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Neon Marshmallow Festival Returns To Melt Faces

By Jon Graef in Arts & Entertainment on Mar 30, 2011 2:30PM

One of the more unusual festival success stories of recent years, 2010's Neon Marshmallow Festival gathered a multitude of artists who fall under experimental music's wide-reaching, yet hard-to-define grasp, and spread them out over four days at the Viaduct Theater.

In a world of Lollapaloozas, Neon Marshmallow's esoteric bent toward wide-ranging avant-garde from around the world -- artists traveled from as far Japan, Belgium and Australia to play -- helped it stand out from the summer festival pack. So much so that, despite the niche focus and the financial uncertainty for organizers Dan Smith and Matt Kimmel, a 2011 edition is a go.

This week, Neon Marshmallow announced via their Facebook pagethis year's festival will take place at the Empty Bottle, rather than the Viaduct, and will run from June 10th through the 12th.

Here's the line-up so far:

Morton Subotnick
Oneohtrix Point Never
Bill Orcutt
White Rainbow
Rene Hell
The Rita
Pulse Emitter
Outer Space (John from Emeralds)
Spiral Joy Band (members of Pelt)
James Plotkin
Sword Heaven
Telecult Powers
Leslie Keffer
Sick Llama
Dylan Ettinger
Mike Shiflet
Beau Wanzer

Of all the groups listed here, Oneohtrix Point Never is arguably the most well-known, having scored the number 20 slot on on Pitchfork's top 50 albums of 2010 for last year's beautiful Returnal. Pre-sale complete passes for the 3-day fest are now available at $60.

The move from the Viaduct to the Bottle is noteworthy, as the Bottle's capacity is about 400 people, which is a little bit larger, if we're not mistaken. Losing a day is unfortunate, but perhaps this move will make putting on Neon Marshmallow more financially feasible. More information will come, no doubt, but with this revelation, Chicago's underground music fans have much to salivate over.

Check out Cleveland-based trio Emeralds performing the mesmerizing instrumental "Genetic" during last year's festival (Yup. All 15 minutes of it. C'mon, you'll have fun.):