Pick your poison—beer, wine or water. Copious amounts of ganja aromatized the humid air abutting Chicago’s Near West Side. Free cotton candy coursed through concertgoers’ veins. The Birdhouse Festival‘s unreal sound quality made up for its parking lot party tackiness: a dunk tank, Skee-Ball machine plus an arts and crafts table. Two women held a red-black Chicago Shufflers‘ flag on the outskirts of their crew’s oddly precise dance circle. I invested in one $10 gold Dirtybird egg pin to stick on the TroyBoi “Do You ❤ Me?” dad cap I’ll never wear.

Bristol’s crowned cuddler also tech house wizard Will Clarke bopped his head, beard and “big booty” to the beat. Dirtybird daddy Claude VonStroke surprised supporters with a b2b Derrick Carter blowout; Chicago cosmopolite Carter is regarded as one of the best underground house pioneers. Subsequently spending some much-needed quality time with some Mud City trailblazers, DNMO plus Proppa‘s management team Audisbliss, Chicago Music Festivals‘ founder Jerry Kamysz, Birthdayy Partyy also ELEVATD, revealed my underlying gratitude for these next-generation movers and shakers.

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