The hype leading up to the first of November was thick as could be for the highly-anticipated month-long festival series, 30 Days in Chicago put on by Red Bull Sound Select. A month later, it definitely lived up to and exceeded expectations, in turn bringing together the city’s arts and music community with an array of shows and events from the country’s best and brightest.
Walking into the Riviera Theater in the city’s Uptown neighborhood last Thursday night felt like a blast from past, from a time when live shows were both a chance to see new or popular artists and a community event stitching together disparate parts of the city under a singular appreciation. It may have helped that the venue itself if a genuine relic from a time before cell phones and social media. It felt Chicago. The packed house got in early and turned to a fever pitch for Lil Yachty, who had fans dancing all the way to the top of the oversized theater. Following that, Migos rattled off a long list of hits, closing out the month of concerts on as high of a note as could be expected. In many ways, the final show was a perfect embodiment of the impact that Red Bull’s Chicago experiment had on the local scene and beyond.
A weekend of performances is a huge undertaking, a month of shows one after the next was a huge undertaking that Red Bull pulled off excellently throughout. Creating experiences that were more than the on-stage acts, the brand was able to pull from the larger renaissance and shining a spotlight on local visual artists, designers, entrepreneurs and many more including the likes of Emma McKee, Runsy and Zoe Rain, who were all part of a pre-November documentary piece highlighting local talent outside the scope of music. The word ’empower’ is often tossed around with ease as of late. A term meant to describe the way ones action help enable another’s, it couldn’t be more fitting for the sentiment that was left by the 30 Days In Chicago series. Every show, every performance was a professional setting with a continued theme that at once put forward artistry from Chicago while also serving as an inspiration for those on their way up next.
It would be a lot to try to break down each and every show, but we’ve included some photos from the sets all on here for you to check out, with more available at 30 Days In Chicago’s website. While there may have been some skepticism of how this past month was going to go, Red Bull proved that it is a well-oiled machine capable of touching on the subtle details to make a show special. Here’s to the next one.