Each Spring—and for one day only—our favorite businesses up and down Cherokee Street transform into music video sets for local bands.
Lo-Fi Cherokee is an electric event that features one-song performances from all types of local musical artists and projects, set against the backdrop of Cherokee Street storefronts and spaces. The performances are recorded by the team from Lo-Fi St. Louis, who then edit the sets into professional music videos to be unveiled to the community. This year’s event will be held on Saturday, April 8.
The best part? The public is invited. Lo-Fi Cherokee is a great excuse to visit the Cherokee Street neighborhood, check out local businesses, and enjoy a slice of the St. Louis music scene. We asked Bill Streeter, a local filmmaker and the creator of Lo-Fi Cherokee, to give first-time attendees the inside track of what to expect at the event.
Feel Free To Come And Go
The performances and filming sessions last all day, but you certainly don’t have to hang out for
hours. “We start in the morning, around 9:30 or 10 a.m.,” Streeter said. “We go until our lunch
break, and usually get five or six acts in before lunch, then take a lunch break to let the crew
regroup and hit it again.” The day normally goes until sundown. Find the latest updates and band announcements at Lo-Fi St. Louis's facebook page.)
Expect Something Authentic
Streeter says the sets are totally open to the public, which gives music-lovers and curious onlookers a chance to see a more real side of their favorite musical acts. “As an attendee, you get to see behind the scenes, and it’s a great opportunity to see a band out of context,” he said. “You get an opportunity to see a pretty wide variety of music in a single day; you can see everything from a hip hop band to a rock band to bluegrass or jazz. It’s all original music; there’s no covers here.” If you’re comfortable, you might even be asked to star as an extra.
Snapshots from 2022 Lo-Fi Cherokee
Make a Day Of It
The day is about music, but it’s also about the businesses on Cherokee Street. Many shops or restaurants will offer Lo-Fi specials, and walking up and down the street is a great way to check out a new store or eatery. If you’re in the mood for shopping, find inspiration on the Cherokee Street Fashion Guide. For lunch ideas, check out An Insider’s Food Guide to La Calle Cherokee. “It’ll give you an opportunity to walk up and down Cherokee Street and check out some of the stuff that Cherokee Street has to offer besides just what we’re doing,” Streeter said.
“It’s just a nice day to spend on the street, and the bars and the restaurants, sort of get an opportunity to check out some of those places too.” While he’s a fan of all the restaurants on Cherokee Street, Streeter says he has a soft spot for local gem La Manganita.
Bring Your Energy
One of Streeter’s favorite parts of the event is watching bands feed off the audience’s energy. If you do pop by a set, try and let the music move you. Sarah Downen, who has been at the event both as an attendee and as a musical act with her band Golden Curls, agrees. “I would say put your phone down during the performances; sit back, enjoy, and be attentive,” she said.
Feel Free to Plan Ahead
While the event is open to the public—and no tickets are required—you can pre-register for Lo-Fi Cherokee on Eventbrite for a few extra perks including a limited-edition swag bag and the chance to purchase Lo-Fi apparel that can be picked up the day of the event.
Downen says a little pre-planning can also help music fans maximize their experience. “You could get the schedule beforehand and mark which acts you want to see, then catch as many as you can!” she said. “I think planning ahead and having a game plan is a great way to make sure you don't miss anyone you want to see. Maybe look up the musician's recordings beforehand so you're familiar with their art; it can be a lot more fun when you are already a fan of the project.” But both Downen and Streeter agree that showing up with no plan is just as valid—after all, the day is about experiencing something new.
Pack a Few Key Items
Streeter recommends good walking shoes for adventuring up and down Cherokee Street,
dressing for the weather, showing up with money for lunch, packing a water bottle, and coming
Keep the Party Going
While filming wraps up around sundown, festivities on the Street continue well into the evening. New this year, Streeter says, will be the chance to hear some of the bands perform sets at venues on Cherokee Street. While the plans are still being finalized, he expects the after-party to be epic. Those sets will also be open to the public.
For attendees who want to view the final music videos, the Lo-Fi Cherokee Premier Party will be held on Sunday, May 28 at Off-Broadway, just steps from Cherokee Street. Tickets are $10 at the door. View videos from past year's events on Lo-Fi STL's Youtube Channel.
Planning on attending Lo-Fi Cherokee this year? Get up-to-date info and announcements at lofistl.com, and tag us in your day-of photos at @cherokeestreet.