Woodstock celebration carries on at The Venue in downtown Aurora

Aurora’s Woodstock 50 Celebration Festival is still on at The Venue, the new 200-seat music performance space in downtown Aurora, Illinois on Friday, August 16 at 7 PM and Saturday, August 17 at 3:30 p.m.  In spite of legal problems forcing the cancellation of the New York festival, our show will go on! The two-day festival of peace, love and music will feature local musicians playing original selections and music from the Woodstock Music & Art Fair held near White Lake in Bethel, New York in the summer of 1969. Several local and national artists will take the stage paying tribute to Woodstock artists like Jimi Hendrix CSN & Y, Joe Cocker, Janis Joplin, John Sebastian, Sly & the Family Stone, The Who, Arlo Guthrie and others.  The event will be held indoor with access to the adjacent Mundy Park (weather permitting.) 

Tickets range from $14 to $18 per day or a two-day general pass for $30.  VIP packages are also being offered.  Tickets are available at https://themusicvenue.org/. The Venue, located in downtown at 21 S. Broadway, was created by the Fox Valley Music Foundation.

Friday’s lineup will pay tribute to Joe Cocker, led by local singer and bass man Chad Watson, Crosby Stills Nash & Young featuring Lisa G & the Lucky Ones with special guest Mirabelle Skipworth.  Janis Joplin will be honored with a performance by Emily Tipping and backed up by an all-star lineup of Scott Tipping, Chuck Lacy, Scott Stevenson and Matt Thompson.  Capping off Friday night’s Woodstock celebration will be a tribute to Sly & the Family Stone by Mick Ducker backed by the same all-star lineup.

Saturday will kick off at 3:30pm and will rewrite Woodstock history with Mary Lou O’Brien Fischer covering Joni Mitchell.  Though Joni did not appear at Woodstock, she always wished she had.  Immediately following Mary Lou will be Empty Can Band leader Dave Glynn with a few Empty Cans performing Richie Havens, John Sebastian, Country Joe & the Fish.  Glynn and Lisa Green will also perform Joan Baez and Jeffrey Shurtleff’s version of the Graham Parsons song “Drug Store Truck Drivin’ Man”.

At 4:45pm on Saturday, Electric Dirt, the best ‘Band’ tribute group featuring Gerald Dowd, will pay homage to The Band. Immediately following, Rebel Soul Revival will kick it up a notch with The Who and Mountain, followed by local favorite Dave Ramont with a set featuring Arlo Guthrie and Creedence. Stoopid Tiny and the Beers with Dave Nelson will perform songs by Johnny Winter and Ten Years After. The Funktional Family will take over and channel the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane. The final performance set for 8:45pm will feature a Jimi Hendrix tribute by Noah Gabriel and Scott Tipping. The Jimi Hendrix style Star Spangled banner will end the festivities.

Visit https://themusicvenue.org/ for a full schedule of Woodstock and more information about the artists and a full calendar of upcoming shows and times. Adjacent to Mundy Park in downtown Aurora, The Venue was created and built by the Fox Valley Music Foundation with help from the City of Aurora, Invest Aurora, the Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley, the Dunham Foundation and private donors.

About the Fox Valley Music Foundation. The Fox Valley Music Foundation is a not-for-profit organization comprised of music lovers, music educators, arts enthusiasts and people who have spent many hours, days and years in this business of music. The Foundation’s reason for being is to preserve, promote and present the wonderful music of the Fox Valley area of Illinois while providing music education to people of all ages and from all walks of life.  You can contact the Foundation by visiting: http://foxvalleymusicfoundation.com/

Photo by Amy Nelson