Where: Ukrainian Village
Chicago is known for its summer block parties—they draw big-name musicians, thousands of attendees, and offer some of the best street food in the state. These summer block parties, however, are characterized by crowded spaces, sunburned legs, and lack of shade. What if you could still enjoy outdoor events without risking heatstroke? It seems unlikely—Chicago temperatures shift dramatically between “too hot to move” or “too cold to care.”
Well, here’s the thing—the cold doesn’t stop this city. The Empty Bottle—a popular, punk-tinged Ukrainian Village bar—hosts its annual winter block party every February. Sponsored by Goose Island beer and Dark Matter Coffee, attendees can sip brews of all temperatures while rocking out to garage, punk, and metal. Additionally, next door Bite Café, one of Chicago’s best brunch restaurants, joins in on the fun, serving chili outside from the Annual Chili-Synth Cook Off reigning champion. Chili sales and a portion of the event proceeds will go to benefit Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.
Previous years have seen The Oh Sees, C.H.E.W., METZ, Screaming Females, Heavy Times, and Diarrhea Planet. Can’t feel your fingers just a few minutes into a set? Warm up inside the bar and dance yourself warm with Lumpen Radio DJs. 2018 marks The Empty Bottle’s fifth year of Music Frozen Dancing. Hosted in the dead of winter, the mini-festival is free and, unlike the venue’s other events, open to all ages.