Local music at heart of this fest
BY DENISE M. BARAN-UNLAND Correspondent August 21, 2013 1:18PM
Vocalist Paige DeChausse (right) and lead guitarist Nick Boettcher of Paige and The Reverent Few perform at last year's Hopstring Fest. They will return for this year's event on Aug. 24. | Supplied photo
If you go
What: Hopstring Fest
When: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday
Where: Silver Cross Field, 1 Mayor Art Schultz Drive, Joliet
Etc: Craft beer, food vendors and the music of Miles Nielsen & The Rusted Hearts, The Steepwater Band, John Condron & The Old Gang Orchestra, Magic Box, Righteous Hillbillies, Chicago Farmer, Ed Anderson, The Regressors, Paige & The Reverent Few, Matt Biskie, Allison Moroni Flood, Villains Company, Chris Corkery, Tom & Becky, Alex Hoffer and Chris Flood.
Tickets: $20, available at Chicago Street Pub, 75 N. Chicago St., Joliet; Joliet Slammers box office at Silver Cross Field, or visit www.hopstringfest.com.
Updated: September 23, 2013 1:52PM
Without Norman Cipolle, Will County might not have experienced its first roots rock music and craft beer festival.
The late Cipolle, a registered pharmacist and co-owner of Crest Pharmacy in Crest Hill, introduced his grandson Mike Trizna to a wide variety of musical styles, including bluegrass and Dixieland jazz.
The result is Hopstring Fest, which takes place from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday at Silver Cross Field in Joliet.
“We didn’t know anyone in the area that had done something like this,” said Trizna, co-owner with his wife, Kathy Trizna, of Chicago Street Pub in Joliet, a venue known for showcasing original local music instead of cover bands. “So instead of sitting back and waiting for someone else to do it, we thought, ‘Why not us?’ ”
Festgoers can expect a crowd. Trizna said he sold 1,800 tickets last year and at least 1,200 so far for Saturday’s event.
Genres for this year’s lineup — all Illinois-based bands — include blues, bluegrass, southern rock and “good old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll.”
Headlining the event is Miles Nielsen & The Rusted Hearts. Nielsen is the son of Rick Nielsen, lead guitarist for Cheap Trick.
“Almost all the bands will have some kind of roots in folk music. I wouldn’t call it a ‘folk fest’ by any means,” Trizna said, “but there will be a whole lot of acoustic guitar out there.”
The day is as family friendly as it can get. Besides the lack of explicit lyrics, the event will feature a jungle gym, a bounce house and games such as bags and Frisbee. Patrons may sit on chairs and picnic tables in the shelter areas or place blankets and folding chairs on the grass.
“Just make yourselves comfortable and stay all day,” Trizna said. “If you have to drop the kids off somewhere or get a baby sitter or even maybe if you don’t like the two middle bands and you want to walk around downtown and come back later, do it. Your ticket lets you come and go.”
Five craft brewing companies — Lagunitas Brewing Co., Two Brothers Brewing Co., Summit Brewing Co., Argus Brewery, and Pabst Blue Ribbon — will bring four to five different beers each. Most are located within two hours of Joliet, Trizna said.
Joliet food vendors are Bothwell Farms (Italian beef and fresh sweet corn), Chicago Street Pub (pulled pork sandwiches), Giju’s Sweet Shoppe (ice cream and desserts), Jody’s Hot Dogs (hot dogs and nachos), McBrody’s (burgers) and Stefanich’s Restaurant (taco truck).
All food and drink are reasonably priced, Trizna said. The range for beer, wine and mixed drinks is $3 to $5. Food items will be from $1.50 to $7.50.
Joliet-area vendors present during Hopstring Fest are The Marine Corps League of Will County, Irish American Society of County Will in Manhattan, WYSIWYG (What You See is What You Get) Disc Golf store in Manhattan, J & B Music in Crest Hill, A.B.A.T.E. of Illinois and Dropkick Ink.
“The Joliet Brewers Guild has been around since March and they’ll be out there brewing beer from start to finish,” Trizna said. “Sue Regis will do glass-blowing demonstrations as well as selling some of her wares. Tick Tock Guitar Clocks turns old Fender guitars into working clocks.”
Trizna primarily wants to introduce people to musicians he has featured at Chicago Street Pub or traveled to hear. He calls them “the best of the best.”
“I think it would be really neat that if one day Joliet would be known for how wonderful its original music is,” Trizna said.