In its first two years the Intonation Music Festival helped prove that Chicago could be a viable host city for large nonmainstream concerts–in fact it might’ve been a little too successful. The festival’s organizers recently called off plans for a 2007 installment, citing the glut of big outdoor shows planned for this summer, and are turning their attention instead to a number of smaller events. “Festivals can be great fun, of course, but they can also be somewhat impersonal,” Intonation organizer David Singer said via e-mail. The plan now is to hold events “in places where the audience can feel like they’ve actually shared an experience with the performers.” He didn’t give any specifics, but did cite the Jon Brion concerts Intonation booked at Steppenwolf and the Hideout last month as representative examples. It’s “exceedingly possible” that the organizers will do another festival at some point, Singer says, but for now they’re out of the biz. “As Eric Bachmann once said, ‘The underground is overcrowded.'”
In the meantime, Intonation wants to put together a string of benefit shows for its charity of choice, Rock for Kids; the first, Chicago’s Northside Battle of the Bands, happens at Horner Park this Saturday.