Since 2005, the programming at PYGMALION has sought to engage its community of Champaign-Urbana, Illinois with the newest and most vital live music it can afford.

Over the years, it has grown from simply being a music festival, and into a multi-disciplinary event. In 2018, it has expanded once again. In addition to Music, Literature, Technology, Food, and a Made Fest,  we bring Comedy and Podcasts to the forefront as well.

The nature of modern “festivals” has become so passé, we barely recognize the word, and choose not to use it any longer. Of course PYGMALION is a festival, one that looks like any other, on its face. I mean, look at the poster. There’s a lot of names there, a lot of bands, and artists. There are sponsors, of course there are!

But peer a bit longer, hold your gaze for a moment, and find the website, and you will learn about activations and programming that are both unique to our community, and challenging to the attendee.

Watch Tesla Coils at work in a gorgeous amphitheatre. Check out a book disguised as a person at the “Human Library.” Join dozens of women as they participate in an “Editathon” to help balance Wikipedia. Take a moment to see the history of the Cahokia Mounds through an interactive demo. Listen to Safiya Noble discuss how racism has permeated our search engines. Disrupt technology at PygHack. Go on a neighborhood pizza tour with Steve Dolinsky from ABC-7 Chicago. Spend an evening sipping cortado and listening to people bare their souls at the Poetry Marathon. Ask Luis Alberto Urrea about his latest tome. Listen to the brilliant minds from Last Podcast on the Left showcase where we’ve been and where we are going. Talk to one of our Mayors about the same thing.

And yes, of course, watch artists perform live music, in small intimate theaters and venues where no seat is a bad seat, and where drink prices look as they should. We’ve got a few dozen great acts to present to you this year, spanning genres from hip hop to bluegrass to EDM to indie rock and more.

But please, feel compelled to seek more out of this once a year event in the odd college town of Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. Whether you live here, or study here, or are just here for the weekend, we can assure you, after fourteen fucking years of presenting it — and having attended hundreds of festivals ourselves — this space is memorable, and affordable, and worth your time, if you are interested in learning about who we are, and why we are, and how we’re going to keep being meaningful as we live out our lives.

Sorry for being so dramatic — we really really care about what we do. And we hope you will join us.

— Seth Fein: Founder; Co-Producer

— Patrick Singer: Co-Producer

— Justine Fein-Bursoni: Founder of The Made Fest

— Ryan Videtich: Director of Operations