Archive for the 'Events' Category


Official Opinions: Where to celebrate the spooky season

Looking for something spooky to do this weekend? Stitely‘s got you covered. From historic ghost tours to haunted houses for all ages, here are a few events where one can definitely find a way to give himself a good scare and get in the Halloween spirit!

There are plenty of haunted tours happening around the city this month, but a few caught our attention here at Stitely. The Chicago Hauntings Haunted City tour is the tour to go on if you want to discover Chicago’s most active supernatural spots. This 2.5 hour haunted tour starts at 7pm or 10pm and takes you around the city by bus. This tour is unique in the fact that they let you get off the bus to get a closer look at anything out of the ordinary. So dive deep into the supernatural with the whole family or be a bold solo act; just remember to bring your cameras to document any ghostly sightings. You can purchase your tickets by phone or online for $33 for adults, $30 for vets and elderly guests, and $25 for kids under 12.

If seeing Chicago’s spooky spots doesn’t scare you, then test your iron will at The Music Box Theater’s Music Box of Horrors on October 13-14. The Music Box is a historic theater built in 1929 that presents a yearly 24-hour movie marathon of classic horror films. If you are a fearless moviegoer this is the place to be. Get your tickets for the marathon for $35 a person now or go on the day of the show for $40.

Not into movie marathons? Fear not, the Spirit Ships and Haunted Harbors tour will still leave chills going down your spine. Leaving at 8:30 pm the Tall Ship Windy will set sail into the dark misty waters of Lake Michigan.  Away from the city sounds you can uncover the mystery, history, and legend of past ships and the deep waters below.  Tickets are available online; adult tickets are $30, young adults are $25, kids are $10 and babies are only a $1. Grab a blanket and settle down for some scary tales of the Chicago waters.

If supernatural spirits, horror films, and old sailing tales aren’t scary enough for you, then I would recommend hitting up the following VERY SCARY, award-winning haunted houses in the Chicago area:

Anna, In the Darkness: The Basement-Dream Theatre, 556 W. 18th Street, Chicago, IL 60616
The Fear Haunted House, 600 E. Grand Avenue, Chicago, IL, 60611
Chronicles Of The Cursed-500 W. Grand Avenue, Chicago, IL, 60654
Disturbia-Torment of Fears is located on 800 W. Lake Street, Addison, IL 60101
Eleventh Hour-434 E. Devon Avenue, Elk Grove, IL 60007
Statesville Haunted Prison And City Of The Dead, 17250 S. Weber Road, Crest Hill, IL, 60441

To find more local haunted houses check out

Hopefully this list will allow you to have a fun-filled season and still allow you to sleep at night (if that’s what you want to do). Enjoy!


Official Opinion: Get Cheeky with It – Birthday Style

CheekyIf you haven’t heard the news, Cheeky Chicago and their birthday bash is where it’s at in two weeks. This year marks the 4th birthday of the online lifestyle magazine, Cheeky Chicago, and what better way to celebrate this milestone than with a fantastic party?

For the past four years, Cheeky has been the hot Chicago social spot to find out about the most exciting happenings around the Windy City as well as the go-to guide for all things fresh, feminine and fabulous. After four years of offering nothing but the best to the Chicago women, they’re throwing a birthday party to stop the seasons in their tracks at the Four Seasons on October 4th.

If the trend of four wasn’t apparent before, Cheeky is making sure no one forgets how long they’ve been around by decorating the Four Seasons’ grand ballroom with each season. Guests can lounge in the different seasonal areas and enjoy a full sensory experience by sampling the delicious winter, spring, summer or fall themed food and drinks. But don’t chill too long- the Stitely Orchestra will providing pack-the-dance-floor hits as you party the night away!

Come join Cheeky for their birthday bash by purchasing your tickets here! Tickets are only $30 in advance and $35 at the door. Don’t wait, you wouldn’t want to miss it. We’ll bring the music, you bring the good times. Get cheeky!


Official Opinions: The Top 7 Reasons To Book Your Holiday Party NOW


With temperatures hitting a high of the mid-80s’s this week, it may feel a little early to start thinking about your holiday party. However, in the case of planning a Chicago event, the early bird definitely gets the worm. Charles Cotton, an independent expert from the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development‘s expert on staff rewards, says:

Courtesy of Google Images

“As ever, employers need to think about why they are providing a (holiday) party in the first place. If it is to recognize the collective contribution of their employees then what are the alternatives and are they more effective?”

       If holding a (holiday) party is the most effective way of achieving this then employers should be wary about scrapping them in response to the economic downturn because the long-term impact could be damaging on employee engagement and organizational performance.

      The (holiday) party is one way of reminding staff that they are part of a common endeavor.”

Ultimately, ROI is the bottom line, so here are a few thoughts on the value of holiday parties and a few ways in which you can help in justifying the budget.  Although the cost may seem high, assuming a holiday party costs say $100 per guest and the average salary in a company is $40,000, then the cost is tiny relative to other costs.

  1. Book EARLY, the best bands and other forms of entertainment get scheduled earlier and earlier.  Don’t get stuck with a jug band you found on lower Wacker because you put it off till Thanksgiving!
  2. By booking well in advance you are much more likely to get the date you want, and not end up having your party on a Thursday in January.
  3. If you plan ahead, there will be sufficient time for all your employees and staff to organize their own schedules to anticipate your party.  Babysitters, travel, accommodations etc. need to get booked early too.
  4. Booking early will put you at ease and come the holidays your mood will be closer to the Whos in Whoville than the Grinch.
  5. Because it is booked and announced in advance, the company holiday party will signal to your employees that things are improving and that you appreciate them.
  6. Booking your venue early means you get the snazzy new place you wanted.  Hip and unique venues should be contacted now to get reserved.  The best places have planners who will help you with your vision for the night. We are also celebration specialists and can assist you in putting the perfect evening together.
  7. START the day with a meeting, then let it morph into a party! A lot of great Chicago venues are ideally suited to staging a daytime conference or presentation before the party to increase the business content of the event. Then, spouses arrive, the party starts and can run all evening with dancing.

Remember that as long as you have a beautiful room, great food and a Stitely Band or DJ playing your kind of music, you are assured a great night!


official opinions: Make your company holiday party count

In the heat of a Chicago August, it can be easy to forget that the holidays are slowly creeping up on us again.  Soon the leaves will begin to change and fall then we’ll be right back to cooking turkeys and picking out gifts for our loved ones.  Suddenly we will find ourselves swimming in endless traditions and family meals, rather than a rooftop pool. But of course the holidays are not simply a family affair; it’s a time of year when we get to celebrate with everyone in our lives and that includes co-workers and bosses.  Yes, I’m referring to that infamous annual event:  the company holiday party.

Whether it’s something you dread or eagerly await, for most employees a holiday party is a highly-anticipated event.  You may not realize it, but parties or other office-wide social events can really do a lot for employee morale, which is very important in maintaining a successful business.

So, as a guest or planner, what can you do to improve this yearly event?  How can you take the awkwardness out of a party with everyone from janitors to the CEO in attendance?  It can be a tricky situation, but certainly worth the effort.  Here are a few tips on how to get everyone in your company loosening their ties and enjoying the evening.

1.)  Know your budget!  When you know your budget in advance, you can begin to shape the evening within real expectations.  A big blow-out can be a fun opportunity to have employees invite guests, but a more intimate, less extravagant affair may be more comfortable with just staff members.  Your budget will allow you to determine the number of guests, venue and catering early in the process.

2.)  Know your “vibe”:  The atmosphere you want to create at your corporate party is extremely important.  For a more traditional business vibe, you may want to make a dress code or hold the event at an elegant restaurant or banquet hall. More informal parties can focus on other aspects, such as finding a place with a great deal on an open bar.  Either way, an easy way to set the right mood for your party is through music.  Writers for the staff of put it perfectly in their story on party planning: “There is an amazing relation between music and emotions of the people.”   Make sure your party vibe is fun and energetic by booking your music with Stitely.

3.)  Plan EARLY!:  It may seem premature to begin planning the big holiday shindig while you’re still working on keeping your summer tan, however, you want to make sure to allow plenty of time to nail down the essentials.  You can’t have a party without music, food, and a venue.  Plus, thinking ahead may help you find better rates for the services you want.  Contact us today to find out how much you can save on morale-boosting music for your company’s holiday party!


official opinions: the perfect weekend for Pitchfork

Today marks the first day of Chicago’s Pitchfork Music Festival! At only $45 per day (or $110 for the whole weekend) this 3-day festival featuring indie and alternative artists is a more affordable substitute for Lollapalooza scheduled for the beginning of August. I like going to Pitchfork for a variety of reasons, including their commitment to being environmentally green, but most important is the music. Pitchfork is a fantastic opportunity to hear new & up-and-coming bands before they’re really popular; besides the more well-known headliners, several of the acts that you see at Pitchfork actually end up playing Lolla a few years later.  What better place for a hipster to name drop?
If you’re going to trek down to Union Park for this beautiful weekend, or even just one of the days, be sure to check out these awesome groups:

Friday, July 13
-Feist- I LOVE this indie songbird who is headlining this year! Known for her hit single “1234,” her latest album Metals has a bit of a folky, country twang.
Japandroids– This noise rock duo reminds me of classic ’90s garage/punk bands with singable anthems and moshing potential. It’s amazing that only two guys can make such a big sound.

Alexis Krauss from Sleigh Bells

Saturday, July 14
Godspeed You! Black Emperor – One of the original post-rock bands, this headliner is returning from an “indefinite hiatus” to the delight of hipsters everywhere.
-Hot Chip – This eclectic, electropop group is known for breaking boundaries and flooding dance floors. Their 2008 single “Ready For The Floor” was nominated for a Grammy for Best Dance Recording.
-Sleigh Bells – This hard-rocking duo is widely appreciated by a variety of music critics (and you’ll even like them too!) Check out their single “Rill Rill” from their latest album, Treats.

Sunday, July 15
-Vampire Weekend – A popular indie staple, this bouncy headliner ensures that all festival-goers end the night dancing. They’re known for a number of hits, including “Oxford Comma.”
Beach House – Even Jay-Z and Beyonce (supposedly) love this dream pop duo, whose third album, Team Dream, was listed as #5 on Pitchfork’s Top 50 Albums of 2010.
-Real Estate – Listening to this ultra-relaxed, indie pop band with a beer while sitting in the shade is the perfect way to chill out on a Sunday afternoon. One of my personal favorites is “It’s Real” off their album Days.

If you need any help planning your weekend try this PDF from Canright Communications.

A doppelganger of Stitely’s DJ Vince enjoying last year’s fest


official opinions: let your pride show this weekend!

Are you hitting up the many Pride events and parades happening this weekend? If you’re not sure what’s going on in the city, let Stitely fill you in! June is LGBT Pride Month and Chicago is home to some of the largest Pride events in the U.S.! Stitely is so proud to have been a part of the civil union ceremony last year and we are excited to show our support yet again. So go find that old rainbow t-shirt, throw on some glitter and check out these fun Pride events taking Chicago by storm!

Chicago Pride Fest

Friday, June 22 – Saturday, June 23

Between Addison/Halsted and Broadway/Halsted

4:00PM – 10:00PM

Have a blast at this two-day Pride event! Hosted by the Northalsted Business Alliance, this crowd-pleasing gay and lesbian celebration of community pride showcases an eclectic lineup of arts and crafts, food and other vendors. It also features entertainment on two stages with one dedicated to some of Chicago’s fine performers in the gay community. Be sure to check out recording artists JoJo and Frenchie Davis too!

Pride Weekend Kickoff Cruise

Friday, June 22

6:30PM – 9:00PM

Navy Pier

Mystic Blue presents Miss Foozie. The third annual cruise welcomes all adults celebrating the diversity of our city. Includes one free drink and a souvenir glass, the Lake-Breeze Dinner Lounge Buffet, DJs playing hot beats, and amazing skyline views, dancing. 21+ only, valid photo ID at boarding.

Pride Walk and Run

Saturday, June 23


Montrose at Simmonds Drive

The 31st annual Proud to Run includes a 5k run and 10k run, 2 mile fun walk presented with Frontrunners/Frontwalkers Chicago. Fee to participate benefits local organizations, Pride Youth and the Gerber/Hart Library.

Dyke March

Saturday, June 23


Margate Park, 4921 N Marine Dr

The 2012 Dyke March will be in the Uptown neighborhood this year with start and stop at Margate Park, located at Marine Drive and Ainslie.

Sunday, June 24, 2012
10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Montrose Harbor
Vendors open market, entertainment, volleyball, bidwhist tournaments. Also a health and wellness focus on lesbian and bisexual women of color and the transgender populations with health organizations. Look here for further details on a full week of events.
Sunday, June 24, 2012
12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Corner of Montrose/Broadway
Chicago’s 43rd Annual Pride Parade will feature 200 entries featuring floats, decorated vehicles and walking groups representing businesses, organizations and individuals.

The parade steps off at Noon in Chicago’s Boystown neighborhood, from the Montrose/Broadway corner, proceeding south on Broadway; then south on Halsted; then east on Belmont; then south on Broadway; then east on Diversey to Cannon Drive.

The parade route will be lengthened by five blocks to accommodate the increased amount of spectators. It also adds two additional elevated stations to accommodate arriving spectators.


official opinions: stitely staff sings (and plays guitar)

Unsurprisingly, most of the Stitely staffers are musicians who sing & play on their off hours. This week Chicago is lucky enough to be graced with two shows featuring the talents of Stitely employees and interns.

If you’re free tonight, come check our Planning & Sound Intern, Morgan Haner, and his band Cavepainters, at Uncommon Ground on Devon at 9:30 p.m. Margaret Potts of DePaul University Honors says Morgan Haner Music “…is bright, experimental, and witty, with lyrics pertaining to current social justice issues such as the ongoing war in Iraq and different public policies around the nation. His style resembles his personal inspirations: Bob Dylan and Neil Young. Listening to Haner, I had the privilege to witness what may be the first unveiling of a strong musical voice.”

Cover is only $5 but Uncommon Ground fills up fast! Call 773-465-9801 to reserve your spot. Morgan’s brand new solo album, “War and Cocaine,” is available for download or you can buy it at the show tonight.

For music of a different flavor, try 60 Degrees North, the Wicker Park Choral Singers concert this Saturday, June 23 at 8:00 p.m. at St. Vincent DePaul Church (1010 W. Webster Ave, Chicago, IL). Rachel has been singing with this community ensemble since its inception in 2008 and says this concert’s program is its most ambitious yet. 60 Degrees North features the music from countries located on or near the titular latitudinal line  including: Russia, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Estonia, and Canada.

“I was drawn to the music of these northern countries because each has a strong and enviable choral tradition,” says WPCS Artistic Director Mark Tomasino. “That tradition is rooted in a great emphasis on social identification through singing which has resulted in tremendous musical participation and output for countries of such modest populations.”

The performance is free and open to the public. The concert program runs about 90 minutes and will be followed by a reception where attendees are invited to enjoy thematically appropriate food provided by Stone Root Catering.

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Delivering a mind-blowing musical performance at an event is an art and planning it is a science. Stitely Entertainment has mastered both by planning and executing thousands of events.

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