This year has been heavy on the local mini-festivals so far, and it’s been awesome. This holiday week, C-U is host to a full-blown four day music festival. Audiofeed Music Festival is coming in with its seventh iteration starting today and running through Saturday, and I have the rundown on what you can expect if you go.
Audiofeed began in 2013, with about 50 acts across three stages. This year, attendees can pick from around 150 shows across 5 stages. Jim Eisenmenger, one of Audiofeed’s organizers, estimates that ticket sales have roughly quadrupled from that first festival to today. I chatted with Eisenmenger yesterday while he was on a break from setting up. Audiofeed is held at the Champaign County Fairgrounds, and he said setup for the festival had been underway since Saturday. The event is entirely volunteer-run, with a core group of about eight individuals who do the organizing, and a team of roughly 150 volunteers over the course of the weekend. This year, Audiofeed will run from Wednesday to Saturday.
Audiofeed is sometimes talked about as a hardcore music festival. While there is a healthy selection of hardcore acts hitting the stages this year, the festival presents a remarkable variety of genres for folks to check out. Genres are a bit mixed across all five stages, but according to Eisenmenger, each stage has a predominant genre: there is one tent for folk-rock, an indoor space for indie music and hip-hop, an outdoor space for punk/melodic metal music, a tent for hardore metal, and a tent for goth rock. Eisenmenger shared that one of his favorite parts of the festival is the diverse audience it draws in response to the diverse lineup. “[There are] amazing sets of acts that nobody knows about, so there are great discoveries,” said Eisenmenger. Listing out 150 acts below probably wouldn’t be helpful, so check out the day-by-day schedule here to plan your Audiofeed experience.
Audiofeed is a multi-day festival, and as such there is camping (both tent and RV), which is included in the price of your ticket. Campers are encouraged to bring their own snacks and food, or are welcome to purchase food from the vendors at Audiofeed. The festival is a drug and alcohol free space, and anyone found consuming either of these things will be escorted out. This is a big difference from many festivals, so take note and be respectful. Audiofeed is designed to be family-friendly, and not being under the influence helps to maintain that in a big way. Also of note: the festival is organized by folks of the Christian faith, but is not expressly a Christian festival, at all. From their website:
“We tend toward creative music that is not necessarily “radio single” type material. From really mellow acoustic to hardcore and everything in between. With three [sic] stages focusing on different styles, there is something for almost everyone almost all the time. Some of our artists are expressly Christian. Many are not, but write music influenced by their faith journey. Some are expressly not Christian, but share our values of love and community and are working all of that out in the best way they can figure out. We like people like that.”
Above all, Audiofeed is looking to provide access and exposure to high-quality performers, and generate a safe and positive atmosphere for festival-goers to enjoy.
It wouldn’t be a proper preview if I didn’t tell you who I was most excited to see. I will gravitate toward the folk/indie/hip-hop performances, so fair warning.
William Fitzsimmons (Thursday, 9:30 p.m. on Radon Lounge stage)
Tow’rs (Thursday 10:20 p.m. on Radon Lounge stage)
Timbre (Thursday, 11 p.m. on Radon Lounge stage)
Motherfolk (Saturday, 8:10 p.m. on Burningtown stage)