Lakeshake doesn’t get all the fun as the Beach bunz, Volleyball and musical takeover of Oakwood beach that is Mamby on the Beach! With more than just music, Mamby is the biggest it’s been in its 3 year history.
A long teepee installation greets you as you enter the festival. There were all kinds of art pieces near the entrance and scattered around the festival. Dream catchers floating from sets, shrubbery that spelled “Mamby”, as well as our president graffitied in the prettiest colors along the concrete walls, smiling at you when you walk in. What a lovely face…what a lovely face.
My personal favorite was a giant glass sculpture that was pretty in the day but truly lit up at night.
As we transition from a busy Summer to a busy Autumn, let's take one last look back at one of the newer festivals that has emerged in Chicago - Mamby on the Beach. CHIRP Radio's Big Rob Kerr was there (Day 1 / Day 2). We're looking forward to future excursions of sun, sand, and beat-astic jams. Soon it will be too cold to even think about the beach, but we'll have these memories to keep us warm until next time.
Day 2 of Mamby on the Beach was not nearly as exciting as the first but I am not entirely sure if that was possible. Sunday made me appreciate what a special event had been put together on Oakwood Beach this weekend. The quality of the festival was able to be soaked in Sunday.
The general setup of the grounds used the venues space well. A narrow grassy approach with vendors led beyond the third stage and opened wide to the beach. The Main stage on the left to the north and the Tent to the right on the south end. The lake was ever present in the festival backdrop and but enormity and atmosphere of the Tent stage was the real gem of the Mamby production.
Sunday did not have the afternoon "Will it rain?" speculation of Saturday, nor did have French producer Klingande, canceling due to reported visa issues. The moment of day 2 of this new and exciting festival was when the mask, white glove and top-hat wearing Claptone played his track "Liquid Spirit" in the Tent. I must say raving in a giant tent on the beach with the beats from mysterious Germans was pretty great for a Sunday afternoon.
The gripes included in the Day 1 recap were still present throughout the weekend but the entire experience of the festival far eclipsed them. I can say at least for me, Mamby on the Beach was a highlight of the busy Chicago summer.
Empire of the Sun or Zhu was the biggest question of the first day at the first Mamby on the Beach festival on Oakwood Beach on Chicago's south shore.
There was a definite feeling out period needed upon arrival to Chicago's newest beach fest. Young camera-ready bodies eager to be viewed were mixed in with the venerable house music lovers which made for a great new party environment Saturday evening. Anxious excitement became dancers bliss when Felix da Housecat took over at 5 in The Tent stage.
Mamby's big day one question was answered for me as Empire of the Sun ended the night and had me melted to the same dance spot that Röyksopp had me melted to directly before them. Every track from their album Ice on the Dune hit the crowd sonically as well as visually.
Conflict is present as always with these events as I loved the second half of Saturday's lineup of entertainment immensely, but I must say I am concerned about the elitism apparent at this Mamby on the Beach. The biggest example of this being that general admission ticket patrons could buy only beers and sangria, no hard liqueur for the masses.
Mamby provided all in attendance a fantastic chance to see artistic dance music presented on a grand stage but it was troubling to see organizers divide it's attendees. A+ for the talent but a B+ for the production. That said, I cannot wait for day two.
In amongst the stacked Chicago summertime entertainment calendar is a new event this weekend that could well be the party of the summer. Oakwood Beach will be invaded on the 11tth and 12th by the inaugural Mamby On The Beach this Saturday and Sunday (set times are posted here). Chicago’s newest beach festival features two days of indie dance music, headlined by Empire of the Sun, Röyksopp, Passion Pit, and ZHU’s Midwest debut. The lineup also draws a good amount from the local talent pool with Zebo, Good Life, Kinky Love, Felix Da Housecat, Redux, Orchard Lounge and more.
The excitement in the build up to this new event is hitting on a number of levels with the venue, the diversity in the talent and transport to the venue all seeming quite ambitious yet laid back. Mamby on the Beach will likely be the first visit to Oakwood-41st Street Beach for many festivalgoers, myself included. Drawing opinion only from the fest’s announcement video, the views and the surrounding area will set up well for a great party. Acts both new and well established from near and far will grace three spots in the venue; Main Stage, The Tent, and The Beach House as well as across the city at official after parties. The music will run at the beach from 1 to 10pm both days.
Looking over the transit arrangements and the festival map posted on the festival’s site, Mamby on the Beach looks like they have all their logistical ducks in a row. Chicago weather and CTA permitting, the new two day dance party going down at Oakwood Beach this weekend could be a highlight of the summer. Let’s See!
Follow this space for more as Big Rob Kerr goes to Mamby on the Beach.