EE Marching Band
contact: Mike Smith
Letters of recommendation from festival organizers:
"Environmental Encroachment has performed at our first three festivals, and they never fail to entertain and inspire audiences of all ages with their irrepressible playfulness. Mike Smith and his band mates are consummate street performers, mixing raucous music with audacious theatrics (not to mention bunny ears and hula-hoops) to turn the world upside down and get everyone laughing and dancing. They have played virtually every type of venue, for every kind of occasion and audience, all across the country, and never pass up an opportunity to play for, and learn from, performers and audiences of all kinds."
Organizer, The HONK! Festival, Boston
Trombonist, Second Line Social Aid & Pleasure Society Brass Band
*update letter, Nov. 2013
I wanted to say on my own behalf how GREAT it was to see and play with you and EE again, especially when I had more time to hang and honk in Providence and New York, but also admire you all up close and further away here in Somerville etc, making your inspiring and enchanted music for our friends and neighbors and newcomers. What a treat, every time, to make something new with young old friends. Always a different blend of musicians, but always filled with an unequivocal unity of minds and souls and dancing shoes. EE remains a true and ever-expanding influence on our convergence and the movement, and it was a real pleasure to have you back again.
HONK! Festival, 2013
"Environmental Encroachment has come to epitomize the Burning Man spirit at Chicago events. The band's unmistakable presence lifts every occasion in which they participate. They are accomplished musicians who take performance seriously, but they are also agitators who connect with everyone around them and convey energy and humor at every turn. They always come through for us, and they have become something of a civic treasure.
They also have been pioneers in bringing the values of Burning Man off the playa and into communities. They have led 5 Halloween Parades in Chicago, led the annual Bunny Hop, and have provided marching and brass band services at events too numerous to mention- both within the Chicago Burning Man community and at other public occasions. They not only ramp up the energy, but they become musical ambassadors of a spirit that includes gifting, radical self-expression and radical inclusion. Their participation on the Playa is consistently notable, including at the Billion Bunny March.
Whatever they are proposing will be with style, purpose and grace. I can think of no better group than Environmental Encroachment."
Media Mecca Manager, Burning Man Festival, www.burningman.com
Assistant Commissioner, Chicago Department of Water Management
"What makes a festival festive?
The spirit of any festival lies in the ability of the entertainers to be sunshine when it is raining, to be that cool breeze when it is blistering hot.
Environmental Encroachment is that type of entertainment. In 2005 at Michigan Peace Fest a tornado went through the area and left us without power. EE became the power that the fest needed by starting a parade with horns, tambourines, crazy costumes, wild antics, and hoop dancers. They brought the fest back alive and saved the day. Since then they have become an essential part of our fest and Michigan Peace Fest would just not be the same without them."
Michigan Peace Fest
"A festival is not a festival without mobile performers. A festival is not a festival without music that makes you dance. A festival is not a festival without costumed musical clowns. With Environmental Encroachment, all three are covered by true masters of the craft. At the inaugural Chicago Bluegrass & Blues Festival, EE was a hit, and were widely mentioned in the countless positive reviews that followed the groundbreaking event. We're very excited to have them back next year!"
Director - Chicago Bluegrass & Blues Festival
King Tello Presents
"They are back! When tornado like winds demolished our festival last year, just hours before our opening, the marching drums and horns of EE were like the Calvary cry coming to our rescue. We are proud to have these great Chicago patriots of fun opening this year's Taste of Randolph Street festival."
Perry Fotopoulos, Star Events, Chicago
Thank you so much for Environmental Encroachment's musical acompaniment of the March of the Unemployed (historical re-enactment). You all added a tremendous amount of spirit and enthusiasm to the event.
University of Illinois at Chicago