Middlewest Fest amazing opportunity for DeKalb music scene

By Connor Rice

As a part of the midwest, Chicago’s contributions to the world of music are often overlooked by whatever is happening on the coasts.

If this is the case, then a city like DeKalb surely has almost no chance of competing.

But just because this small farming community is somewhat hidden from the bustling meccas of music doesn’t mean that its contributions to the arts are any less important.

When I started going to school here about three years ago, I found myself dismayed by my distance from a place like Chicago. Where were the shows? Where were the bands? It soon became apparent that weekend excursions to the Windy City would be vital to my existence.

But as time went by, something inside of me started to change, and I began paying attention to what was happening just a short way from my house.

It seemed like there was a band that I knew playing Otto’s or the House Cafe every couple of weeks. Flyers for shows being thrown by local groups in basements and practice spaces became too common to attend them all. I started meeting musicians, playing in bands and organizing my own performances.

As all this was going on, I began to pity other students like me who didn’t see DeKalb for what it was. I knew there had to be other kids who thought the city only reached as far as the university did, and that they thought they had to leave every weekend for quality music and the communities that come with it.

So, music community of DeKalb, I have only one thing to ask of you, and that is to perk up your ears and listen.

This weekend, NIU and DeKalb have an amazing opportunity with Middlewest Music and Art Festival. For two straight days, there will be enough to satisfy any taste in audio. From the underground vinyl collector to the casual radio listener, the list of performers has something for everyone. Consider this fest an open invitation to what the city has to offer musically, and what it can accomplish when enough people get behind it.

DeKalb is only what you make it. The music isn’t going to find you, you have to find the music.