Pygmalion Music Festival

If you’d like to experience a festival that’s different from the rest, load up your RV and head to the multi-disciplinary Pygmalion Festival.

Event information

The Pygmalion Festival is a multi-day event that features Music, Science, Technology, Arts, Comedy, and much more. It takes place in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, every year. In addition to the ticketed shows, Pygmalion offers free events like tech panels, virtual reality demonstrations, and poetry readings.

The festival has been going strong since 2005. It was started as an event that revolved around live music. However, over the years, many other disciplines have been added. This makes Pygmalion a festival like no other. The concerts and shows take place simultaneously at different venues across Urbana.

Although the event has expanded in many different directions, the top quality live music continues to be at the center of it all. In the past, the festival has featured numerous musicians and bands, including Japanese Breakfast, Lady Lamb, Mount Kimbie, Post Animal, Corbin, Palehound, Animal Collective, Future Islands, Run The Jewels, and Panda Bear.

Authors and presenters like Mark Halliday, Eric Andre, Antoni Porowski, Paige Lewis, Tig Notaro, Adam Voith, Donna Cox, and Marcus Wickers have been a part of the festival. Thousands of visitors travel to the area to experience the festival every year, and this has had a positive impact on its economy.


In order to keep prices low and ensure that more people are able to access the Pygmalion Music Festival, there have not been VIP tickets or tiered pricing options in the past. Festival passes are not sold online in advance. Instead, passes are sold separately for individual shows. The artists also have a say in the pricing of the tickets to their shows. They can be purchased directly at the venue.

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The drive from Chicago to Champaign-Urbana may take you a little over two hours. The fastest route is usually along I-57. Look out for Champaign’s City Hall, which is a sign that you’ve reached the area. Periodically road alerts are issued in Champaign county. Motorists may appreciate referencing Illinois 511 services before starting on your trip. Pygmalion and the associated Made Fest are held in various locations within the community.

Parking areas

Metered street parking is available close to the different venues. Spaces are limited, so you’ll need to get there early to nab a spot in Urbana. RVers may find it simpler to park at a campsite and use public transportation to get around the area if a larger rig is preferred.

Public Transportation

Champaign-Urbana has a well-developed transportation system called the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District or the MTD. Travelers to the area may appreciate this option for getting from one venue to the next. Buses are frequent and ADA accessible. Another option is to get around using a ride-hailing or taxi service.

Where to stay


Pygmalion Music Festival does not offer onsite camping options. You’ll need to book a spot at one of the RV parks or campgrounds in the vicinity. Acting fast is recommended, so you don’t miss out on the best sites.


Many of the campgrounds and RV parks are located outside the metropolitan area. Kickapoo State Recreation Area is less than 30 miles away. It has multiple lakes and is recommended for campers who enjoy water activities like canoeing, swimming, and deep-water fishing. While the amenities offered are minimal, it is an excellent option for anyone looking to get back to nature.

Getting around

Many of the venues associated with the Pygmalion Festival are walking distance from each other. Guests also have the option of cycling from one event to the next. This way, you can avoid the hassle of finding a parking spot. Most of the indoor spaces are wheelchair accessible, and festival staff will be available to provide assistance to anyone who needs it.

What to pack


Keep your daytime attire, lightweight, comfortable, and summer appropriate. The music concerts are casual affairs, while the other cultural events tend to be more formal. Since you may be doing a lot of walking between venues, it’s a good idea to opt for flat, closed footwear. You'll need some warm outerwear for the chilly evenings.


Even though many of the events take place indoors, it's still a good idea to bring sunscreen and sunglasses. You and your crew may want to soak up the last of summer and enjoy some time under the sun during your trip in addition to your Pygmalion activities. Pack a good light source like a flashlight and extra batteries. You’ll need these to get around your campsite at night.

Health & Safety

Keep your energy up by drinking plenty of water and eating at regular intervals. If you’re traveling with young children, keep them close and give them a bracelet or piece of paper with your contact information. Keep an eye on your belongings and avoid carrying any valuables with you to the Pygmalion events.

Where to eat


It’s a good idea to plan your meals ahead of time. Make a list of all the ingredients you’ll need and pick them up in the city center if your campground is located on the outskirts. You may not find everything you need at the convenience store closest to you. If campfires are allowed at your campsite, keep them contained and off the ground.


Although the area is known for its college town vibe, you’ll find much more than cheap beer and pizza here. Talented chefs in the region often use locally sourced produce to create innovative and delicious dishes. Whatever your mood or budget, you’ll find a restaurant that is just right.


Food vendors will be selling delicious treats throughout the Pygmalion events, especially Made Fest. Whether you’re craving something savory or are looking to satisfy your sweet tooth, you’ll find plenty of options. For patrons with dietary restrictions or preferences, there will be a range of gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian food to choose from at this event.



Security staff will be present at the entrances of the various venues during Pygmalion. Bags and belongings will be checked before entry. So, if you’re in doubt about whether a particular item will be allowed or not, it’s best to leave it behind at your campsite or secure it in your vehicle.


Visitors to the area are likely to enjoy pleasant fall weather in Illinois. The temperature is often in the high-70s during the day and the mid-50s at night. It may not rain in September, and even if it does, the events will not be affected since most of them take place indoors.


There is a hospital located less than two miles away from the epicenter of the festival. If you or someone you know needs assistance, request help from the nearest staff member. In the event of an emergency, it’s best to call 911. Patrons with disabilities can contact the festival organizers directly for queries or requests regarding the accessibility of the venues. Multiple pharmacy locations are available within a three-mile distance of the main festival area.