Rock The Badges set for Milwaukee Ave. at Six Corners on Sept. 18-19; Van Halen Invasion, 7th Heaven headline Fest that raises funds for families of police, firefighters killed in line of duty
Billed as a “Musical Event of Epic Proportions,” the Rock the Badges fest is back after a one-year hiatus and will once again be held on the streets of the Six Corners commercial district.
Since the first one in 20013, the festival has raised about $80,000 for the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation and the Ignite The Spirit Fund. “At the end of the day, this is all about supporting the families of police officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty,” said fest organizer and Chicago police lieutenant John Garrido.
The music festival will be held from 2 to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 18 and 19, on Milwaukee Avenue between Irving Park Road and Belle Plaine Avenue. The $5 gate donation will benefit the Memorial Foundation and Ignite The Spirit.
The Six Corners Chamber of Commerce is co-hosting the event, and sponsors include Allstate Agent Jaime Morales, Gracie O’Malley’s pub, Eggsperience Cafe, and Aldermen James Gardiner (45th), Anthony Napolitano (41st), Samantha Nugent (39th), Nicholas Sposato (38th), Ariel Reboyras (30th), and State Representative John D’Amico.
The event will include a candlelight vigil honoring Officer Ella French at 10:15 p.m. Saturday.Sept. 18.
The headliners are the Van Halen Invasion at 8 p.m. Saturday and Seventh Heaven at 8 p.m. Sunday.
“They are driving down from Canada and they have ‘Sammy Hagar’ and ‘David Lee Roth,’” Garrido said of the Invasion. Seventh Heaven is famous for playing 30 rock hits in 30 minutes.
Also performing on the Main Stage on Saturday are Vintage at 2 p.m., Wild Blue Angels at 6 p.m., Southern Draw at 4 p.m. On Sunday: Too Much Saturn at 2 p.m., Todd and the Ten Pins at 4 p.m., and Northside at 6 p.m.
Except for the headliners, all of the bands have a police officer or firefighter in them, Garrido said, adding that the both headliner bands have a history of supporting first responders.
The first couple of Rock The Badges featured a contest between police vs. fire bands, with judges, but there are significantly fewer firefighters than police officers in the city, and the contest portion of the festival was eventually dropped because there were not always enough fire bands available for the weekend of the festival, Garrido said.
Children’s activities also are planned, and there will be a community stage on Cuyler Avenue, featuring local entertainment.
The 2021 festival marks the second time it’s been on Milwaukee, with most of previous ones being held at the Copernicus Center in Jefferson Park and one fest in Wrigleyville.View the Fest Program Here