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Newly Announced Food and Arts Festival Versa Pulls the Plug on Summer Plans

Plus, the city shut down Goose Island Beer Co.’s annual 312 Day fest over permits and safety concerns

Chicago Chapter 60th Anniversary Concert
Chicago star Jamila Woods was among artists scheduled to perform at the inaugural Versa festival.
Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Versa, a new women- and femme-focused festival slated to launch this summer in Lincoln Park, has canceled its inaugural event just two weeks after it was announced. Advertised as “the biggest women-led and women-powered” fest in two decades, Versa over the weekend declared that this year’s celebration won’t move forward as planned but left room for future events.

“Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, VERSA Festival will not be taking place in Chicago this June,” organizers wrote on its website. “All ticket purchases will be fully refunded. Stay tuned for future updates.”

Versa promised attendees an impressive lineup of musicians (including Kim Petras, Jamila Woods, Liz Phair, and Against Me!’s Laura Jane Grace), speakers (such as Gloria Steinem and writer Alok Vaid-Menon), and comedians (Broad City’s Ilana Glazer, Chelsea Handler, and Dulcé Sloan), alongside a menu of dishes from women chefs selected by Top Chef judge and writer Gail Simmons.

Though the reason for the festival’s cancelation remains unclear, Versa’s organizers — Austin, Texas-based Four Leaf Production, led by a former co-founder of C3 Presents (the Live Nation-owned production company behind Lollapalooza) — have faced organizational challenges before in Chicago. C3 managed in 2015 to get the Chicago Food+Wine Festival, Food+Wine magazine’s response to the city’s Bon Appétit-sponsored Chicago Gourmet, off the ground but skipped the next year citing a “schedule conflict.” Organizers at the time said they would return in 2017 but the event has yet to return.

City forces Goose Island Beer to move its weekend 312 Day festival

City officials on Friday shut down Goose Island Beer Co.’s annual 312 Day festival over multiple alleged violations, the Tribune’s Josh Noel tweeted. The event was supposed to be held in a former car repair shop at 1827 W. Fulton Street. The problems included a “lack of permits and ‘dangerous and hazardous conditions … emergency lights inoperable, insufficient exit capacity for large crowds and storage of firewood as a fire hazard.’” The concerts, featuring Mick Jenkins, was moved nearby to Bottom Lounge.

Logan Arcade calls on pinball wizards for fundraising tournament to support Twisted Hippo

Gaming hotspot Logan Arcade will at 7 p.m. Monday kick off a pinball tournament and fundraiser to help support recovery at the Twisted Hippo, the Albany Park brewery that in February was razed by a devastating fire. Attendees can expect special prizes for winners, along with raffle items and a silent auction. Check-in begins at 7:30 with a $10 entry fee, followed by five grounds of group matchplay and then a four- or eight-player matchplay final. All funds raised (aside from fees and winner payouts) will go to the Twisted Hippo’s GoFundMe campaign.

The Aviary unveils its first private cocktail classes

The world famous Alinea Group, behind Chicago cocktail destinations the Aviary in Lincoln Park and its downstairs speakeasy-style bar the Office, for the first time is offering private event cocktail classes, according to a rep. Booking details are available online.

Goose Island Beer Co.

1800 W Fulton St, Chicago, IL 60612 (312) 226-1119 Visit Website

The Office

955 West Fulton Market, , IL 60607 (312) 226-0868 Visit Website

The Aviary

955 West Fulton Market, , IL 60607 Visit Website

Logan Arcade

2410 West Fullerton Avenue, , IL 60647 (872) 206-2859 Visit Website

Twisted Hippo

2925 West Montrose Avenue, , IL 60618 (708) 844-7768 Visit Website