Accolades and letters: EE:

"Ya'll are Funky!" Bootsy Collins
"I know they have a great version of Amazing Grace" Joan Baez
"EE, veterans of street action and indomitable spirits" Mark Messing
"You make me want to dance with my six year-old." Alex
"Inimitable." Hungry March Band
"Our favorite roaming performers" Chicago Waldorf School
"EE has a storied NYC underground history

Staten Island Community Charter School Newsletter, Fall 2012:
(From our HONK tour, 2012)

We have also hosted a number of exciting events, the Environmental Encroachment Band. All of our students and teachers gathered in our gymnasium for a lively concert conducted by the brass band. In fact, by the end of the program the entire school was dancing and clapping. Everyone loved the group, and we hope to have them back with us in the future.
Best regards,
Principal Michael Courtney

Review from Violent Success, June 2012:

The Damage:
Ticket to Lolla: $230
Ticket to Lolla if you bought it off Craigslist today: $300+
Lobster corndog from the Grahamwich tent in the food court: $10
1 oz. Wheatgrass Shot from Tiny Greens Organic Farm: $2
Souvenir Lolla poster: $30-$275
Average Lolla aftershow: $40-thousand$
Weekend alcohol budget: $150 ($50 a day, though by Sunday you'll be so exhausted you may skip the double-priced Budweiser products strewn about the festival's 20 bars)
Reggie's Friday aftershow featuring "magic circus" tribal / marching band Environmental Encroachment: Free
CTA of shame ride home: $2.25
Being able to face your mother/father/significant other/cat when you return home having not spent every nickel: Priceless

You don't have to attend the gigantic, full-service festival beginning tomorrow in Chicago's scenic Grant Park to appreciate a good aftershow….Given the Lolla budget, I'm going for free aftershows this year. I'm working on scoring tickets to various shows on Saturday and Sunday, but I know exactly where I'll be on Friday night: at Reggie's Music Joint, riveted by the performance art / music / freak show of Environmental Encroachment, the city's premiere circus rock marching band.
Confession: I've always been a band geek. I played trombone from fifth grade through college, including as a member of both the Hilo High School and Northwestern University marching bands. Once a band geek, always a band geek. Part of my fascination with EE is the marching band aspect and how they have managed to turn a straightforward genre into a hybrid of public performance art, circus tricks, and random acts of music.

It's a marching band gone rogue, and the antics are endlessly entertaining. Look no further than the flutist waking up the "sleeping" band members in the video above and you'll wonder how these guys are still playing venues for free. They write a lot of their own stuff, and they've got deep roots dating back to 1994 and following a storied path well-documented on the band's self-penned Wikipedia page and events archive.

After a day of heat, crowds, and the enthusiasm of Day 1 of the world's best music festival, EE and DFM will be a fanciful and fun way to end the day — especially because EE will be picking up anyone who wants a ride from somewhere along Michigan Avenue as people leave Lollapalooza.  Time and exact location are unconfirmed, so just look for the sassy, brassy ruckus.
If you're not going to Lolla, join the freak show anyway. It's free!
Show details here; Reggie's (1 block from Cermak/Chinatown red line), 9 p.m., 21+, free.

From the Chicago Women's Health Center, 2011:

Dear Environmental Encroachment,
On behalf of everyone at Chicago Women's Health Center, thank you so much for contributing your energy and entertainment to our first ever gala event! The evening's success was better than we could have ever imagined.

The playful fun you brought to the event really made the night and was a highlight for all of our guests! We really, truly appreciate your generosity and support of our mission and work. We look forward to working with you again, In peace and health,.


Review from JAMBASE- Chicago Bluegrass and Blues Fest 2009:


Although blues and bluegrass music are the only two genres in the title, the festival breathes creativity across dozens of musical influences.
This was most obvious as the Environmental Encroachment Magic Circus Band assembled for their brief set. The group – a motley crew of bunny-ear-wearing bohemian bandsters – fiddled with their instruments amongst the patrons. Then, without warning, they blasted into the opening of Richard Strauss' "Also Sprach Zarathustra" (Phish's "2001" for those less familiar with Strauss) from areas all over the lobby. Eventually congregating near the stage, the drummers and horn players brought the song to its crescendo. The ensuing funk jam brought all 17 or 18 Magic Circus members to the stage for their next song. The pavilion audience was enthralled with the scene.

Review from Festival Family

Then it was time to give the most fun band of the day their shot! The Environmental Encroachment Magic Circus Band is a twenty to thirty-ish odd piece band dedicated to bring a little madness to any and all situations. A spectacle of whirling marching band jams, psychedelic uniforms and bunny ears, they brought such a good and majestic level of insanity to the day. Solidly their own, they marched through the crowd and serpentined their way through each other while never missing a beat. I will do all I can to promote their particular brand of weirdness and can not wait to experience them again! -Rex


"Throughout the hallways of the school, people hung out drinking beers from cans, or forming their own informal circles of guitars, banjos, whatever. Around am, we wandered into the main auditorium and found EE (Environmental Encroachment) on the stage. I'm not sure if this ensemble plays other venues or just came together for the night, but they were about 12 musicians dressed as bunny rabbits, Easter baskets, etc., emanating a hypnotic fusion of drums, horns, guitars.

"A bunch of us got up and danced at the front of the stage at this point I had beaten drums, sang "Joey" at the top of my lungs, and I was not above letting loose to this freakishly wonderful music. It was completely surreal on stage one guy was playing the drums in a rabbit mask, and another guy in a tall pointy red velvet hat was simultaneously playing a trumpet and a trombone. And the rest of us were flailing our arms and swinging our hips to the sounds. This Alice in Wonderland-esque scene could have been a really good acid trip, yet I had hardly had two beers all night. It was at this moment I realized that I hadn't felt this completely unself-conscious in a long time."
Helen W. Wilson from

"And on top of that, adding to the flavor of the festival was the Environmental Encroachment’s Magic Circus Band (which was basically a small marching band all dressed up in mascot-like costumes). They were one of the highlights of the day in general, being walking personifications of fun & mischief. These guys would perform in the main room, just walking around on the floor with the crowd. They would present altered versions of bluegrass numbers, marching band tunes, and contemporary popular songs. They were supplied with girls who could do gymnastic acts and at one point there was a girl hula-hooping while she stood on the shoulders of a man who was also hula-hooping. That moment, one would have to say, was the pinnacle of the festival for every little one in attendance; which there were many, as kids under 12 were permitted in free of charge. Yet their pinnacle was probably the performance in the Lobby in the afternoon. They took to the stage playing a fantastic version of the theme from “2001: A Space Odyssey”, and even moved on to play a brass-heavy rendition of the Radiohead song “National Anthem”. But the most merrymaking moment of their set was when certain members of band went out into the crowd and did an ever-loudening, call and response type-song, with the other members remaining on the stage. The crowd was left dancing and laughing in-between the intense sounds of the talking-horns, and it created a moment of musical ecstasy for all who were watching within the cavernous lobby."

Hey! I have been working with you and your fellow coworkers, at John Garvy School. We are working on the Paul Bunyun!! Thank you so much for taking your time out to help us with it. You guys have been like the only people that have gotten me to really have fun with art, and I am hoping that when I am older I will be able to have a job like you because you guys are real good at it, and it seems like you guys have a lot of fun. I have been doing a lot of artwork lately which I normally don't do and you guys are great teachers, and I wish you guys weren't leaving because I wish I could learn more from you! Thanks for helping us out, it means a lot to me, and I am never going to forget anything you guys taught me because you are the only people that there are to thanks for me finding my new talent. I love you all and I wish you guys weren't leaving because you guys are so awesome and I am planning on going to one of your plays or whatever you call them to see you guys!!!!
Love always, Jenny Galiano , August 2002

It was damn good working with your company. I think we made an impression and changed some minds about buskers. A lot of this success is directly because of your participation. We'll be in touch.
Thanks again, John Mills, BuskerFest 2002

Thanks always for your generosity and professionalism. We're very happy to have you here.,
Yolanda Cest Cursach assistant Director of Performance Programs ,MCA, 312-397-4095
July, 1999

Wow! What an experience. Thank you so much. It was a pleasure to work with you.
Cecilia Escobar Performance Programs Coordinator, MCA, 312-397-4065
July, 1999

Thank you for sending the video of your work for our consideration. Our Art Show Committee enjoyed watching it. Unfortunately, we do not have the facilities to accommodate performance or installation art.
Janet M. Devlin Chair, Art Show Selection Committee
Chicago School of Professional Psychology,
July 1998

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