Attendance grew 70% for CIMMfest weekend event

This year’s CIMMfest’s partnership with the city-sponsored Lake FX Summit + Expo, “turned out to be a really good experience,” says Dave Moore, executive director of the Chicago International Music & Film Festival held last weekend along Milwaukee Avenue.

Actually, the 7th  annual event was much better than “good.”  It was a record breaker. Moore estimates attendance was close to 20,000 — an enormous 70% jump over last year’s 12,000.

Moore estimates that CIMMfest and Lake FX, hosted by DCASE (the city’s Dept. of Cultural Affairs and Special Affairs) programmed about 220 events. Of these, an estimated 120 were CIMMfest’s live music performances, film screenings, panels and workshops and 100 were Lake FX tracks of visual and performing arts, fashion and culinary arts events, and some music and film.

The merger of Lake FX and non-profit CIMMfest began last August, when DCASE announced its spring dates and CIMMfest co-founders, editor Ilko Davidov and musician Josh Chicoine and Moore felt their respective events presented a conflict since they were scheduled two weeks apart.

“We decided it would be best to create a partnership, so we went to DCASE with our proposal to merge and they thought it was terrific,” Moore says. “We knew the marketing would be a little complication, but in the end it worked out brilliantly for the city and us.”

CIMMfest's Dave MooreAs its growth continues, CIMMfest is closer to its goal of becoming become a regional hub for the music, film and technology industries. “We have the potential to be a great industry conference.”

Despite its success last week, Moore says the board feels CIMMfest is still in “early stages of growth,” in terms of financial support. A more robust funding base is required to reach its ultimate goals. Currently funding sources have been an expanding sponsorship base and ticket sales.

Starting last October to organize the 2015 CIMMfest were artistic manager Josh Chicoine; film operations manager Carmine Cervi; film programmers John Fecile, Andy Markowitz and Adam Montgomery. Anna Wright and Joelle Ballam were CIMMcon programmers/managers. Gary Kuzminksi is the marketing director and Rondell Merrill is Moore’s assistant.

Because he is working in New Orleans on a feature, Davidov served as a consultant to the festival.