Pygmalion Festival Outlook

Pygmalion seems to be a fitting name for a music, art, literature, and culture festival considering all the different contexts the word can be derived from. The Phoenician Ovid wrote a narrative depicting a sculptor Pygmalion. He crafted a sculpture named Galatea and fell in love with it because she was pure and the other women of the world were tainted. Spawning from Ovid’s narrative came a play from George Bernard Shaw. In Shaw’s play, Professor Higgins wages a bet with a counterpart to culture a low class girl into becoming duchess.

Champaign-Urbana, Illinois will play host to the 10th anniversary of The Pygmalion Music Festival. Every September fellow music lovers conglomerate on University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana grounds for four days of music, art, literature, and above all, culture. This upcoming weekend September 25th – 28th, U of I’s campus will entertain the likes of CHVRCHES, American Football, Panda Bear, Real Estate, Tycho, Sun Kil Moon, and many other artists. The festivals rich history and vast collection of past acts has created the spectacle we see today. You can check out all prior acts here

The Festival will run concurrently across the campus all four days, spanning almost ten different venues throughout the weekend. The Krannert Center and Highdive Outdoor Stages will host the big headliners for the weekend, but you can find acts at all different types of venues over U of I’s diverse music scene. Each venue offers a unique feel for the concert goers.

A brief rundown of prominent acts day by day:

Thursday 9/25

  • Real Estate will headline the night starting at 11 o’clock at the Krannert Center (500 S Goodwin, Urbana) commencing Pygmalion Festival. The Ridgewood rockers draw upon textured undertones coupled with surf rock-esque rhythms to form a engulfing sound that all audiences can appreciate. Recently releasing Atlas on March 4, 2014, Real Estate will surely convey different tracks to listeners.
  • Contributing to the kickoff of Pygmalion on Thursday will be The 92, Diamond Youth, A Great Big Pile of Leaves, and Authors Peter Orner and Audrey Petty performing at the Krannet Art Museum.

Friday 9/26

  • Friday night, the festival gets rolling at Canopy Club (708 S Gooodwin, Urbana), at 6:00 P.M. At 6, Authors, Matt Frank, Erika L. Sánchez, Amy Sayre Baptista will be speaking for the crowd.
  • Following the authors, The Krannert Center will host California’s Sun Kil Moon at 7:30 ensuring a graceful set of acoustically moving tracks. An unforgettable show for all who will be in attendance I’m sure.
  • Succeeding Sun Kil Moon, on Krannert’s stage Friday night starting at 9 PM, one of the most experimental musicians I think our generation will ever hear: Panda Bear (listen to Animal Collective’s Merriweather Post Pavilion, please). Panda Bear’s performance will be highly anticipated considering the release of new sample tracks via a website In addition, Panda’s record label Domino announced in February that Panda Bear will be releasing a new album this year with a working title Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper. The website may allude the upcoming album, nonetheless, it offers new tracks for a purely magnificent show.

Panda Bear (aka Noah Lennox)

  • If you can possibly manage another show after Panda’s set, XXYYXX will be playing an entrancing electronic set at Canopy Club (708 S Goodwin, Urbana) or Speed Ortiz will be playing an equally electrifying performance at Red Herring (1209 W Oregon, Urbana).

Saturday 9/27

  • First and foremost Saturday will be packed full of music, arts, literature, and culture this author can’t possibly preview all of.
  • The Esquire will hold the Pygmalion Book Fair from 12 PM to 4 PM, while almost simultaneously The Made Fest will be happening from 12:30 PM to 6 PM at the Highdive Outdoor Annex.
  • Starting off a fantastic day of music at 2:45 will be Modern Kin, an enticing indie rock band from Portland, Oregon (Highdive Outdoor Stage 2).
  • Chicago natives Twin Peaks will take the Highdive Stage 1 at 5:00. Branding a Chicago style of psychedelic surf rock, Twin Peaks will offer textures and tones for listeners of all ages and walks of life.
  • After Twin Peaks, Tycho will take the stage (Highdive Outdoor Stage 1), providing downtempo enchanting beats making all crowd goers fall in love with the melodies.
  • Headlining Saturday night will be the electronic stylists of CHVRCHES, the upbeat, dancy, feminine vocally led, and downright fascinating electronic dominated band. (Playing 10:30 – 12:00 @ Highdive Outdoor Stage 1).

CHVRCHES (Ian Cook, Lauren Mayberry, and Martin Doherty) take London's Forum Stage

  • Following CHVRCHES, a plethora of upbeat musicians will follow @ Mike N Molly’s, Memphis on Main, Cowboy Monkey, and Brass Rail until 2 AM


Sunday 9/28

  • Music, Authores, and The Made Fest will play continuously from 12 PM till about 6 PM. An immense amount of culture will be playing during these hours, so I suggest you look at the full schedule.
  • At 6:45 Deafheaven will take the Highdive Outdoor Stage 1. Performing heavy metal licks, Deafheavan will generate a trashing, intense, and lively crowd no matter who is in the crowd.
  • Sending off a final salute to Pygmalion will be Urbana performers: American Football. American Football will take Highdive Outdoor Stage 1 @ 9 PM until 10 PM, which will conclude performances on the main stages at Pygmalion. After taking a long standing haitus from the music world, American Football will once again rock the stages of Champaing-Urbana. A local headliner that will be one for the ages.
  • After American Football, on the same set of stages as Saturday night (Highdive Indoor, Mike N Molly’s, Memphis on Main, Cowboy Monkey, and Brass Rail) will be Resinater, King Dude, Earth, Gardens and Villa, Motes, Alex G, Mutual Benefit, Cody & the Gateway Drugs, The Soil and The Sun, and Bones Jugs and Harmony.

Emphasizing the arts seems to be a specialty of Pygmalion’s, something I hope Indiana’s campus can learn from. With any luck, one day it will culminate in Indiana University hosting a similar event as Pygmalion does at Illinois. All of the artists offer something extremely unique in adding to the culture of us all, so please take listen and even more attend Pygmalion this weekend.

For full schedule details see: