Chicago performance art group Environmental Encroachment (EE) uses a marching band, costumes, and antics to create unique entertainment environments. EE’s mission is to create playgrounds for the body and mind through dance, music and art.
EE’s marching band has evolved as part of a new genre of music:
“Across the country and around the world, a new type of street band is emerging. Acoustic and mobile, borrowing repertoire and inspiration from a diverse set of folk music traditions – New Orleans second line brass bands, European Klezmer, Balkan and Romani music, Brazilian Afro Bloc and Frevo traditions, as well as the passion and spirit of Mardi Gras and Carnival.”
Performances include parades, weddings, funerals, historical re-enactments, children’s shows, holiday theme parties, street busking, second-line processions, festivals, performance workshops, rituals, marching band flags/color guard, circus sideshows, music for burlesque, birthdays, coronations, proms, vaudevillian skits, and synchronized swimming with sousaphones.
Environmental Encroachment’s first official ‘show’ was on New Year’s Eve Day, December 31st, 1994, with playground installations and live music interactions below Chicago’s 18th Street bridge.