Stephen Colbert Says: Check out Dillo Day at Northwestern University
Northwestern University’s Dillo Day is an all-day music festival that takes place annually on the last Saturday in May. The festival, which is open to Northwestern students and their guests, is held at the scenic outdoor venue known as the Northwestern Lakefill, a strip of beach on Lake Michigan. Past performers at Dillo Day have included Regina Spektor, Nelly, Chiddy Bang, Third Eye Blind, B.o.B. and Common, but the 2012 lineup is still in the works.
Dillo Day dates back to 1973, when a group of Northwestern students, including Donald Stout, decided to form a low-budget music festival with local bands, face painting and costumes. “Dillo” Day is short for Armadillo, a nickname for the popular Texas animal, where one of the founders was from. Other students remember Dillo Days starting in 1971, when a few fraternity members started an all-campus party in the then-dry city of Evanston. Prior to this, student groups held spring festivals as far back as the early 1900s, which were known as Mayfests. The current festival is hosted by the Mayfest Student Group, a student organization. Northwestern’s Dillo Day was also made famous by Stephen Colbert, who is an alumni of the university and mentioned the event in his 2011 commencement speech.
If you know someone at Northwestern who can get you in, this Memorial Day weekend music festival is the perfect end-of-semester road trip, and one that won’t break the bank.
By Leah Waldron