Pygmalion Music Festival returns to Champaign-Urbana this year

Peter Floess

Staff Writer

What do a poetry-loving boxer, the sadness of Edmonton, Alberta, and Mathematica have in common?

Answer: They are all part of the 11th annual Pygmalion Music Festival, which will be held this weekend at various venues throughout Champaign-Urbana.

The Pygmalion Music Festival features music, poetry, craft and vintage goods market, and a brand new technology section this year.

Parkland College’s radio station, WPCD or 88.7, and the Fine and Applied Arts Department of Parkland College are sponsors of the festival.

WPCD Radio Director Deane Geiken is hoping that the radio station will be able to gain exposure by being at the main stage area in Highdive’s Outdoor Annex during the festival on Saturday, Sept. 26.

Their listeners are already familiar with many of the headlining artists as they are played on the radio station, so the booth should fit right in.

The technology section of the festival will feature “TED”-style talks along with interactive demonstrations with panels and student recruitment.

The main speaker of the tech event is Stephen Wolfram, the creator of Mathematica and CEO of Wolfram Research, a computer research firm in Champaign. Wolfram will be speaking at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts on Friday, Sept. 25 at 11 a.m.

Other speakers at the tech event include Jimmy Chamberlin, the CEO of the digital entertainment company, LiveOne, Inc. and Sarah Buhr, a technology journalist for TechCrunch, NPR, and USA Today.

Attendees can expect a wide variety of touring and local bands during the festival that will be spread out among Champaign-Urbana’s venues. Well-known groups such as Run the Jewel, Purity Ring and Ride will all be performing.

Champaign-Urbana local group Church Booty will be playing for the first time this year.

“I feel honored to help represent the rich local music scene of Champaign-Urbana,” said Daniel Hinze, saxophonist of Church Booty.

“We like to really get people moving, and that starts with the band.  We’ve also got a few special songs that we’ll probably never record, but they’re a lot of fun to do with a responsive audience,” Hinze added.

The headliner of the literature section is Adrian Matejka. He is the Poet in-Residence at Indiana University at Bloomington. Matejka is reading at the Krannert Center for Performing Arts on Sept. 25 at 6:30 p.m. Other literature headlines include horror writer, Brian Evenson of Brown University, and the poet Ladan Osman of Chicago.

The craft section of the Pygmalion Festival will be at the Highdive Outdoor Annex on Sept. 26 and 27 from noon to 6 p.m. Local crafters and vendors will be there selling unique items, and the event is free to the public.

More information can be found at the Pymalion Festival website: