woodbury.  

The coverage of Looptopia was a groundbreaking and web spinning phenomenon that synchronized live video streaming, blogging, over the phone correspondence and data submissions on a level never seen before. It was a pleasure and an honor to participate in such an event and come October 18, I hope we can bring this one home. Words can’t express the joy I feel right now, until then, Street Team do your thing and continue to make me proud.

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Marcus Riley, NBC5 Street Team (video)

Any motto will do: When the going gets tough, the tough get going. It’s times like this that separates the men from the boys. Yes, yes y’all, it’s 3:30 a.m. and there’s only a couple of us left out here.

The media room closed at 2 a.m., so we were relegated to the street. I blogged earlier that I was aching to experience Looptopia instead of hanging out in the media room, so here is my chance. But things are different than when I first ventured out a few hours ago. That same spirit that was in the air has turned into something meaner — and drunker.

I’m starting to think that getting caught in the middle of a fight could be a real possibility, so we ducked into the Palmer House Hilton Hotel — and my spirits were rejuvenated. The DJ is playing an up-tempo house-style music. Actually, I couldn’t quite put my finger on the exact style, but whatever it was, it was perfect. I’m bouncing in place and taking in the scene. Actually, I think I’ve stumbled across a hippie compound, which is a good thing. Ever been to a hippie concert? All peace and love baby, no drama, nothing but a good time and gals who just like to dance and dance and dance.

In fact, everyone is grooving and there’s a literal circus atmosphere as performers walk around on stilts, jugglers juggle and others act out their own individual versions of performance art.

It took me minute to figure this one out, but there were magazines littered all over the floor, and people cutting out pictures and pasting them onto pieces of paper. Turns out, they could go to another table and make t-shirts with their designs. Very cool. I thought I could stick this out until 5 a.m. when the hide-and-seek game started in Millenium Park, but alas, they shut it down early.

But a true Looptopian doesn’t let that faze him. One more motto: where there’s a will, there’s a way.

(I ran into a fellow Street Teamer, Nicole, who came in to do the graveyard shift. Check out her video below)

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Erik SorensenErik Sorensen (Video)

2008’s Looptopia is wet, but worth it; or at least to anyone who loves a night out in the city and doesn’t mind a few surprises along the way.

Earlier I dropped in for a live acoustic performance in Urban Outfitters by Chicago’s own, Company of Thieves. The atmosphere for a show like this is something you don’t want to miss. Unorthodox performances are almost always memorable, and that’s exactly what you’ll get while you sit along the trendy clothing store’s winding staircase for either a below, level or aerial view while enjoying the atmosphere of tonight’s unusual musical endeavors.

For those looking to explore their artsy side, Blick Art Supplies on State St. is just the place. Not only do you witness live painting by professionals, get your face painted and temporary tattooed – you’re able to take matters into your own hands by picking up a brush, some clay, or whatever else you need to express those emotions. Just make sure not to get too much emotion on the floor.

Along your journeys you’ll find a bunch of street performers and other knick knacks that might excite, entertain, make you laugh or confuse you. One of the performers I passed must’ve stolen a page out of Martha Stewart’s Hobo Handbook. She carefully demonstrated how you can create a pair of underwear out of a used t-shirt. …Something tells me it might be awhile before this hits stores.

Outside Depaul’s Student Center on State and Jackson, a ginormous video display was set up to showcase their student’s films. Other short features were screened inside, on the lower level and were the combined works of people from various schools and backrounds. The best part – no sticky floors or “Saw” 17 previews. You gotta love Chicago’s skyline as a big screen back-drop, too.

Along the path of adventure you might also notice some things I’ll just go ahead and call “street art”. I’m not exactly sure what this is, but it’s bright, shiny and kept a lot of people’s attention.

The Federal Plaza’s spacious stage will see lots of action tonight as acts from around Chicago perform, including “White Hot Knife”. In between sets the crowd can’t help but continue splashing around and dancing until the next act takes the stage. Try as the weather might; nothing’s raining on this parade.

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Jim Grillo, NBC5 Street Team

The following is some video you don’t want to miss watching.  Why?  It includes some very interesting segments (from bizarre to almost “scary”).  First let me say, I applaud the city and the Chicago Loop Alliance for a valiant effort.  I know it is only their 2nd year and to pull something like this event off is going to have its “speed bumps”. 

The following video is “raw” and “real” non edited footage as myself and fellow street teamer Theresa Carter walked the streets of Looptopia with the camera rolling from 10 p.m. to 1 p.m. 

Seriously, you want to watch the whole video as things start getting crazy on the streets as we “inched” toward 1 a.m.  Here are some things that you will see in the following video:

1. Reckless Records – “Noise”, 3 dudes scraping records together at a million decibels heard from blocks away.  Creative expression?  Sign em up!

2. A guy who thought I was from the T.V. Show 24/7.  I have no idea why but he just walked up to my camera while I was filming and started raving about the show. 

3. Very cool Street performer twirling fire at Michigan and Wabash.

4. Theresa Carter of the NBC 5 Street Team calling in a “live blog post” in the middle of the intersection at Michigan and Wabash.  No worries, we brought her to safety 🙂

5. “Leilani” – just the cutest!

6. YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS THIS SCENE! – I can’t explain, but, watch for yourself and please be sure to comment on this scene below by clicking on the “comments” link after watching it. 

7. Sax Player on State Street in front of Chicago Theater.  We also conducted a podcast interview (below) with him to bring you a “street performers point of view of Looptopia”.

8. Cirque Du Solei – gets “kicked” off the curb by “da cops”.

9. Looptopian “Grace” saw our camera rolling as she was walking by and offered her thoughts about Looptopia which I believe sums up what Looptopia is supposed to be all about.

10. I caused a mob scene walking down Michigan Avenue and Washington as I was rolling tape.  The cops had to break it up.  I was just waiting for the light to turn green to cross the street. 

11. Things turned “tense” for some near Millennium Park at Michigan Ave. at 1 a.m. – police swarmed the area. 

Click here to watch the Looptopia from the Street Video

Click Play below to listen to the Looptopia from the Street Podcasts

Podcast: “A Street Performer’s Point of View of Looptopia”


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Reggie Brown, NBC5 Street Team

If you were walking down  State Street tonight between 7-10, there’s no way you could have missed  the extremely thought provoking, physical standout performances of Plasticene‘s ghostLIGHT. As I turned off of Monroe heading southbound I saw this guy posted up a mounted bike peddling away like Lance Armstrong but going nowhere. Further down the street was this  hauntingly masked woman in mourning lighting a candle with a silver, alien like wooden dollchild seated in a chair behind her. Every different act was intriguing and I couldn’t help but get lost in the Plasticene dream like world. My favorite had to be the gummy bear ninja. I stood and watched this woman for twenty minutes as she had a staring contest with a bowl of gummy bears. Yep, you heard me right. She would stare, stalk and then grab a bear and squeeze it with her chopsticks, all the while throwing in some kung fu poses. Some gummy bear must have done her wrong in the past, maybe she bought a stale pack one day and has ongoing issues from it. I don’t know, I have no idea what to think actually. All I was sure of was that I wasn’t gonna lay a finger on those gummy bears.


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