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Why Are Festivals Such an Important Part of American Society?

Festivals. Every city has them, and nearly everyone loves them. In fact, you would be hard pressed to find a United States citizen that hasn’t been to at least one festival in their lifetime. A very prevalent part of American society, thousands of festivals take place across the U.S every year. Many take place during the summer months. Some people would even say that festivals are as much a part of American culture as other widely held traditions like Thanksgiving and Memorial Day. But why are festivals such an important part of American society? To answer that question let’s start at the beginning.

NY State Fair
Google Image NY State Fair

The first documented US festival was the New York State Fair held in 1841 in Syracuse New York. Over 150 years later the New York state fair continues to be held annually drawing hundreds of thousands of attendees each year. The second documented US festival was in 1849 in Detroit, Michigan and since then hundreds of thousands of festivals have sprouted across the country, making festivals almost as American as Apple Pie.

Festivals Are Important

But going back to our initial question WHY are Festivals such an important part of American Society? Well, there are a few reasons, let’s start with this one:

Festivals bring people together in a care-free atmosphere.

Almost nothing brings people together better than a well put together festival. The atmosphere, the festivities, the performers and activities all draw in crowds of people that are looking for a way to relax and unwind. One of the things that attract people to yearly festivals is that many of them revolve around particular themes.

July 4th Parade

Some festivals bring together people of distinct groups and demographics like religion, heritage, and military families. Other festivals center around holidays like Halloween, or Independence Day. These are designed to bring an entire community together for a day or weekend of fun and activities. And yet still, many festivals revolve around particular hobbies and themes like The Great American Beer Festival or The Kansas Renaissance Festival.

The Chicago Dancing Festival is another good example. For ten years during 2000 to 2010 the festival brought together modern, ballet, hip-hop, and classical dancers to Chicago. People came from all parts of the US to enjoy all aspects of dance in a festival environment.

The one combining thread is that festivals are designed to bring people together to enjoy themselves. But that isn’t the only reason festivals are so popular in America.

Festivals help showcase local and non-local businesses.

Most festivals feature vendor booths where local and non-local cooks, designers, and other business owners and creators can showcase and sell their goods. For this reason, vendors undoubtedly love Festivals as much as the attendees. In fact, many festivals have hundreds of vendors vying for a chance to display their crafts to the local community.

Festivals generate a lot of revenue for local businesses and economies.

Besides just the vendors at festivals, local businesses surrounding festivals tend to receive a boost in revenue. This helps support the local community and local economies as many cities generate hundreds of thousands of dollars from the festivals that take place in their towns each year.


This makes festivals a win-win for attendees, businesses, and all that partake in the festivities. For these three reasons festivals are an important part of American society that is here to stay. Things just wouldn’t be the same without them.



What are the Top 10 Dance Festivals in the US?

camp at festival

Summer is upon us, and that means it is festival season again. Do you like having unforgettable experiences? How about dancing the night way? What about both? This article is going to expose you to all the relevant info for the top ten dance festival hot spots in the U.S. that you can’t afford to miss.

Electric Dance (EDM) is one of the fastest growing dance movement in the country.  The fast-paced, fun music genre make it perfect for festivals.

Here is a list of EDM Festivals:


Ranking of Top US EDM Dance Festivals

10. What The Festival

One of the first dance festivals of the summer is happening from June 16–19 2017 at Wolf Run Ranch, Oregon. What The Festival, or WTF, is full of art, imagination, and music. There are six separate stages, one of which is located in a wading pool. Headlining acts this year include Zhu, Gramatik and Cut Copy.

9. Nocturnal Wonderland

Are you looking to have some fun this labor day? Nocturnal Wonderland may just be the festival for you. Held over the Labor Day weekend in sunny San Bernardino, California, the festival features multiple stages and styles, from Dubstep to EDM, to experimental beats there’s sure to be something that pleases you. With former headliners like Above & Beyond, Âme, Knife Party, and Odessa this year’s lineup should be even better.

8. Electric Zoo

Electric Zoo brings the festival to the city and takes place in the center of Manhattan, New York. Festival alumni include DJ Snake, Above & Beyond, deadmau5 & Eric Prydz. Electric Zoo runs for the first three days of September in New York City.

7.  Electric Daisy Carnival

Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas is a psychedelic Electric Dance Music full of sense warping experiences. This festival is known for the intense partying that happens in Las Vegas Nevada from June 16 to 18. Last year it was headlined by some of the biggest names in EDM, Martin Garrix, Knife Party, Alesso, and Afrojack.

6. Electric Forest

Located in Rothbury, Michigan Electric Forest is true to its namesake- during the festival, the whole forested grounds are lit up with lights, music, and fun. Electric Forest is so big the promoters have to split the festival into two separate parts. The first part is from June 22 to 25th and the second leg of the festival goes from 29 June – 2 July. Bassnectar, Odessa, Flume, and The String Cheese Incident are set to headline this two-part festival.

5. Movement Electronic

Movement Electronic is one of the oldest techno festivals still around. It is located in Detroit Michigan and tends to run near the end of May. Don’t worry if you miss it though. Movement Electronics has become a yearly staple of the Detroit electronic music scene, so you can always catch it next year.

4. Camp Bisco Festival

In mid-July, thousands of eager ravers and electronic music enthusiasts gather in Albany, New York for the Camp Bisco Festival. Along with three action packed days and wild nights of dancing Camp Bisco also offers camping space. During Camp Bisco, the fun and dance don’t stop until the festival does.

3. Hard Summer

Hard Summer is a two-day long rave and dance party at the beginning of August in lovely Los Angeles California. The festival is complete with some of the finest live beats ever created and the deepest bass lines. From heavy electro house to Dubstep, house music, and crazy experimental underground sounds there is something for everybody.

2. Ultra Music Festival

The Ultra Music Festival happens in March in Miami, Florida. If last year is any indication, the Ultra Music Festival is something you don’t want to miss if you’re a fan of dancing and electronic music. This year Saw Major Lazer, and The Prodigy took the stage as well as David Guetta, NWA legend, and rap superstar Ice Cube.

1. The Imagine Festival

Hip Hop Dance

The Imagine Festival is one of the year’s most anticipated events in the electronic/techno/EDM scene. Wandering performers create a carnival-like atmosphere for festival-goers. Last year’s crowd was over 60,000 people. You can expect this year to be even more insane, with headlining acts of deadmau5, Tiësto, and Above & Beyond along with many lesser known acts and brand new performers. The Imagine Festival happens at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, Georgia, from September 22nd to the 24th. Mark it down on your calendar! This is one event you don’t want to miss!



Ten Years of Festival Magic in Chicago

BalletInviting audiences from diverse backgrounds and giving a platform to young ballet, contemporary and ethnic dancers from all corners of the world, the Chicago Dancing Festival, after running a successful stint for ten years came to an end.

Founded by three Chicagoan’s, choreographer Lar Lubovitch, former dancer Jay Franke and David Herro, the festival was a highlight of Chicago summer events. The festival ended after a very successful run. Many people will always remember the phenomenal dance routines, spectacular sets, and beautiful music known as the Chicago Dancing Festival.

What Was the Festival About?

The Chicago Dancing Festival was a non-profit initiative by the Chicago Dance Company who provided free entry to a breathtaking culmination of dance forms and talents. Popular local entertainment and dance companies like Joffrey Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Ensemble Espanol and the Chicago Human Rhythm Project were a few of the exceptional groups that performed in front of sell-out audiences. There were also international dance platforms like the Martha Graham Dance Company, Rennie Harris and the Philadelphia Ballet who volunteered their dance routines for free.

Multi Faceted Venues

Modern Dance

This festival had a backdrop of various indoor and outdoor venues. The organizers believed that charging an entry price would mean keeping a section of the public alienated from the dance revolution. People came from all over the world to take advantage of one of the best dance festivals in the country.

The main aim of the festival was to amalgamate various dance forms. With Pritzker Avenue, Millennium Park as the designated location for this festival, Chicago became a leading dance center. Modern, Contemporary, Ballet and other dance forms shared the stage together.

Ending on a High Note

The ten-year stint was a phenomenal success. The dancers at the festival were incredible performers, and around 200,000 dancers performing in the festival. Many performers got their start from dance companies seeing them dance.

We Can Only Hope for a Return

Ten Years

Fans of this festival were highly disappointed by the closing announcement. The festival was a must attend venue during the summer months in Chicago and will leave a big void. Hopefully, someone will come forward to introduce a new festival. Watch social media for any news. We can only hope for a return of this highly successful event.

How the Chicago Dancing Festival Got Started

Chicago the Windy City

Chicago… The Windy City… The Heart of America… There’s a lot you can say about Chicago, and it’s attractions: Sports, Jazz clubs, classical concerts, and some of the world’s most popular conventions and festivals in the world. Indeed, every year millions of people from across the globe visit Chicago to experience the cities melting pot of culture and events.

One such event that has been a staple in Chicago over the last decade has been The Chicago Dancing Festival. The 100% free admission event drew spectators from Chicago and other parts of the nation. But as the saying goes “All good things must come to an end.”

Saying Goodbye

In October 2016, after ten years of bringing together hundreds of dancers from dozens of dance companies around the world, the festival organizers announced that their mission was complete, and they would be shutting down the annual summer event. And we are all saddened to see the multi-day Summer festival come to an end.

However, we will always have the memories of the choreographic masterpieces we witnessed every year and the legacy of excellence and class the festival gave us. Many of us still remember the first Chicago Dancing Festival ten years ago. But for many newcomers that history has been lost to the sands of time. Today I’m going to take you back to where it all began.

The First Chicago Dancing Festival

Chicago Dancing Festival
Google Image of Chicago Dancing Festival

It all started in 2006 when Chicago native and internationally renowned choreographer Lar Lubovitch and well known Chicago dancer Jay Franke launched the Chicago Dancing Company NFP for the purpose of producing a free dance festival every year. On August 22, 2007, they witnessed that dream come to fruition as leading American dancers from seven exceptional dance companies from Chicago and around the nation took the stage at Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park for the first annual Chicago Dancing Festival. It was a complete success with over 8,000 people attending that first year.

Ten Years of Excellence

Over the coming years, the festival became synonymous with excellence due to the keen eye and expertise of Lar Lubovitch and Jay Franke. Through the help of donors, the festival remained free over its ten-year span even though the attendance steadily grew. Each year attendance grew as word of the outstanding national and international dance companies showcased yearly at The Chicago Dancing Festival spread.

The mission of the Festival was to present a wide variety of dance excellence, enrich the lives of Chicago residents, and provide a stage for dancers to share their talent. I think it’s safe to say they succeeded. And although the Chicago Dancing Festival has come to an end, it’s legacy and impact on this city will live on as new fans and dancers emerge from Chicago to take the world stage.

Thank You

thank you

Thanks for making us proud. Cheers to The Chicago Dancing Festival, dance lovers around the world will undoubtedly miss you.