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2-day passes + VIP packages SOLD OUT

Sponsored by Kuma's Corner, Revolution Brewing and Superluminal, in association with Darkest Before Dawn




Born in 2012, COLD WAVES began as a memorial concert for fallen Chicago musician and sound man Jamie Duffy. The original event, a 14-band affair over a single night, served as a springboard to what is now a 2 day festival-style show at Metro. The effort made that first September evening to raise money for Jamie's family has now grown into a global destination celebration of Chicago's relationship with industrial music, and a passionate fundraiser for suicide awareness and prevention causes.

COLD WAVES' goal to showcase Chicago's relationship with industrial music featuring rare and classic fore bearers along with innovative newcomers is always front and center, and this year is no exception. After a 5 year hiatus, we are proud to welcome MEAT BEAT MANIFESTO back to the live arena, who promise to reach deep into their catalog for a fantastic audio/visual experience. Never before played live in its entirety, and no less to celebrate its 30 year anniversary, seminal industrial album BIG SEXY LAND will be performed by THE COCKS: Richard 23, Luc Van Acker, Chris Connelly & Paul Barker (ex-Revolting Cocks) along with a few surprises.

Not since 1993 has CLOCK DVA graced American shores... until now. This hugely influential UK electronic project from Adi Newton returns with a new album and classics galore, along with <PIG> featuring none other than Raymond Watts, En Esch and Guenter Schultz. We are proud to host the Chicago debut of dark synth-pop trio THE BLACK QUEEN, featuring Greg Puciato (DillInger Escape Plan) and JOSH EustIs (Telefon Tel Aviv) and Steven Alexander, who's Fever Daydream debut has taken the electronic music scene by storm, culminating in a passionate fan base and 3 sold out shows in LA, NY and the UK. Most chemical engineers can probably tell you what "Oxyacetelyne" is... and so perhaps can Marc Heal, finally returning to the US with Phil Barry and Julian Beeston as CUBANATE, who's 90's club anthems were mimicked and repackaged by almost every successful industrial dance group since.

There hasn't been a Cold Waves three-peater... until now. We couldn't be happier about the return of 16VOLT, back from hiatus and bringing the true spirit of "cold wave" with them. No industrial band's release was more highly regarded in 2015 than DEAD WHEN I FOUND HER's "All the Way Down", topping every writer's Best Of lists, entrancing many with their crystal clear production and amazing command of atmosphere. Dropping their debut just days ago, Jason Novak and Sean Payne's VAMPYRE ANVIL brings a new breed of emotionally packed electronic mayhem and venom. After being tapped personally by Sasha K for the last 3 KMFDM tours, Bradley Bill's CHANT makes their CW debut, promising to deliver the spectacular set they are known for.

Austin's BLOODY KNIVES are new to the fold, a blistering wall of gorgeous feedback, jackhammer drums, looming synths and Preston Maddox' hypnotizing vocals. Audio wizards Justin McGrath and Surachai deliver dark modular mayhem via their Trash Audio project POLYFUSE, and Los Angeles songwriter Kanga Duchamp and Skinny Puppy guitarist Matthew Setzer tweak the knobs even further as KANGA. Finally, reknowned artist Heather Gabel and Seth Sher are not to be missed as HIDE, an exhilarating, haunting and cathartic Chicago duo we are thrilled to have.

THIS YEAR... Cold Waves is venturing down... into SMART BAR! We are excited to announce a full building takeover in 2017! This year the building will be open to allow concertgoers the freedom to relax in Smart Bar during the show with full bar, opportunities to order and eat from Kumas, watch a live broadcast of the show, and peruse information from our various charitable affiliates, then open all night for our after-parties featuring special guest DJs.

Did we mention KUMAS CORNER just now? Hell yes we did, and we are beyond thrilled to have them as return sponsors this yearl, along with our other local obsession REVOLUTION BREWING. The two are joined by our newest partner, SUPERLUMINAL, a UK event and promotion company who works in tandem with legendary fiction writer Grant Morrison.

The finishing touch: For the 3rd year in a row we are pleased to announce the addition of the WAX TRAX! RECORDS POP UP STORE. Julia, Mark and the rest of their team have given our festival a wonderful family vibe, bringing the iconic store back to life for our short weekend, featuring rare vinyl, test-pressings, posters and other collectibles.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit a new local charity called Darkest Before Dawn, who we are working with to bring support, community and resources to our closest allies: the service industry staff and live music engineers who keep our clubs and bars humming. Relating back to Jamie Duffy, and through the recent passing of other much-loved and talented people in these industries, we feel a distinct calling to provide this oft overlooked group a chance for better access to mental health resources, emotional support and appreciation. Data supports this group being very susceptible to depression, isolation and suicide, as with other 3rd shift employee schedules, and having little to no mental health insurance options. We hope to help Darkest Before Dawn offer counseling, resources and more to our brothers and sisters who work tirelessly to literally deliver our nightlife.


The event takes place in Chicago's relatively insane Wrigleyville neighborhood, adjacent to the Lakeview and Lincoln Park neighborhoods. Not wanting to run from the truth, we need to tell you that its Chicago vs St. Louis in the final weekend of the regular season, aka it will be a fucking madhouse. We are moving our schedule back a half hour this year to hopefully allow for daytime Cubs traffic to disapate and encourage our attendees to come early! Please plan accordingly.

Our favorite hotel, the "rock n roll" Days Inn on Diversey is a great deal, about a mile down the street from the venue, and next door to Kuma's Too, so... yeah. As that hotel tends to book fast, there are some other great and affordable possibilities. Anything outside this list will likely be expensive the closer you get to downtown, unless you focus out by the airport, where you will find nice, normal, human rates! Below are a few suggestions:




INN AT LINCOLN PARK  (best rates)



COLD WAVES is a celebration of Chicago’s relationship with industrial music, the memory of a fallen brother, and a fundraiser for suicide prevention charities. In the summer of 2012, Chicago lost one of its most loved and respected sound engineers and musicians, Jamie Duffy. His work ethic and ingenuity in the local music scene was a gift to many musicians. His abrupt passing had a profound effect on the electronic and metal music families he meant so much to.

In need of healing and hope, we brought 14 bands together for one magical night that year to raise money for Jamies family and say goodbye. But in the end, it was more of an awakening... a rebirth... a breaking wave. The success of the show pushed us to build it into an annual event, stretching over a weekend and moving it to Chicago's iconic Metro.

Looking forward to our fifth year, COLD WAVES aims to shake the pillars of heaven by collecting the bands, styles, sounds and attitudes that Jamie held dear, and cement the sound of a Chicago institution alive and well. From Wax Trax! and Medusas to Uncle Al and Chicago Trax, this is our history and our future, the melding of man, woman and machine, the sound of melody, muscle and hate, basking in the glow of attack ships on fire down the shores of pluto.

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