It’s one of my favorite weekends of the year again- Square Roots Fest. If you are a neighborhood OG like me and Suzanne (and many of our long term Ant community members,) you will remember it as Folk and Roots, a weekend long music festival celebrating the Old Town School of Folk Music and all our lovely neighborhood has to offer. Previous headliners include the likes of Patti Smith, The Mekons, Guided by Voices, Superchunk, and many more notable names. As for this year, I am personally most excited for LA punk band X, who is set to headline this upcoming Saturday night.

As a fellow musician, something I have always admired about this fest is the diversity. Not only does it obviously celebrate American Folk music, but also music across all genres, backgrounds, and countries. I know Suzanne loved seeing Nigerian music group Etran De L’Aiir last year and dancing in the street! Very fitting as I was wearing some lovely Tuareg jewelry from a Nigerian trader we work with at our booth as well. Square Roots is not only our favorite festival to work, but also a place to party, celebrate music, and expand your cultural horizons.

As a neighborhood native, I have seen almost every Square Roots fest. With my mom being hired by Old Town School in the year 2000, I was in attendance even as a baby. Square Roots is actually where I first met Suzanne and became aware of Nomadic Ant. As a child, it was my favorite booth to visit, and back in the day, Suzanne was one of the very first non-food related vendors at the fest, so I know it holds a special place in her heart too. Although I’ve worked at the Ant for four years now, this will be my third year in a row working Square Roots as the pandemic canceled it in 2020 and 2021, but I am so glad it is back in full force for (hopefully) many more years to come. Be sure to swing by and tell us your favorite memory of Square Roots Fest (or Folk and Roots Fest, as I still sometimes call it), and if you’re new, tell us what musical act you are most excited to see! I am always so curious.

This July, you better find yourself on Lincoln Ave July 12th, 13th, and 14th for this Chicagoan’s favorite free street fest. And you might just find yourself taking home some beautiful jewelry as a memento of your summer musical excursion.

I hope to see you there,