Explore the world of the PRF BBQ. Started in 2009, in a basement in the city of Chicago, The PRF BBQ’s have spread to New York, and Austin, soon to be followed by Copenhagen and Oakland.

PRFBBQ2020 – July 9-12

PRF BBQ 2020 is July 9-12 in Chicago. Tell your buds.

July 9 (Thursday): Location TBA
July 10 (Friday): Workshop 4200 – Wholesome Radio stage
July 11 (Saturday): Workshop 4200
July 12 (Sunday): Workshop 4200


After talking with Workshop 4200, I am cautiously optimistic that the BBQ may still happen as scheduled – while bearing in mind the sobering possibility that we may have to reschedule it for later in 2020 or beyond. As the COVID-19 situation evolves, so too will our approach to if and how we carry out the BBQ.

Since the BBQ affects hundreds of individuals and a ton of bands – from nearby and far away – I plan to make a firm decision in late-May as to whether we proceed with the BBQ as we have planned, with input from the PRF. I figure 45 days is an adequate heads up regarding a postponement, if it comes to that.

The decision to proceed with or postpone the BBQ will be made in accordance with CDC, WHO, and state of IL guidance and regulation. In response to COVID-19, Illinois has been fairly swift and forceful in its regulation of and advisement to public-facing environments. What is the state of Illinois’ position on public gatherings right now? As of March 16th, Gov. Pritzker has banned events/gatherings with 1,000 or more people (the ban is in effect until May 1st), and he strongly advised against gatherings with 250 or more people (which would apply to the BBQ). Most of the food & bev/entertainment-related events I am part of have been cancelled through May 1st.

Since we are still over 100 days away from the BBQ, I don’t think it’s necessary for us to call it quits just yet – but we do need to be realistic and prepare for the possibility of postponing the BBQ. That said, if you bought a pre-sale ticket and would like a refund, or if you’re a band who would like to withdraw your submission, just email me: I can provide any ticket holder a refund, no questions asked, and pull any band’s submission from the voting survey. I totally understand. Everybody’s health is more important than this party.

Thanks for your ongoing patience and feedback as I navigate what I think is right for the BBQ this year. I welcome your input. Take care of each other!

Band submissions are closed.

Donate via paypal to, select “sending to a friend,” and list your name in the notes of the transaction. That’s it! Since this whole thing is for charity, you are welcome to donate more than the asking price – rest assured, it will go toward our two amazing charity partners.

$40 – weekend
$45 – weekend w/ commemorative PRFBBQ cup
≥ $45 – weekend w/ cup (and kudos forever)

Pre-sale ticket holders will receive the voting survey + list of band submissions. Anybody who picks up a pre-sale ticket before April 4th will be able to see the band submissions and vote on 27 slots by choosing the 27 bands (of the 75 band submissions) they most want to see. We are keeping the band submission list private out of respect to bands who may not want the World Wide Web to know they submitted.

Our charity partners in 2020 are Test Prevention Awareness Network (TPAN) and Chicago HOPES for Kids. After modest expenses are covered, all proceeds will be split 50/50 between those charities.


Band Submissions for PRFBBQ2019

Maple Stave
Imelda Marcos
St. Marlboro
Stick Horse
Cat Casual & the Final Word
Sidekick Kato
The Rutabega
The Cell Phones
Ryoki Center
Burned or Buried
Erratic Retaliator
Rail Meat
Fucker Jr.
Light Coma
Andrew Cohen & Light Coma
Andrew Cohen solo
Korean Jeans
Mars Hill
Mint Mile
Hungry Man
Pinky Doodle Poodle
Rollo Tomasi
La Fea
Slander Cannon
Daughters of Saint Crispin
Ovef Ow
Redshift Headlights
Bon Air
Garbage Man
Soft Jolts
Blanco Suave
Sasquatch Turf War
Father Werewolf
Walking Bicycles
William Covert
Les Vikq
Panda Riot
Second City Shuffle Band
Daddy and Other Daddy

PRFBBQ 2019 vital info!

This Friday will mark a deadline. The point past which you will not be able to vote on the band ballot for what is (in my humble opinion) the best DIY music event on earth. For a mere $40 donation you can support and/or attend what some have called “the gathering of the huggalos” (hugs optional).

It’s a party and benefit (this year for TPAN and The Long Walk Home) that features food, DJs, beer, fizzy water, friends, music, and hugs (hugs optional). There may even be a literary component.

It’s my favorite weekend of every year.

If you would like to throw in, paypal me a $40-per-pass donation at

If you do it in the next couple of days you will be able to have a say in which bands play (ballot to come!)

If you are part of a musical endeavor that would like to play for a crowd thirsty and enthusiastic music fans, email a submission (link to music or video) to

Again: if you are unfamiliar, YOU ARE WELCOME.
Let me know if you have ANY questions.