If you’re hanging out in Cincinnati right now, hurricane All-Star Game is about to hit the city with gale-force happenings, backed by heavy traffic and swells of Bud Light with a possible chance of tourist flooding. You’re urged to immediately affix your favorite giant black moustache and vintage Reds cap, or grab four cases of water and a large bag of Flamin’ Hots before barring your door to wait out the storm… or you can make like a music lover, entertain your inner wanderlust and take a stroll up to a new kind of festivity on the beach in Chicago.
It’s called Mamby on the Beach: it’s a electronic/electro-rock hybrid that boasts some big flavor in the ways of oldskool production masters (James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem, Röyksopp), different house music styles (Felix Da Housecat, Chicago house; Matthew Dear, deep house; Classixx, nu-disco house; Robert Delong, improvised dance house), one of electronic music’s best producer duos playing their third and second-to-last shows in America before they break up (Art Department), and big-name acts that just know how to throw a party (Empire of the Sun, Cherub, Passion Pit, Phantogram). Grab a look at the full lineup here, and start to think about how much your hips would benefit from a healthy dose of House.
The festival takes place from 1pm to 10pm this Saturday, July 11, and Sunday, July 12. Did I mention that it’s on a beach? It’s worth mentioning again – especially because Cincinnati doesn’t have a beach, let alone a beach party. And no, dipping your feet in the Ohio River doesn’t count, nor does playing sand volleyball at Sandbar or Ludlow Bromley. Wind at your back, bass in your face. Peace in the crux of life’s most freeing elements. Just as you find your cloud on the heels of the sunset, the festival ends – and nightlife begins. Time to play.
Mamby’s official after parties are bangers waiting to explode. Whether or not you go to the festival, save some fire for Saturday night because there’s a myriad of options to fit your dancefoot fancy. James Murphy, one of the masterminds behind LCD Soundsystem, is playing with George Fitzgerald at the MID, while Felix Da Housecat is nodding his cap to the roots of Chicago house at Evil Olive. At the same time, Goldroom is putting down a DJ set in concert with Autograf at Yacht Party, and Moon Boots is getting spacey at Primary.
When the night falls on Sunday Funday, Mamby and Chicago just hit it harder. But, if you can dig deep and grind it out, Sunday night could make you forget about Monday. Art Department is playing what’s arguably one of the biggest shows of the weekend, and their last in Chicago as performing duo. They take the tables after Gene Farris at the MID, which you can expect to be two levels of two-stepping euphoria. If you’re looking for something a bit more on the “free” side, you can RSVP for no cover to see Tanlines play at Progress Bar, or Holt and Glass Lux at Beauty Bar. Check the full list of afterparties for details.
Getting there isn’t too much of a hassle, if you’re smart about it. You can make like me and take the Megabus there for about $50 round trip. Chillax for a six-hour journey and prep for party, because once you get to Chicago everything is an adventure. Head to Union Station two blocks from the Megabus stop and grab a weekend Ventra transit pass for a quick $20 spot, and take the subway and bus systems around – not only is it a breeze, but it’s a ton of fun to be somewhere with really great public transportation.
If you wanna go this route, hop on the Blue Line and take it to transfer at the Red Line in the middle of the city. Ride the Red Line down to the Cermak-Chinatown stop, or jump on the Green Line and head to Cermack McCormick. Mamby has free shuttles for festival goers at both subway stops, plus the McCormick Place marshalling lot. Click here for the down-low about Mamby transportation options.
A weekend pass is about $130 bones plus fees, which works out to about $80 per day – less than $10 per concert and an enticing change of scenery. Grab weekend and day passes here, and just go already.