August has ended and brought us September with its bright and breezy days, packed streets of campus, and a load of fun things going on around CU. Though it may be getting chillier and your workload may start piling up, remember it’s important to get out and experience something new in your community. September is a delightfully musical month with Ellanora Guitar Festival at Krannert and Pygmalion Festival taking over many sections of the city, but there are some other awesome things happening too. Consider this guide a good place to start for your next, or first, adventure in CU.
Road House at The Art Theater Co-op – September 3 at 10pm
For those of you new to the area, there are a number of places to see movies in CU, but the Art Theater Co-op is arguably the best. Whether you’re interested in the newest indie flick that everyone seems to be talking about or if you want to catch a late-night showing of some well-loved classic, this is where you do it. The first Thursday in September brings us a classic film with one of America’s classic hunks: Patrick Swayze. Head out to downtown Champaign for a fun end (or beginning) to your Thursday night and finally understand those jokes from Family Guy.
Ellanora Guitar Festival at Krannert Center – September 10-12
Ellanora is an annual festival celebrating the great guitar and the wide variety of people who play it. There are too many specific shows to mention, but you can probably find something specific you like in the extreme disparity of performers. Of particular note are performances from Drive By Truckers, the well-respected alt-country band, on September 11, Earth, the legendary Seattle drone/doom-metal band, on September 11 (which is free), and Jessica Lea Mayfield, whose minimalist rock jams are a treat, on September 12 (also free). Most events are either free or reasonably priced for students, and the higher priced events are only $10 for students.
Church Booty at Mike N Molly’s – September 11 at 9pm
Champaign-Urbana has a legendary and still-thriving music scene and Church Booty is just one of the amazing local bands that has been tearing it up around here and up in Chicago. This show will be their record release, so expect it to get wild. Whether you like funky music or not, Church Booty is the band to get you moving. Joining them are other well-respected and great acts Mutts, Archie Powell & The Exports, and Jeremy T McConnaha.
Local Flavors Lunch at Common Ground Food Co-op – September 17 at 11am
There are about a billion amazing restaurants in this area and though Common Ground isn’t a restaurant, it is an amazing place to go if you’re a foodie, an environmentalist, or if you want to find a great place to buy fresh, local foods. This event has been going on since the beginning of the summer and gives local eateries the chance to welcome in the community for a freshly prepared, seasonal meal made with local ingredients. Head over to Urbana and get some delicious grub instead of your usual and pick up some great groceries while you’re at it.
Pygmalion Festival – September 23-27
Pygmalion has been bringing artists of all types to CU for 11 years now, and this year is no different. We’ll focus on things that aren’t musicians in this post (though you shouldn’t miss Run the Jewels, Ride, Strand of Oaks, or tUnE-yArDs). U of I students are permitted for free to any of the Tech events scheduled, so you should head over to Krannert to catch Wolfram Research CEO Stephen Wolfram talk about technology at the very least. There’s also a unique gathering of artisans called The Made Fest, so check that out on Saturday and Sunday right next to the Highdive in downtown Champaign for some Christmas or personal shopping. There are a load of writers coming to the event and the Book Fair happens on Saturday at the Blind Pig in downtown Champaign, but we highly suggest catching Pitchfork senior editor Jessica Hopper’s talk on Saturday at Exile on Main Street (also in downtown Champaign) in anticipation of her upcoming book The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic.