Navy Pier 'Best of the 2018 Bitter Jester Music Festival' Concert
Sep
3
2:00 PM14:00

Navy Pier 'Best of the 2018 Bitter Jester Music Festival' Concert

Celebrate LABOR DAY at the Miller Lite Beer Garden at Navy Pier with a day-long performance by some of the best bands featured in this year's festival. Five bands and a featured solo performer, selected by Navy Pier and the Bitter Jester Foundation for the Arts, will perform in the “Best Of The Bitter Jester Music Festival” showcase concert - you don't want to miss this incredible event!

FULL SCHEDULE: 
2:00pm-2:50pm – Double Identity
3:10pm-4:00pm – The Recall
4:50pm-5:40pm – Fun Monkey
6:00pm-6:50pm – Ax Hatchetmen ("Ax and the Hatchetmen")
7:10pm-8:00pm – The Isabel Osorio Trio
The Child of Eve will be performing throughout the event.

For more information, visit: https://navypier.org/event/live-lake-feat-bitter-jester-2018.

 
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Live on WRSE's Underbelly Hours
Aug
19
6:00 PM18:00

Live on WRSE's Underbelly Hours

  • Port Clinton Square Highland Park, IL, 60035 United States (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Tune in to listen to two Bitter Jester Music Fest bands live on the air, Sun, Aug. 19, 2018 at 6:00 pm!

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Join the Underbelly Hours hosts hosts Adela and Dan as they take you on a trip through Chicagoland's underground music and art scene.... every Sunday at 6pm. This episode will feature two Bitter Jester Music Fest bands and their music as well as interview portions with festival founder Nicolas DeGrazia.

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Live on WLUW's Live from the Heartland
Aug
4
9:30 AM09:30

Live on WLUW's Live from the Heartland

  • Port Clinton Square Highland Park, IL, 60035 United States (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Hear Bitter Jester Music Fest musicians on the air, Sat, Aug. 4, 2018 at 9:30 am!

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Join Live from the Heartland hosts Katy Hogan, Michael James, and Thom Clark as they interview Nicolas DeGrazia, founder of the Bitter Jester Music Festival, and Ben Groth (aka "The Child of Eve"), playing live in the studio. The single Seattle from solo artist Kacie Swierk's new album "Hummingbird" will also be heard.

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Navy Pier 2018 Bitter Jester Music Showcase Concert
Jul
13
3:00 PM15:00

Navy Pier 2018 Bitter Jester Music Showcase Concert

Join us at the Wave Wall Performance Platform for a performance by Monarchy Over Monday, one of the 2018 Bitter Jester Music Fest Official Selection bands. This free concert is part of "Fresh Fest!" presented by Allstate Insurance Company, a two-day showcase of Chicago’s talented young performing artists.

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2018 Bitter Jester Music Festival - Grand Finale
Jul
4
4:00 PM16:00

2018 Bitter Jester Music Festival - Grand Finale

MUSIC • FOOD • FIREWORKS • 4pm on July 4!

FREE CONCERT & FREE PARKING!
 

Competition Lineup: 80HD, Bad Idea, The Browns, Cooper Run, Ghostbusterz, The Isabel O. Trio, Out of Pocket, and The Recall!

Showcase Bands: Ax and the Hatchetment and The Rand Band

Featured Solo Performer: The Child of Eve

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July 4, 2018 Grand Finale Emcees:

Nicolas DeGrazia, Elizabeth Krahulec, and Aiden Kinsella

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Come for the music, enjoy Louie B. Fresh Mobile Kitchen & Catering & Frost Gelato, get some artwork done by Laine Too (temporary tattoos), and stay for the fireworks!

Celebrating its 13th year, the Bitter Jester Music Festival hits its 2018 summer stride with the annual Grand Finale Concert. Ten incredible bands will be featured with eight of them in competition. This concert is a showcase of some of the BEST up-and-coming musical talent from across Northern Illinois and Wisconsin! 

Preliminary concerts took place the first four Fridays of June at Port Clinton Square in beautiful Downtown Highland Park. Professional judges selected one winning band each Friday and the Bitter Jester Foundation for the Arts selected four additional Wild Card Bands to advance to the Semi-Finals on the July 4. Approximately $25,000 in combined cash and prizes will be given away to musicians and lucky audience members! Awesome raffle prizes will be given away too, with proceeds benefiting the Bitter Jester Foundation, a not-for-profit charity.

Select bands will also appear in a series of "Best Of" concerts at the Miller Lite Beer Garden at Navy Pier on 07/13/18 & 09/03/18 and the Taste of Highland Park on 08/24/18.

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Live on WRSE's Underbelly Hours
Jul
1
8:00 PM20:00

Live on WRSE's Underbelly Hours

  • Port Clinton Square Highland Park, IL, 60035 United States (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Tune in to the Underbelly Hours for an interview with Bitter Jester Music Festival Founder & Producer Nicolas DeGrazia, live on the air Sun, July 1, 2018 at 8:00 pm!

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Join the Underbelly Hours hosts hosts Adela and Dan as they take you on a trip through Chicagoland's underground music and art scene.... every Sunday at 6pm. This episode will feature Bitter Jester Music Fest founder Nicolas DeGrazia as he talks about our upcoming Grand Finale Concert at Wolters Field in Highland Park on the 4th of July!

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2018 Music Festival - Preliminary Competition #4
Jun
22
7:00 PM19:00

2018 Music Festival - Preliminary Competition #4

  • Port Clinton Square Highland Park, IL, 60035 United States (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

June 22, 2018 Competing Bands:

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80HD (Alternative/Classic Rock - Arlington Heights & Prospect Heights, IL)

Double Identity (Rock/Pop - LaGrange Highlands, LaGrange Park, & Downers Grove, IL)

The Marty Buehler Band (Classic Rock, Jazz/Funk - Arlington Heights, Elk Grove, & Palatine, IL)

Nova (Classic & Current Rock/Pop - Arlington Heights, IL)

Out of Pocket (Classic Rock/Rock/Pop - Highland Park, IL)

The Rand Band (Rock - Lake Zurich, Mundelein, & Barrington, IL)

Showcase Artist / Special Guest:

Kacie Swierk (Solo Artist and former Bitter Jester Competitor & Judge)

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June 22, 2018 Judges:

John Blane, Greg EasterlingVladimir Kulenovic, Mike Pope, and Taylor Tucker

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NOTE: There is no concert on June 29, 2018

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2018 Music Festival - Preliminary Competition #3
Jun
15
7:00 PM19:00

2018 Music Festival - Preliminary Competition #3

  • Port Clinton Square Highland Park, IL, 60035 United States (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

June 15, 2018 Competing Bands:

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Ax and the Hatchetmen (Classic/Modern Rock, Pop/Blues, Indie/Alt - Lake Villa & Gurnee, IL)

Cooper Run (Alternative Rock - Waunakee, Middleton, & Marshall, WI)

Ghostbusterz (Soul/Rock - Lake Forest, Deerfield, Kenilworth, & Evanston, IL)

Greenhouse aka "Xazz" (Funk/R&B/Jazz/Rock/Pop - Highland Park, IL)

Isabel O. Trio (Pop/Jazz/Blues - Naperville, Bolingbrook, & Plainfield, IL)

Pantless Cocktail Party (Rock/Southern Rock/Funk/Psychedelic/Soul - Chicago, IL, Nashville, TN, Tuscaloosa, AL, & Colorado Springs, CO)

Showcase Band / Special Guests:

Ethel Shank (Hard rock inspired by Highly Suspect/Queens of the Stone Age - Naperville & York, IL)

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June 15, 2018 Judges:

Tracy BruhnLaura Harris, Carly MillerBrayer Teague, and Glenn Williams

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Live on WBEZ's Worldview with Jerome McDonnell
Jun
15
12:00 PM12:00

Live on WBEZ's Worldview with Jerome McDonnell

  • Port Clinton Square Highland Park, IL, 60035 United States (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Learn More about the Bitter Jester Music Fest on Friday, June 15, 2018 at Noon!

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Join host Jerome McDonnell as he interviews members of The Browns and Cooper Run and plays some of their tunes. Also in studio will be BJMF Founder/Producer Nicolas DeGrazia to talk about the event and the bands.

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2018 Music Festival - Preliminary Competition #2
Jun
8
7:00 PM19:00

2018 Music Festival - Preliminary Competition #2

  • Port Clinton Square Highland Park, IL, 60035 United States (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

June 8, 2018 Competing Bands:

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26 Hours (Rock/Alternative - Lake Forest, Highwood, & Buffalo Grove, IL)

Bad Idea (Alternative/Funk Rock - Chicago, IL)

The Child of Eve (Sedative, Mystical Folk - St. Charles, IL)

The Magnifiers (Punk/Punk Rock - Chicago & Naperville, IL)

Monarchy Over Monday (Basement Refrigerator Rock (Pop Punk) - Chicago, IL)

Sam Poll (Alternative/Experimental - Highland Park, IL)

Showcase Band / Special Guests:

Zach & Bailey (Zach Silver & Bailey Knowles playing acoustic rock - Vernon Hills & Deerfield, IL)

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June 8, 2018 Judges:

Matt BirnholzLynette FossMike Kelly, John Koziol, and Michael Tseitlin

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2018 Music Festival - Preliminary Competition #1
Jun
1
7:00 PM19:00

2018 Music Festival - Preliminary Competition #1

  • Port Clinton Square Highland Park, IL, 60035 United States (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

June 1, 2018 Competing Bands:

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The Browns (Pop/Soul - Palos Heights, Palos Hills, Worth, & South Chicago, IL)

Carpool (Blues/Classic Rock - Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, & Chicago, IL)

Exeter (Alternative Rock plus occasional Metal - Highland Park & Glencoe, IL)

Fun Monkey (Funk/Psychedelic Rock - Libertyville, IL)

The Recall (Innovative Blues/Funk Rock - Wheaton, IL)

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June 1, 2018 Judges:

Greg DiethrichGreg EasterlingDana Lawrence GillisDave Harris, and Matt Sobczyk

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2017 Bitter Jester Music Festival - Grand Finale
Jul
4
4:00 PM16:00

2017 Bitter Jester Music Festival - Grand Finale

MUSIC • FOOD • FIREWORKS • 4pm on July 4! FREE CONCERT & FREE PARKING!

Come for the music, enjoy Louie B. Fresh Mobile Kitchen & Catering & Frost Gelato, and stay for the fireworks!

Celebrating its 12th year, the Bitter Jester Music Festival hits its 2017 summer stride with the annual Grand Finale Concert. Ten incredible bands will be featured with eight of them in competition. This concert is a showcase of some of the BEST up-and-coming musical talent from across Northern Illinois and Wisconsin! 

Preliminary concerts took place the first four Fridays of June at Port Clinton Square in beautiful Downtown Highland Park. Professional judges selected one winning band each Friday and the Bitter Jester Foundation for the Arts selected four additional Wild Card Bands to advance to the Semi-Finals on the July 4. Nearly $32,000 in combined cash and prizes will be given away to musicians and lucky audience members! Awesome raffle prizes will be given away too, with proceeds benefiting the Bitter Jester Foundation, a not-for-profit charity.

The Winning Bands have been:

NIGHT ONE: We Are Livewire ("LiveWire") from St. Charles, IL
NIGHT TWO: Audiophilia from Williams Bay, Eau Claire, Waterford, Elkhorn, and Lake Geneva, WI
NIGHT THREE: The Child of Eve from North Aurora, Batavia, Geneva, South Elgin, and St. Charles, IL
NIGHT FOUR: Surround Sound 
WILD CARD BANDS: The Magnifiers, Elise and the Police, Eminence, Stellar West

SHOWCASE BANDS: Skydeck and The Browns

Select top bands will play a "Best Of" concert at the Miller Lite Beer Garden at Navy Pier / Navy Pier on 09/03/17.

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2017 Music Festival - Preliminary Competition #4
Jun
23
7:00 PM19:00

2017 Music Festival - Preliminary Competition #4

Competing Bands (performance order to be announced that night)

80HD from Arlington Heights and Prospect Heights, IL
Breaking Ice from Arlington Heights, Mt. Prospect, and Palatine, IL
The Magnifiers from Chicago, IL
sam poll (Solo Artist) from Highland Park, IL
Skydeck from Highland Park, Northbrook, Skokie, and Winnetka, IL
Surround Sound from Madison, Middleton, and Waunakee, WI and St Louis, MI.

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2017 Music Festival - Preliminary Competition #3
Jun
16
7:00 PM19:00

2017 Music Festival - Preliminary Competition #3

Competing Bands (performance order to be announced that night)

"The Browns" from Hickory Hills, Worth, and Palos Heights, IL;
"The Child of Eve" (Solo Artist Benjamin Jeffrey Groth) from St. Charles, and Northern Chicago, IL;
"Claudia Mintz" (Solo Artist) from Highland Park, IL;
"Double Identity" from LaGrange and LaGrange Highlands, IL;
"Ferine" from Madison, WI;
"Idiots with Ryhum" from McHenry, IL;

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2017 Music Festival - Preliminary Competition #2
Jun
9
7:00 PM19:00

2017 Music Festival - Preliminary Competition #2

Competing Bands (performance order to be announced that night)
 

"Audiophilia" from Eau Claire, Elkhorn, Lake Geneva, Waterford, and Williams Bay, WI
"Bad Idea" (facebook.com/Badideaalt) from Libertyville, IL and Kenosha, WI
"Elise and the Police" from Arlington Heights, Mount Prospect, and Skokie, IL
"Exeter" from Highland Park, Highwood, and Chicago, IL
"No Results" from Highland Park, IL
"Stalemates" from Glenview and Northbrook, IL
 

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