Posts tagged with "Music Fest"

DJ illustration by Alex Bogdan for use by 360 Magazine

The Underground Chicago Review

By: Emily Bunn × Vaughn Lowery

360 Magazine was invited to Chicago’s most-exclusive nightclub for an evening of merrymaking, music and memories. The Underground Chicago recently reopened last weekend after a fifteen-month lockdown and is yet again revitalizing Chicago’s VIP social scene. The choice club for A-listers– including celebrities like Justin Bieber, UsherLaBron James, David BeckhamWill.I.Am, and Miley Cyrus– The Underground consistently delivers elevated experiences surrounding music, cocktails, fashion, art and design. Entrepreneur and owner of The Underground, Billy Dec, comments on the club’s long-awaited re-opening:

The COVID pandemic has wiped out many live music and nightclub venues across the country,” says Dec. “Historically, nightclubs have had a pivotal role in cultural evolution. The Underground family fought to stay alive and reopen because we see it as a major responsibility—it’s our duty to elevate our community platform so people can come together to celebrate music, fashion, dance, art and design. After an unprecedented and impactful run, we look forward to constantly elevating and innovating our industry and The Underground experience fueled with excitement, creativity, service and positive energy.”

The vibrant ambiance of The Underground reflected the colorful diversity of guests inside, all of which were busy unleashing their signature moves on the packed dance floor. The discotheque throbbed with ecstatic energy and heavy bass lines all night long. A state-of-the-art sound system blared trendy music across all corners of the club for all to hear. The ambiance of the tunes was complimented by thrilling pyrotechnics and digital screens that projected artsy flicks.

Upon arriving at the legendary establishment, 360 Magazine was greeted with service from hospitable, welcoming staff members– including security and a stylish porter. On the particular night we visited, Lil Jon made a star appearance. Lil Jon, the musical mastermind behind releases such as Turn Down for What, Get Low, Cyclone, and Alive (with Offset and 2 Chainz), filled the club with energy and exuberance. Soundscapes swelled across every crowded corner of the club as the rapper delivered an incredible performance.

Lil Jon wasn’t the only celebrity guest, as he performed alongside Emmy award-winning TV host, actor and personality, Billy Dec. Dec also is the restaurateur and owner of the iconic nightclub but is best known for his roles in “Chicagoland,” “Mollywood,” “One Small Hitch,” and “Adventures in the Sin Bin,” among others. Dec has also appearance on many national broadcast programs, including NBC’s Today Show and NBC Today in Nashville.

Looking ahead, Dec is set to open The Underground’s sister venue, The Underground Cocktail Club. Scheduled to open over Lollapalooza weekend (July 30-Aug 1), this new establishment will feature a separate entrance to The Underground’s building and emphasize the nostalgic, vintage appeal of the 1920’s. The Underground Cocktail Club will focus on creating innovative cocktails and featuring more live performances. Next time 360 Magazine comes to Chicago, we can’t wait to have another memorable, lively night at the Underground.

Coachella illustration by Sara Davidson for use by 360 Magazine

Keeping Believing: A Farewell Festival

By: Emily Bunn 

On Friday July 2nd, The Trolley Car Café, in collaboration with GoBelieve Culture Network and Music of the Covenant, hosted Keeping Believing: A Farewell Festival. The long-standing Trolley Car Café, a treasured establishment nestled on South Ferry Road in East Falls, Philadelphia, permanently closed on Wednesday June 30th. The café’s General Managers, Emily-Rachael and Jasmine, organized the festival in commemoration of the much-loved eatery, and many staff members and café regulars came out to revel in the festivities. Emily-Rachael, who is involved with both the café and GoBelieve, spoke with 360 Magazine about her original envisioning behind the festival.

Emily-Rachael explained that the café’s owner wanted to give someone the opportunity to do something new with the space as a last hoorah before closing. As Emily-Rachael is starting her own business and Jasmine is moving to Florida to be with family, the General Managers wanted to come together before parting ways and starting new business ventures.

Trolley Car Café was involved in a lot of community service programs and non-profits. It was one of GoBelieve’s sponsors throughout the whole last year, and were one of the main reasons that [GoBelieve] was able to make it through coronavirus.”

Some of the specific charitable organizations that the Trolley Car has worked with in the past include GoBelieve, Helping Hands, local little league teams, and the East Falls Development Corporation. Trolley Car has hosted community events, such as the Fringe Festival, open mic events, and salsa nights. The adored establishment functioned as a community center in East Falls, bringing together local residents with lively entertainment and mouth-watering eats. Emily-Rachael continued explaining how the Trolley Car Café was a community landmark in East Falls:

The Trolley Car was very much about the people. In honor of all that Trolley Car has done, we threw this Farewell Festival just to commemorate the good times. 

We just had a GoBelieve concert during corona, it sold out on [the café’s] patio. The Trolley Car was our sponsor [then], it was really fun and great. Most of the people you see here [tonight] were there, but some had got turned away because of covid-restrictions. At the time, we could only sell 50 tickets. But [tonight’s] event sold about 67 tickets and there are 25 people on the guest list.   

We invited all of the staff from the Trolley Car to come out and celebrate all that we’ve accomplished together. It’s been a fun time and we just want to bring some life and energy to the world now that its back open. [Farewell Festival] is a good chance for everyone to come out and see how important community is and how much you can do, even just with one restaurant.”

The community based event featured performers TooKnow, Gobbana, Goldmine, and Josh Ketchum. Aside from Ketcham, the event exclusively featured local musicians, many of whom were long time customers of the Trolley Car Café.

360 Magazine had a fantastic time at the Friday night festival, as we were immediately greeted by friendly event staff upon arrival. Though some rain caused a delay to the beginning of the festivities, the venue grounds featured family fun for all before the live music. Activities featured included a water balloon toss, dart games, giant connect four, ring toss, and a merchandise tent. The merchandize included t-shirt selections from performers GobbanaTooKnow, and the event’s sponsor, GoBelieve.

As media at the event, 360 was afforded the privilege of attending as VIP guests. The VIP ticket included bottle service in an exclusive tent for other VIP attendees, a drink ticket for the bar, arcade tokens, and a festival photo station ticket. In the tent, covered tarps allowed us to stay dry from the participation in the beginning of the night. We enjoyed the VIP area’s large selection of alcohol, which included Fireball, Screwball, Rose, Jim Bean, Gray Goose, and a fruity rose. Outside of the VIP area, the festival’s bar served beers including Corona Premier and Yuengling Lager, hard seltzers, and wine. Additionally, house made cocktails, including rum punch and spiked blueberry lavender lemonade were available.

For dinner, we enjoyed a vegan vegetable risotto and chicken strips. The meal was warm, delicious, and most importantly, served with a smile as the community bonded over the restaurant’s famous hospitality and home-cooked entrees.

One of the highlights of Farewell Festival was the photo station. Guests could post in front of a tower of balloons and take commemorative festival flicks. Positioned in front of the Schuylkill River, the photo station showed off the festival’s stunning waterfront views.

Once the weather cleared up, the festival began with a bang as the audience participated in interactive dances. Featuring iconic dance bops like the “Cupid Shuffle” and the “Wobble,” the event’s staff, guests, and even the performers themselves unleashed their moves on the outdoor dance floor. The tight knit community of the Trolley Car Café regulars stomped, shook, and boogied the evening away, creating a strong sense of community at the festival.

After the audience got their groove on, the first performer of the night TooKnow electrified guests with a suave, coordinated hip-hop performance. The four members of the group were adorned in matching outfits, and moved as one while performing with effortless flow and rhythm. The hip-hop group’s performance even featured some performance art, as members of the group engaged in a fake confrontation while on stage, illustrating the story behind their lyricism.

Following the evocative performance of TooKnow was rap duo Goldmine. With fluid flow and fresh freestyles, Brian Golden and Hue Hinton energetically took the festival stage. The rap group became involved with the fest as they had won a music competition hosted by Gobbana. Golden and Hinton exchanged bars during their performance, collaborating to create an auditory experience for Farewell Festival’s audience.

The third act of the night was Josh Ketchum, who had travelled from Connecticut to perform at the festival. The solo artist graced the event’s stage with his soulful acoustic guitar and poignant lyricism. His setlist included a passionate cover of Nirvana’s “Come As You Are,” stirring up a sense of 90’s nostalgia within the Farewell Festival’s audience.

Headlining the festival, the final performance of the night featured rap star Gobbana. The enthralling performer captivated guests with his dynamic ability. TooKnow again returned to the grandstand at the beginning of Gobbana’s performance, the two groups masterfully melding together as they delivered flowing choruses. Later in his set, Gobbana enraptured the audience independently with his constructed rhymes. During the final song of the rapper’s performance, he invited his girlfriend on stage as his illustrious lyricism told the story of their growing family.

The festival ended on a strong sense of family and unity- two sentiments that were echoed throughout the production of the entire night. Farewell Festival brought together energetic Philadelphians who are passionate about supporting their community, non-profits, and local musicians. While rain originally delayed the night’s events, the community dancing and music continued long into the evening, even after Gobbana’s performance. Reminiscent of a block party, Music of the Covenant’s Farewell Festival celebrated unity within East Fall’s diverse coterie of music lovers. As this festival was the final event to be hosted by the Trolley Car Café, it truly commemorated and encapsulated how the venue has long supported and brought together Philadelphians.

Music of the Covenant's Keep Believing: A Farewell Festival image via Emily Bunn for use by 360 Magazine

COVID 19 by Symara Wilson for 360 Magazine, Covid Travel restriction

Coronavirus Mutations × U.S. Travel Restrictions

By: Emily Bunn

A breaking news article featured in The New York Times announced that the United States will be imposing a mandatory requirement for negative COVID-19 test results from all incoming, international travelers. The requirement for proof of a negative test in order to fly will begin Tuesday, January 25th.

The CDC has ordered for all travelers to provide proof of a negative test taken no more than 3 days before their travels. Without documentation of a negative test or documentation of recovery supplemented with a letter from a health care provider or public health official, passengers will be prohibited to fly.

The United States is not the only country to be putting in place tighter travel regulations. Due to new mutations of the virus, many countries are adopting stricter border protocol. The New York Times reports:

“Even as the United States moved to impose travel restrictions, citing the danger of the fast-moving variants, a case of the variant spreading in Brazil was identified in Minnesota.”

Variations of the virus in Brazil and South Africa, due to international travel, both pose the threat of COVID-19 mutating. If the virus does mutate, it is potential that the new strain of such will be unreactive to current vaccination efforts.

The New York Times reports that Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, an adviser to President Biden, has commented: “With the world travel that you have, and the degree of transmissibility efficiency, it’s not surprising.” Further, President Biden has broadcasted a ban on travel by all non-citizens into the United States from South Africa, the U.K., Ireland, and 26 other European countries.

An article published today on AP News reported that in attempts to increase vaccination efforts, President Biden announced that his administration is planning to purchase 100 million doses of each of the approved coronavirus vaccines–Pfizer and Moderna. Vaccination deliveries to states will be surged for the next three weeks. The Biden administration has announced that they plan to vaccinate 300 million citizens by the end of summer, as reported by The New York Times.

The President, in a White House briefing on January 26th, commented on importance of increasing vaccination supplies to help Americans:

“And to a nation waiting for action, let me be clearest on this point: Help is on the way.  We can do this if we come together, if we listen to the scientists.”

These efforts come at an especially critical time, as the global number of coronavirus cases has surpassed 100 million, reports The Wall Street Journal. However, that has been recent speculation regarding the accuracy of that number. In New York, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration has been accused of undercounting the amount of coronavirus deaths that occurred at nursing homes. A report released by Letitia James, the Attorney General of New York, shows that the coronavirus death count appears to have been cut by approximately 50 percent. The report compares the number of facility deaths publicized by the Department of Health–1,229 deaths, versus the number of facility deaths reported the Office of Attorney General–1,914 deaths. This staggering discrepancy between reported deaths has spurred suspicion against Cuomo, and the Office of Attorney General (OAG) is conducting an on-going investigation concerning the cause of these variances.

However, there is still hope. In Los Angeles, Governor Gavin Newsom rescinded the county’s stay-at-home order this past Monday, reports The Los Angeles Times. This new jurisdiction will allow for all counties in California to return to the four-tier, colored-coded system of assessing coronavirus risk. Lifting the imposed stay-at-home order could allow for the reopening of personal care services and outdoor dining. While LA has been particularly hard hit by coronavirus, the city actually has a higher vaccination rate than most other comparable cities in the U.S. The New York Times reports that “83 percent of the doses the city has received have been administered, compared with 74 percent in New York City; 52 percent in Bexar County, which includes San Antonio; and 58 percent of the doses ordered in Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix.”

While the coronavirus situation is still being closely tracked and monitored, hospitalizations and the number of patients in ICUs have been steadily declining. With hospitalizations at their national lowest since December 13th and an increase in vaccination efforts, there is progress to be recognized, despite current setbacks and uncertainties.

Despite progress in vaccination efforts and decreasing corona virus cases, new virus mutations pose critical cause for concern. In countries across the Asia-Pacific region, a new, more infectious variant–the Delta variant–is causing stay-at-home orders to be again put into place. This new variant was first identified in India, and has quickly been spreading. As restrictions begin yet again, countries across the globe are grappling with the harrowing fate that the pandemic is far from over.

In some major Australian cities, such as Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, and Darwin, residents have been forced into strict lockdowns. Flights are even being banned due to the new threat, with Hong Kong barring British entry. Indefinite stay-at-home orders were extended by the Malaysian government on Monday. In Malaysia, the new variant is especially threatening, as only 6% of the country’s residents are fully vaccinated, reports the New York Times.

India has faced a devastating, major second wave of coronavirus due to the Delta Plus variant, a sub-lineage of the Delta variant. This past spring, the dangerous variant caused thousands of deaths per day, and forced residents into partial stay-at-home orders, yet again. Much like in Malaysia, in India only 5% of the population is fully vaccinated. In fear of a third wave of the virus, Maharashtra’s chief minister, Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray, has authorized the use of a fourth vaccine in an attempt to increase vaccination supplies.

In good news, the Covid-19 vaccination is largely effective against the new Delta variant. However, this Delta variant is 50 percent more contagious than several of the other variants of concern, such as the Alpha variant.

As countries continue reopening, people look toward high vaccination rates to change the coronavirus game. In the U.S. and Britain, officials are planning to, or already have, lift most pandemic restrictions. White House secretary, Jen Psaki, recently announced that the United States would send two million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to Peru. Additionally, the U.S. looks to send 2.5 million doses of the Moderna vaccine to Pakistan. A third shipment of 1.5 million Moderna vaccination doses will be sent to Honduras from the United States.

Looking ahead to this weekend, July 30-Aug 1, 2021, the return of  a major musical festival threatens a super-spreader event. The highly infectious variant of COVID-19 has again created a surge in the number of recent coronavirus cases. As festival fans migrate to Chicago for Lollapalooza – the first of which held since 2019 – the Windy City braces for the potentially devastating impact.

Fortunately, the festival is taking several precautions to prevent the spread of the virus. All attendees must be fully vaccinated or show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of event entry. However, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns that not all guests will be honest about meeting these requirements.

The head of the BBB, Steve Bernas, warns of the potential for festival scammers who fabricate fake vaccine cards and negative test results. “We anticipate a double whammy this year not only the tickets but also the vaccine cards,” Bernas said in a statement. “The scammers will be out in full force.” He continues, cautioning ticket buyers to be on high-alert: “Just like finding tickets, there are countless ways for consumers to find vaccinations cards online, with online marketplaces, ticket sellers, resellers and the like…and unfortunately, some of them are rip-offs”

One of Chicago’s top coronavirus experts, Dr. Emily Landon, also weighed in on the weekend’s festivities. She argues that Lollapalooza’s 72-hour testing window is too lenient, and that the city is inviting in a massive spike of cases by holding the concert. NBC Chicago reports that Dr. Emily Landon commented, “Lolla has let us down with respect to how vigorously they’re restricting people based on the things that they sort of initially told us (about how) ‘we’re going to be really strict’ and now it’s like they’ve lightened up quite considerably on checking vaccines and negative tests.”

Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady expressed concerns similar to Dr. Emily Landon’s. Recognizing the importance of getting vaccinated, she commented the following in a coronavirus update last week: “We want people to have a good time and we want this to be as safe as it can be…And so certainly we’ll be watching that just as we do any other gathering, but I am more concerned about the many people who have not chosen the COVID vaccine.”

Still, Chicago’s mayor and top doctor still haven’t wavered their support for the much-loved music festival. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot expressed her desire the event to occur as safely as possible, though she didn’t comment on the recent uptick in case numbers and coronavirus hospitalizations. NBC 5 Chicago reports on the current coronavirus statistics in the city:

“Chicago’s average daily number of new cases rose to 130 per day early Monday – a 76% jump compared to last week. The city’s average daily case rate was at 90 per day last week and 41 per day the week before that, meaning it’s more than tripled in roughly three weeks. However, it is still significantly lower than the more than 700 cases per day the city was seeing earlier this year and last, before vaccines were widely available.”

Additional safety measures, including mandatory mask-wearing on public transport, will also be enforced. The Chicago Transit Authority is offering reduced ticket rates this weekend for Lollapalooza travelers.

As Summer winds down, COVID-19 cases are beginning to rise yet again. Several virus variants, including the new Lambda variant, are causing major concern among Americans. In an attempt to quell concern, several cities have launched vaccine passport programs.

Across the United States, metropolitan hubs including New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans are requiring residents to show proof of vaccination before entering indoor spaces. That means that visiting gyms, concerts, restaurants, and more will require citizens to have both of their required vaccination shots. Vaccine passports are not being put in place to stop public gatherings, but are intended to creater safer enviroments outside of one’s home.

However, many Americans are opting to stay indoors yet again, thanks to new variant threats. The Lambda variant, which was first detected in Peru and is quckly spreading through South America, is causing concern among citizens. The New York Times reports that “On June 14, the World Health Organization designated it as a “variant of interest,” meaning, essentially, that experts suspect it could be more dangerous than the original strain.

However, it has been reported that the Lambda variant is likely not as contagious as other deadly virus mutuations, like the Delta variant. And fortunately, the Lambda variant is able to be combatted by the vaccines that have currently rolled out across the U.S. The New York Times records the climbing numbers of the Lambda variant, “As of mid-June, Lambda had been reported in 29 countries, territories or areas, according to a June 15 update from the W.H.O. The variant had been detected in 81 percent of coronavirus samples sequenced in Peru since April, and 31 percent of those in Chile to date, the agency said.” However, assessing the virus has been difficult due to Latin America’s limited ability to conduct geonomic surveillance and follow-up laboratory studies, reports the NYT. Scientists and medical professionals around the world are currently conducting research to better understand this new variant and its implications.

HotelPlanner’s Delta Variant Coverage:

America’s comeback is in jeopardy. The Delta variant is surging, prompting concerns that we need another lockdown. Travel executives are already huddling, discussing potential next steps to both protect guests and their businesses’ bottom lines. Americans were traveling in record numbers, and people are wondering if this could slow down the sector. How could the Delta variant, and other emerging variants, impact travel?

“We are watching the rapid uptick in Delta variant case infections closely, says Tim Hentschel, Co-Founder and CEO of HotelPlanner. “Although some families may choose to curtail their summer travel plans, we remain confident that the vast majority of Americans who were planning to travel this summer will keep their plans, while exercising more caution with crowds and destination selection. For those who are already vaccinated, the Delta variant shouldn’t be a deterrent to summer travel because they should be protected.”

ABOUT HOTELPLANNER

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Founded in 2004, HotelPlanner has enduring partnerships with the world’s largest Online Travel Agencies, well-known hotel chains, individual hotels, online wedding providers, ancillary lodging providers, corporations, sports franchises, universities, and government agencies.

AGENDA FESTIVAL

Clear your calendars for Saturday, June 30th because the Agenda Festival [AF] is returning to Long Beach, California for it’s second year.

AF is a one-day event of pop-ups and performances by some of today’s hottest new brands/artists. Here’s the line-up: Brockhampton, Lil Yachty, Billie Eilish, Fidlar, Yung Lean, Lecrae, Denzel Curry, Na-kel Smith and Spaghetti Boys.

This year’s venue will feature 500+ vendors, live panels, podcasts, skateparks and food trucks. Top level sponsors include: Beats by Dre, Remy Martin, Herschel, Champion, Levi’s, G Shock, New Balance, The Hundreds, Dickies, Mountain Dew.

360 Magazine will be conducting a social giveaway for a pair of GA tickets. To enter, just follow @Agenda on Instagram and comment #360Magazine and #AgendaFestival. Winners wil be announced Tuesday, June 26th. They can collect their passes under their names with proof of ID at WILL CALL.