Evidence that the maze is in a garage

Just right of the staircase that leads up to Thalia Hall‘s concert space is an intimate garage space, and for the next three weeks it’ll be home to You Are Here Festival, a visual art-cum-music festival that takes place in a maze. The folks behind You Are Here started building the maze last Friday, and when I went to Thalia Hall yesterday they were finishing up putting everything in place for its debut tonight. The walls of the maze are empty black wooden frames that stretch from the floor to the ceiling. Webs of colorful nylon twine take up the empty space in each frame; the twine is taut, providing an obstacle for anyone trying to walk through a maze wall, but leaving more than enough space for attendees to get a full scope of everything in the maze.

The “everything” will be a blur of music and visual art. Small white sculptures will adorn parts of the maze walls, and light projections of a digitized map of the maze’s design will be used to illuminate the space. Organizers set up a PA near the center of the maze, with plenty of room for a drum kit, though the musicians will be encouraged to wander around the maze as they perform. The team behind You Are Here—Sam Hillmer, Laura Paris, and Lawrence Mesich—launched the first version in New York back in 2007, and this is the first time the maze-based minifest touches down in Chicago.

Empty Bottle Presents development and event planner Brent Heyl has been working on bringing You Are Here to Chicago since 2012. Finding a space was key to getting the maze here, and that issue solved itself when Thalia Hall opened last year; the garage beneath the concert hall sat unused till organizers started setting up the maze. Heyl tapped Experimental Sound Studio, experimental label Hausu Mountain, underground music site AdHoc, and a handful of others to put together a lineup for one of the 11 nights of the festival. The full lineup skews toward local acts, though there are exceptions—avant outfit Zs, founded by festival co-organizer Hillmer, headline Saturday night—and a couple dates without a complete lineup.

Tickets are $10, and every show starts at 9 PM. Check out the full details, as well as some photos of the maze, below:

Thursday, May 7
Dan Bitney / LeRoy Bach / Anton Hatwich
Ulery / Miller / Boye
Bruce Lamont

Friday, May 8 (Presented by Palace Sound)
Chris Crack and New Deal Crew
Mic Terror
DJ Phil
Palace Sound
Jerome Baez

Saturday, May 9
Greg Fox
Patrick Higgins
Diamond Terrifier

Sunday, May 10

Friday, May 15 (Presented by Strange Victory Touring)
Ed Schrader’s Music Beat
Kyle Kaos

Saturday, May 16 (Presented by International Anthem)
Makaya McCraven
Tatsu Aoki & Tomeka Reid
Mike Weis (Zelienople, Kwaidan)
Joe Adamik (Califone, Iron & Wine)

Sunday, May 17 (Presented by Dan Bitney)

Thursday, May 21 (Presented by Experimental Sound Studio)
Tim Kinsella
Matt Lux
Alex Inglizian
Adam Vida
Ben Lamar Gay
Will Faber
LeRoy Bach
Ben Boye

Friday, May 22 (Presented by Hausu Mountain)
Mind Over Mirrors

Saturday, May 23 (Presented by Northern Spy)

Sunday, May 24 (Presented by AdHoc)
John Elliot’s Outer Space
Gel Set