Weekend music fest to be a ‘hullabaloo’


Bear Dare (far left) and his band The Shifty Grifters, who will appear at this weekend’s Hullaballoo!!! Music and Arts Festival in Dixon.

By Chris Krapek

Hul-la-ba-loo (noun); great noise of excitement.

The first ever Hullabaloo!!! Music and Arts Festival will take place today through Sunday at 1000 Taylor Court in Dixon.

For $30, attendees can enjoy live music, food and drink, custom merchandise and grounds to camp at all weekend.

On the music side, Hullabaloo features an impressive line-up of local and Chicago-based bands like Hasta Lumbago, The Shifty Grifters, Old Soul Company, Mos Scocious, Tula, and The Steepwater Band.

Enter Bear Dare, one of the minds who organized Hullabaloo. He’s a local music entrepreneur, but he’s not solely interested in making money. He aims to help further people’s careers and build a collaborative network.

The Northern Star talked to Dare about the concept behind Hullabaloo and what people can expect at the inaugural festival.

Northern Star: How did you get the idea for Hullabaloo?

Bear Dare: I actually got the idea for Hullabaloo when I was homeless a couple years ago. I was out of work, nowhere to live, nothing but a couple pairs of clothes and that was it. As I sat in the rain in a little town here in Illinois debating on whether to make a foolish choice, I thought about what had made me happy in my life and what had gotten me through everything I had been through. I came to the realization that it had been music and being around that scene that had brought me the most peace. So I decided I would bring people together with music.

NS: How did you select the bands?

BD: It’s funny how we found the bands, really. Basically I just kind of let the word slip a little, and the next thing I knew the universe had dropped more bands on my lap then I knew what to do with. It’s funny how small the world is, especially in the music industry. I actually had to turn down over twice the amount of bands we have playing at the festival.

NS: What will be going on this weekend? What can people expect?

BD: People can come out to Dixon for three days of badass music from all kinds of local artists, bands, dancers, fire spinners, DJ’s and more. For only $30, you can enjoy three days of music, food, drink and great vibes and great people. Included in the ticket is a free beverage pass for those who are eligible. We have some awesome vendors coming out to sell delicious food, and to sell some awesome merchandise and more. The gates open at noon [today]. The music will go until 2 a.m., at which point DJs will come on to finish out the night. We will have quiet hours between 3-8 a.m. and then back to the music we go and do it all again the next night.

NS: In your mind, what needs to happen to make Hullabaloo perfect this weekend?

BD: …I just need people to drop their troubles and cares at the gate, take off their shells and just sit down on the cool grass and let the breeze take their thoughts away with the amazing music floating through their heads.