The first-ever Festival of Joyous Rebellion will take place this Saturday… (NPAC )
Social justice, live music, food trucks… and everything in between.
The first-ever Festival of Joyous Rebellion will take place on Saturday, September 7, from 12 to 6 P.M. at 810 N. Milwaukee Avenue. The festival, which is organized by the National People’s Action Campaign (NPAC), offers a little bit of everything.
“We tried to find things that would fit in with the spirit of NPAC,” said Jeff Pinzino, a Beverly resident and organizer of the festival, which will include live performances by musicians, comedy troupes and spoken word artists.
“We were thinking about the values that we’re committed to, and acting in a spirit of joyous rebellion,” added Pinzino, hinting at the namesake of the festival. Along with live performances and catering by La Adelita, Bombay Wraps, and the ever-popular 5411 Empanadas food trucks, the festival will include “opportunities for real time social action” in the form of phone calls and tweets.
“We’ll ask people to pull out their cell phones and give their congressman a call, or tweet for immigration reform,” said Pinzino. “We’re encouraging folks to get involved and share with the broader public.”
Jeff Uehlinger, 20, is an intern with NPAC and helped to organize the festival. “We’re hoping we can say it’s the first annual,” said Uehlinger, an Oak Park native. Uehlinger, who studies urban planning at Hampshire College, said event organizers are expecting 200-300 attendees, and interest in the festival is growing.
“A lot of neighbor businesses are interested in getting involved,” said Uehlinger. “There is nothing else like this [festival].”
Several of the headlining musical acts will also be working to spread a message of social justice, including soul, funk and jazz ensemble Bassel and the Supernaturals, a group that is headed by first-generation Syrian-American Bassel Al-Madani. In an interview with the Chicago Tribune last month, Al-Madani, a resident of Logan Square, spoke about his family members in Syria, many of whom are still trapped in the war-ravaged country, and his goals to spread awareness through his music.
“It's really about making people feel connected to global events,” Al-Madani told the Tribune. “We lack artists who are willing to speak about their cultural identity and connect us to it.”
Other musical acts include Osekre and the Lucky Bastards, an Afro-funk group based in Brooklyn with connections to Egypt and their recent revolution, as well as Scony Mack and Confetti Açai. “Normally, these are acts that would be playing at larger venues like Lincoln Hall,” said Uehlinger of the lineup. “But they’re participating in our festival, which we think is really cool.”
Attendees of the festival will also have an opportunity to share their personal stories of social justice issues, which will be recorded by StoryCorps and preserved in the Library of Congress.
“We are just hoping to create something beautiful for the community,” said Pinzino. “Hopefully people can have a good time and feel they have done something good.”
For more information, visit peoplesaction.org. Admission to the festival is a $5-$20 suggested donation.
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