They keep coming – the festivals, annual celebrations and concerts that make up the Madison summer scene repeat themselves every weekend all around the area. They might be in different locations, feature different music and benefit different organizations but they are very much the same in many ways and we love them.
They are huge – think Brat Fest, Taste of Madison or La Fete de Marquette. They are, …not so huge, but every bit as worthy – think Atwood Fest, Marquette Waterfront Fest or Art Fair on the Square.
I finished up a meeting downtown yesterday evening around 6:30 and heading home I came across the Schenk’s Corners Block Party. My apologies to the organizers of the event, the Midwest Jam Collective and the block party committee. The event was not on our radar.
So, what do you do when you come across a block party on the way home from work? Of course! You stop by to say, “What’s up?”
I want you to think of Atwood Fest or the Isthmus Jazz Festival or another such event. Now think smaller. Think smaller, still…smaller yet. Now you’ve got the idea.
Contained entirely in the little area formed where Atwood Avenue meets Winnebago Street, the block party features two stages (YES, you read that correctly – 2 stages) and a beer tent. Well…what else does a Wisconsinite require? Maybe some food?
While there are no food tents, the block party takes place right in front of 5 eateries and I mean right on the doorstep of three of them – Ideal Bar, The Green Owl Café, Alchemy with Tex Tubb’s Taco Bar and One Barrel Brewing right across the street. There are also several food options just up the street on Atwood.
The one important ingredient that the Block Party shares with every other successful festival is people – happy Madisonians and those traveling in from afar. All of which are cramming 12 months worth of living into five.
Two bands played sets while I was there:
A Madison Musician’s Tribute to The Band featured artful covers of, well…The Band (who gained notoriety touring with Bob Dylan in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s). They played very interesting renditions they made their own.
Chicken Wire Empire, felt to me a little like Charlie Daniels after a visit with the Oompa Loompas of the Chocolate Factory. It may sound to you like I’m not giving these guys their props, but that’s not so. This 5-piece bluegrass group out of Milwaukee had the crowd going, especially on a version of The Devil Went Down to Georgia that was very well done.
So, there you have it, Schenk’s Corners Block Party 2017. The music begins today at 2:00PM.
What!? I didn’t say the party continues today? Well, it does and proceeds benefit the Tennant Resource Center, so get on down there. Here’s your line-up:
2pm – Moonhouse
3pm – Guy Weatherspoon
4pm – The Grasshoppers
5pm – Gin Mill Hollow
6pm – Midwest Jam Collective
7pm – Heatbox
8:30 pm – Natty Nation