Is it porch weather, beach weather or blanket weather? While that answer may be a toss-up, it’s always music weather. Whether summer wants to be nice to us or not, Chicago’s music scene knows how to treat us well. That means Pitchfork, North Coast and street festivals like the Logan Square Arts Festival and the Vegan Food Fest are coming up, along with smaller and more intimate music evenings. Picnics on the Porch is one of these local gatherings starting June 22 at the Hideout Inn (1354 W. Wabansia Ave.).
Back for its third year, the summer series will feature different artists every week picked by the Hideout’s staff that are making musical moves around the country and locally.
Sullivan Davis, program director at Hideout, said the series started with their friends Big Sadie, who had a month-long residency on the porch. They will perform again this year to keep the country string theme going, which is woven into the other acts, too.
“For this year, we really dug into our community first,” Davis said. “The Hideout had a chance when we were talking about who to ask for this series to reach out to some friends we don’t get to see very often.”
Some of those musicians, like Jake Xerxes Fussell, came out last year to open for Wilco and put on one of the better solo performances of the year, Davis said.
“Anna Krippenstapel from The Other Years has been through with Freakwater and Jay Jayle from Louisville quite a few times, and when we heard her new band open for Joan Shelley recently the crowd and the staff were absolutely blown away—we had to have them back as quick as we could,” he said. “Kath Bloom has been a musical crush of mine for a minute (as well as a few other folks), and we’re very lucky she’s coming through town for this.”
Davis said the picnics aren’t supposed to be “hip” (and aren’t anything like other music festivals downtown) but to simply show the talent in the community and create a familiar, casual vibe that brings people together.
“When people talk about the Hideout, the casual phrase “loveably frumpy” has been thrown around, and I don’t think we’d disagree,” he said.
If you forget to bring your blanket, you can borrow one of theirs and sit out on the porch like you’re by the lake with family or friends at summer camp—or at a fun community night full of local music. Local Foods, the Midwestern-focused farm network that neighbor the Hideout, will be on site selling picnic boxes with their fresh-from-the-farm ingredients.
- 6/22: Kacy & Clayton
- All shows will begin at 6 p.m. every Friday and run the entire summer. So far, the lineup for the porch concerts are as follows:
- 6/29: Jim Lauderdale
- 7/6: Jake Xerxes Fussell + James Elkington
- 7/20: The Other Years
- 7/27: Jack Klatt
- 8/3: Kath Bloom
More acts will be announced soon. Stay tuned on the Hideout’s Facebook page.