Hannah McCarthy

ART Milwaukee’s Eastside Music Tour makes Brady festive

Brady Street's venues play host to more than 50 bands Saturday, to support Cass Street School.

By - Feb 28th, 2013 04:00 am

Milwaukee is the undisputed land of the festival, and especially in the summer, it’s hard to find a week without one. If summer seems too far off, try Brady Street this weekend, for the first annual Eastside Music Tour.

The Tour isn’t your typical music festival: It’s entirely indoors, based within the 50+ establishments partnering with ART Milwaukee, the creators of the festival. Each location, from bars to restaurants to boutiques, will feature an individual arts, letting patrons see the bands in an intimate setting while getting to know business owners on a personal level.

“The tour is driven to first showcase local musicians, but also to integrate the businesses and is driven toward the community itself,” said Jeremy Fojut, president of ART Milwaukee. “For a local business, the hardest thing to do is get people in the door.”

Fojut said that ART Milwaukee decided to funnel this year’s profits to the Cass Street School, just a block south of the main street. The funds will be donated to restoring a collection of animal sculptures commissioned over 10 years ago.

This sculpture, from Cass Street School, is one of many to be refurbished using the profits of the Eastside Music Tour. Photo courtesy the website of sculptor Marina Lee.

With over nine blocks of venues, there’s bound to be a show you’ll enjoy. Each band is paired with an appropriate venue to draw the right crowd. For example, high energy live hip hop group Fresh Cut Collective will play the happening Redlight Trocadero, while the synth-driven Fatty Acids will perform at the also-sort-of-indie Up and Under. Of course, some combinations are more eclectic than others – like the pairing of DJ Night Visitor and cheese steak mecca Philly Way, for example.

Among their other merchandising efforts, including (sold-out) t-shirts, ART Milwaukee is bringing back the fanny pack. When you purchase a ticket, you get an accompanying fanny pack, containing schedules, specials and showtimes, to wear as your stamp of admission throughout the day. “We’ve been trying to figure out a way to use a fanny pack for the past three years,” Fojut said with a touch of irony. “It’s a great way to hold your merchandise.”

The Eastside Music Tour begins at 4 p.m. Saturday, March 2. Tickets are $15, and the accompanying fanny packs/t-shirts are required to be admitted to all performances. To order, visit the site; tickets and merchandise can be picked up at Club Brady from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday. Art Milwaukee is hosting this evening in collaboration with Pabst, MKEBKELocal Playlist and the local businesses of Brady Street. For a full list of participating artists and venues, click here. 

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