Cervantes' Celebrates Twelve Years With a Weekend of Big Shows and Familiar Names

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A lot has changed in the area surrounding 26th and Welton in the last twelve years. The neighborhood went from somewhere you didn't want to venture into to somewhere you would happily go to for a drink or meal or to even find your next apartment. The name even changed -- from Five Points to River North, or RiNo. But throughout the decade plus ebb and flow has stood Cervantes', and this weekend they're celebrating those twelve years with a massive show.

See also: Photos: The Evolution of Cervantes' Masterpiece Ballroom

The party will feature two nights of music, with a massive bill that includes the likes of Everyone Orchestra, Eric Krasno, Dave Watts and many, many more.

"It's a lot of musicians who have played at Cervantes' over the years," says owner Scott Morrill of the line-up decisions. "A lot of our favorites."

He said they carefully chose bands that would not only entertain, but held special meaning to the Cervantes stage. "Robert Walter actually played our first show weekend ever, like to the date twelve years ago," Morrill says.

The Motet have also been featured in every anniversary show, and a few of the members wil be playing solo sets during the two-night affair. Over at the Other Side, Fishbone, Dragondeer and more will be getting the party started.

But Cervantes' is about more than just the music. This small venue has played a role in the changing neighborhood as well.

"I think [Cervantes'] been pretty pivotal in the redevelopment of it," Morrill says. "We were really the only thing going on in the neighborhood for the last twelve years ... A big part of the reason [things are happening now] is because we had people coming down there."

Now, the area is booming with people looking for all kinds of entertainment -- including the music found at Cerventes'. "I'm just feel so lucky about where were at," says Morrill. "It's come a long way. ... It's gotten a little bit better each year." • BACKBEAT'S GREATEST HITS •
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