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What to expect at South By South Bend

| Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Web_Banner_SXSBEmily Hoffmann | The Observer

With spring finally gracing the Bend, we know two things for certain: summer is coming and so is festival season. As a self-regarded festival junkie, I cannot get enough of ‘em. Just ten days ago I was prancing along the Coachellan Polo Fields and a few weeks before, it was Claude Vonstroke who had my heart at Ultra during Miami Music Week. Now that I’ve confessed my trade, I’ll share a well-known secret: the festival of the season will be here in South Bend. 

South By South Bend. You heard that right — not South West, in Austin. If you claim to know anything about music, you know the local scene is always where the magic happens. In its second year, SBSB not only brings a festival to Notre Dame’s doorstep, but will provide students the opportunity to interact and experience the greater community at it’s finest. 

Taking place May 8 – May 11, SBSB is particularly unique because it will bridge “a celebration of live original music” in different settings throughout South Bend. This means you could catch John Cyrus perform “Nothing Good Comes Easy” at the Indiana Rug Co., pop in and see Will Murray while enjoying some excellent chai at the South Bend Chocolate Café and still make it to the Suite 11 at the East Bank Emporium in time to watch IAMBAND perform “Closure,” all in an evening’s work.

Another band on my personal lineup include The Underhills, an acoustic group working with banjo, fiddle, mandolin and dobro to produce an exceptional blend between the feel-good folk of Gillian Welch and deep-wooded bluegrass. On Friday night, DJ Chuck Fry will be spinning fresh beats at the South Bend Drum Co. all evening, following anticipated sets by Infinite Buffalo and the ever-exciting Flint Eastwood. 

Besides the music, everyone knows that festivals are about the culture and the community, which is what Dan Courtney, a student member of The Bridge Project at Notre Dame is most excited about. 

“South By South Bend will bring the downtown area and surrounding neighborhoods to life in ways students have not seen before,” Courtney said. “This will be the weekend of the year to celebrate South Bend’s great music, food, and community.”

 Indeed, the varying restaurants and locales involved with the festival serve as strong examples of why South Bend is thriving more and more each day.

 While other festivals may leave you bored with the same locale from year to year, SBSB will not disappoint, as more than 10 locations besides the central downtown hub will be in full-fledged throws come next week. Courtney also highlighted how South By South Bend boasts a wide variety in its music selection, ranging from the Paul Erdman Bands’ Southern gospel and country sounds to The Rutabega’s Elliot Smith-esque traditional folk for the layman, both of whom he is excited to see. 

South By South Bend is not something you want to miss. South By South Bend will allow you to become a better resident and well-acquainted with the music scene in the community. The best festival experiences are always the ones you allow to manifest on their own. So grab a friend, plop down at a bar stool and discover new music, friends and connections (after all, you cannot possibly listen to that Flume remix one more time). 

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