Art-A-Whirl is about much more than just fine arts. In recent years, Art-A-Whirl has become a great place to catch live music. Here are some of our top picks for Art-A-Whirl’s special musical events. Of course, this is just a tiny sample of everything that’s happening during the studio crawl, so check NEMAA’s official site for even more event options.
The biggest show of Art-A-Whirl is the 331 Club’s weekend-long extravaganza. The bar has roughly 25 bands scheduled to perform over the weekend, dwarfing any other announced musical event. Featuring live music on Friday night and all day Saturday and Sunday, the 331 Club event is free and features bands like No Bird Sing, Vicious Vicious, Zoo Animal, BNLX, Alpha Consumer, Brian Just Band and many, many more. Most performances are outdoors, but the show moves inside at 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
On Saturday, you can catch music at Grumpy’s Northeast from 2 p.m. on throughout the night. Performers include Pink Mink, Huckleberries, Hammerhead, Joe Lyon and more.
The parking lot outside Elias Metal Studio is always home to a huge bash, if you know where to find it (the little building at 1129 Van Buren faces the Waterbury Building near the western corner of Broadway and Central). Find it and you’ll be rewarded with live music on Friday and Saturday from bands like Flavor Crystals, Reno Sweeney, The Shiny Lights and more. You’ll also be able to check out outdoor events like a life-size chessboard and a wrestling ring with “Lucha Libre” matches.
On Saturday and Sunday, The Anchor Fish & Chips will celebrate the launch of its new food truck with performances by bands like National Bird, Romantica, Magic Castles, Valet and more. Naturally, the event is also a chance to check out the new food truck and its menu offerings.
The Sample Room has another big one. The restaurant has revealed a three-day music festival that also features a “firkin fest,” during which patrons will have a chance to sample several limited edition beers from local and national craft brewers. The restaurant will also feature four new sausages on its outdoor grill. The firkin fest will be held from 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and feature beers by Schell’s, Surly, Boom Island and more. The music lineup includes Blue Sky Blackout, Wilie Wisely, Fort Wilson Riot and more.
For more music and beer, head over to the Schell’s and Grain Belt Outdoor Craft Beer Festival at Stanley’s Barroom, also on Saturday. Bands like Ipso Facto and Teddy Holidays will perform from 6–8 p.m. while a craft beer tent in the parking lot serves up local beer.
The Future Presence Gallery at 1126 2nd St. NE will hold its final art and music showcase during Art-A-Whirl with an interesting musical event. On Friday at 9 p.m., the band Me and My Arrow will play along with “Everyday Chemistry,” a mash-up of solo song by members of The Beatles. According to internet legend, the project was recorded in an alternate dimension in which The Beatles never broke up.
Finally, for a different type of musical experience, head over to Edison High School on Saturday. The school will present a production of “Charlotte’s Web” on the lawn from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., followed by a performance from the Thomas Edison High School Music Ensemble from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
— Jeremy Zoss