Wasted Plains brings Chicago sounds to suburbs


The upcoming Wasted Plains Rock & Roll Revival will bring the sounds of the Chicago clubs to Woodstock. 

In its third year, the festival will feature at least 14 indie bands. 

“These bands are very active there, some of the best Chicago bands,” event organizer Brandon Pacyna said. “Getting them out of their natural environment, the city clubs, to a unique setting like Woodstock, it just gives them a fresh setting, a fresh crowd as well.”

Headlining the event is Hockey, an American indie rock band that originated in Portland, Ore., that has performed at major festivals throughout the nation and appeared on television, including “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.” 

The band recently released its sophomore album, “Wyeth Is,” which has gotten postive reviews, Pacyna said.

Some of the other bands are Cousin Dud, Brother George, Cameron McGill, Roy Ivy Band, Mutts and Blue Ribbon Glee Club, a 22-piece a cappella group that covers classic punk rock songs.

“It’s kind of a selfish endeavor where I bring a lot of bands I like,” Pacyna said.

Unlike in the past when bands performed indoors, most of this year’s festival will be entirely outside in the parking lot at the VFW Post 5040, 240 N. Throop St., Woodstock, where Pacyna works parttime.

“I took feedback from the last year to try to tweak it so everyone involved is having the best time possible,” he said. “People really seem to gravitate toward the outdoors.”

Doors will open at 10 a.m. for kids’ face painting, crafts and games, and the event will feature a full spread of food and drink vendors. Murals painted by local artists featuring Bill Murray, in honor of the filming of “Groundhog Days” in Woodstock, will be auctioned off. 

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., admission is reduced to $5 for adults. Children 13 and younger are free. 

“It’s for local people, who are kind of on the fence and just want to check it out,” Pacyna said.

Those who leave and come back after 2 p.m. will have to pay a re-entry cost of $15. After 2 p.m., the event costs $18 online or $20 at the door. Some of the proceeds will be donated to the VFW, as well as the Environmental Defenders of McHenry County.

Hockey will take the stage last at about 10:30 p.m., and visitors are welcome to stay until standard bar last call.

Pacyna originally organized Wasted Plains after receiving a text from a member of the area band he manages, Cousin Dud, who suggested they throw together an end-of-the-summer bash. Cousin Dud has performed at the festival annually and will take the stage again this year.

“We kind of saw a gap in our town that there was a calling for something a little more alternative and that would cater to the younger crowd,” Pacyna said. 

All bands come from different genres, but share the fact they all are on the rise or emerging in the music scene, he said. 

From its beginning with about 150 visitors to double the crowds last year, the festival is expected to grow even more this year. 

“It’s just kind of an alternative event, something kind of indie, a little different than what’s usually offered to McHenry County,” Pacyna said.

Wasted Plains Rock & Roll Revival

WHEN: Doors open at 10 a.m. Aug. 17 for kids' face painting, games and crafts. Eent continues all day. Headlining act Hockey finishes at 11:30 p.m. Visitors welcome to stay until standard bar last call.

WHERE: VFW Post 5040, 240 N. Throop St., Woodstock

INFO: $18 for adults online; $20 at the door; children 13 and younger are free. Information: 815-861-5628 or www.wastedplains.com

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