Facebook    Sponsors   Hotels   Cracknation    Darkest Before Dawn    Metro    Front 242    Severed Heads    Pankow


9/29, 9/30, 10/1 5:30-11:30 FULL BUILDING EVENT (METRO, SMART BAR + LOT).

Sponsored by Novation, Superluminal and Half Acre. Produced by Cracknation, Darkest Before Dawn and Metro.

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 multi-day festival-style show. 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.

THIS YEAR: We have 6 total events... 3 full 6-hour Metro concerts, 2 Smart Bar after-shows, and 1 kickoff event at Empty Bottle... and who knows what we might toss in for a little closing-out jam on Sunday night? This is our first year expanding to 3 nights proper and we are excited to again add SMART BAR to our main event during the Metro show, open and waiting for our attendees to order food, drinks, have a seat, explore vendor tables, see the show upstairs simulcast, and access extra restrooms. WAX TRAX! will be back in the lobby for our full-fun retail experience, NOVATION invites you to visit their station and demo their gear, HALF ACRE BREWING will offer a thirst-quenching special, and food truck DONERMEN will be sustaining all who hunger, either downstairs in Smart Bar or outside in the lot adjacent to Metro.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit Darkest Before Dawn, who we are working with to bring support, community and resources to our closest allies: the late-night 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, community 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 deliver our nightlife.


Novation make gear for you to play, create and perform music. We started out making high-end synths, and expanded into designing totally new music making tools. We specialize in MIDI controllers with and without keyboards, both analogue and virtual analogue performance synthesizers, grid-based performance controllers, and DJ controllers. Novation products are designed by musician/producers who use the gear they design every day, and are always looking for fresh ideas. This is the reason bedroom producers and A-list artists alike use our hardware: because it has been designed by and for musicians. From the recording studio to the DJ booth, our equipment is freeing musicians to create and perform with their own workflow, rather than ours.
Look for the NOVATION kiosk at Cold Waves VI, demo new products AND enter to win free Novation gear!

Superluminal is a Scottish entertainment production company helmed by Kristan Morrison and husband Grant Morrison, award-winning writer and creator of such graphic novel masterpieces as Happy, Batman and The Invisibles. Superluminal specializes in UK and stateside concert promotion, poetry slams, debauchery and ceremonial Lovecraftian telekinesis. Welcome to the cultural circus!

Half Acre Beer Company is a brewery in Chicago, Illinois. The company was founded by Gabriel Magliaro in 2006, with its office located in Chicago. The recipes for the beers were developed in Chicago and the beer was initially brewed at Sand Creek Brewery in Black River Falls, Wisconsin. Half Acre's first beer, Half Acre Lager, debuted in August 2007. Halt Acre now has two taprooms in the Chicago area, offering their amazing beer and kitchens serving food created by Nick LaCasse, former Drawing Room and mfk chef. Metro will proudly offer a Half Acre special for a limited time during the festival.

All hail! Beloved Chicago record label and store launched by Jim Nash and Dannie Flesher in the 80's, and carried on by Jims daughter Julia and her amazing family. The stregth and audacity to pursue and grow Cold Waves as a festival likley lies in homage to the legendary 3-day Retrospectacle concert celebrating all things Wax Trax! in 2012. Big congratulations to this crew who finally bestowed the long-awaited documentary "Industrial Accident: The Story of Wax Trax! Records" in 2017, and will once again grace the Metro lobby with their brilliant pop-up store, bringing you the vinyl, posters, CDs and T-shirts from the archives of this famed institution.

DönerMen started with a simple idea; bring German street food to Chicago. Where Bavarian beer hall fare is what Americans have come to think of as German food, Imbiss is a popular and rich side of German cuisine that draws from various intersecting food cultures in Europe. Doner kebabs, salads, rice bowls, poutine and curry fries in a funky setting with Dungeons & Dragons-inspired decor. In this spirit of this emergence, new dishes and specials have evolved to showcase grilled meats and flavor combinations from around the world, but with a tip of the Seppelhut to Deutschland. Serving from their food truck battlestation in the Metro lot AND available for order in Smart Bar!

In 1976, David Schecter opened Schecter Guitar Research, a repair shop in Van Nuys, California. Its continually evolving and expanding line of guitars and basses appeals to a broad spectrum of players and diverse musical styles. One of the company's strongest assets is its growing roster of high-profile artists, including Avenged Sevenfold, The Cure, Papa Roach, Seether, Prince, Stone Temple Pilots, Nevermore, Black Label Society... and Jamie Duffy. Since the very first Cold Waves event in 2012, Schecter VP Mark LaCorte has generously donated custom guitars to be auctioned or raffled off as part of our fundraising efforts. 2017 should be no different, and we will be forever grateful to their charitable spirit. Long live the Cello Blaster!


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. 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)



Full bound 8.5 x 11 book, 70 pages of photos and words from the bands and producers, commemorating the 5th event.

Order here via Amazon!



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.

FACEBOOK     CONTACT                                                                                                        The COLD WAVES FESTIVAL is produced by CRACKNATION RECORDS