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Beer Can’d Festival brings bands to Blue Island Beer Co. for 2nd year in a row – Chicago Tribune

Beer and live music are a popular pairing, and those two are the focus of a fest in Blue Island.

The 11th annual Beer Can’d Festival on April 29 at Blue Island Beer Co. is described as featuring craft and old-time favorite cans of beer and 15 of the best regional punk rock and ska bands

“Back when we started, craft beer was new in the can form and there were very select few out there. We always thought it would be a great idea to do a beer can festival paired with some music,” said James Fuller, founder and operator of Beer Can’d Festival.

“Initially it was a small event and it’s grown from there. It’s basically pairing craft beers with local bands as well and some national bands sometimes.”

New for this year are additional food vendors in the parking lot.

“People do come for almost the whole day and they would have to venture out. We felt like maybe keeping everyone on property would be a better idea,” said Fuller about the food, which includes pizza and tacos.

“It’s just a matter of convenience, makes for a better experience and makes it more of an event.”

Beer Can’d Festival 2023 features more touring acts than usual with punk rock trio Billy Bats & The Made Men from Atlanta, punk rock three-piece band On the Cinder from New York, and ska and reggae group The Operators from Indianapolis booked.

“This year the headlining band is Much the Same. They’re from the South Side of Chicago. They’re now a really bigger Chicago band. It’s really great that they’re coming to play this event,” said Fuller, a Blue Island native who now lives in Chicago’s Beverly community.

Other local performers include Capgun Heroes, Fighting for Scraps, James The Boneless and Take the Reins.

Fuller, who under the name August “Gus” Fuller plays guitar in bands including The Soda Jerks and The Repellents, said he typically does not perform at Beer Can’d Festival but he will play with his pop punk band Goodbye Sunshine this time around.

“It’s a new project and we’re on a small label,” said Fuller about South Carolina-based River Monster Records, which released Goodbye Sunshine’s “Keep Failing, You’re Doing Great!” album in 2022.

According to Fuller, approximately 250 people came to Blue Island Beer Co. for 2022′s Beer Can’d Festival, which is billed as America’s original and longest-running beer-can themed festival and takes place at the venue for a second year.

“Blue Island Beer Co. is really great to work with. It’s a natural fit,” said Fuller, who added that various Blue Island venues have hosted the fest.

“As the event has grown we needed a bit more space. They have the same type of mentality of do it yourself as well as keeping that craft beer theme going.

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“It will be their craft beers that are available in cans currently and they’re also working with a couple of other breweries that they’re bringing in. Blue Island Beer co. also makes mocktails, which are like draft cocktails, so they’ll be serving those as well for people who might not necessarily drink beer.”

Beer Can’d Festival

When: 2-11 p.m. April 29

Where: Blue Island Beer Co., 13357 S. Olde Western Ave., Blue Island

Tickets: $35

Information: 708-974-8085;

Jessi Virtusio is a freelance reporter for the Daily Southtown.

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