Skokie's Backlot Bash has now booked all 17 music acts for its annual three-day street festival, set for August 23-25, 2019. This year’s event features one of the Bash’s strongest-ever musical lineups from top to bottom, featuring outstanding rock, folk, blues, funk, soul, honky tonk, and rockabilly acts.
Friday, August 23
The Bash begins on Friday night with Mike Coy in the beer tent at 6 p.m. Mike is a veteran of the Backlot Bash as a member of The Bon Mots and Statutes of Liberty. He will be performing solo acoustic rock hits and oddities.
Chicago power-pop legends Material Issue are reformed and will take the main stage at 6:45 p.m., revisiting songs like "Valerie Loves Me," from their 1991 hit album International Pop Overthrow.
Headlining the night will be New Jersey rock band The Smithereens with guest vocalist, ‘80s hitmaker Marshall Crenshaw. The band is known for power pop hits such as “A Girl Like You” and "Only a Memory." The band goes on at 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, August 24
The biggest unexpected treat of the entire weekend might just be Cameroonian bass player Gros Ngolle Pokossi and his trio at 1 p.m. on the main stage. He is known not only for original Afrobeat tunes, but also for reworking jazz standards, with vocals sung in English and the two regional languages of Cameroon: Bakaka and Doula. Let’s just predict right now that this band will be a stone groove.
Folk rock vocalist Linda Marie Smith will appear on the beer tent stage at 2 p.m., followed by Mississippi blues guitarist Fruteland Jackson on the main stage at 3 p.m. At 4 p.m in the beer tent, check out folk and blues singer-songwriter Shelley Miller.
The evening heats up on the main stage at 5 p.m. with Mike Zabrin’s Funktastic, followed by Kent Rose in the beer tent playing stellar classic honky tonk and country at 6 p.m.
At 6:45 p.m., back on the main stage, catch the swinging pop and soul of The Imperial Sound, made up of an all-star lineup of local musicians from legendary acts such as The New Duncan Imperials and Devil in a Woodpile. At 8:30 p.m. on the main stage, the Bash welcomes ‘70s California funk superstars and three-time Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominees, WAR. Their hits include “Low Rider,” “Cisco Kid,” “Why Can’t We Be Friends” and “Spill the Wine.”
Sunday, August 25
Bluegrass band Company Strangers kickoff Sunday at 1 p.m. on the main stage, followed by national fingerstyle champion and jazz guitarist Eric Lugosch at 2 p.m. in the beer tent.
The Backlot Bash welcomes back Chicago’s utterly electric Bailey Dee, performing blues and rockabilly at 3 p.m. on the main stage. At 4 p.m., folk rocker Dan Fulkerson plays in the beer tent, followed by the Chicago blues, swing and vintage rock n' roll of Morry Sochat & The Special 20s at 5 p.m. on the main stage.
Bringing the Bash to its traditional main stage close at 6:30 p.m. will be Tributosaurus, a collection of some of Chicago’s finest studio musicians, who for 90 minutes will become The Rolling Stones.
Skokie’s Backlot Bash will also host a carnival midway, a large beer tent, the Backlot Dash 5K Run, a children's stage and kid's activities at the Skokie Public Library, classic films, a classic auto show, a bingo tent, a dunk tank, exhibits at the Skokie Heritage Museum –– and on Sunday, a farmer's market and the Rotary Pancake Breakfast from 8-11 a.m., featuring a bloody mary & mimosa bar.
So plan to make a weekend of it, because downtown Skokie will be music and fun central this summer!
See the music schedule here.
Skokie's Backlot Bash is presented by the Skokie Park District, the Village of Skokie, the Skokie Public Library, the Skokie Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Niles Township High School District 219.