Southern Illinois Music Festival is a ‘go’

Southern Illinois Music Festival is a go, with a few changes

CARBONDALE, Ill. (KFVS) - One Heartland festival is not backing down from the pandemic this year, it’s actually keeping its tradition alive.

For 16 straight years now the Southern Illinois Music Festival will live on.

The festival is set to take place throughout the region. Director of the festival is SIU’s own Edward Benyas. He said safety is their number one priority.

“We came up with a seven-page plan, to make sure that we’re following, we want all our artist staff and patrons to be safe,” said Benyas.

To get a seat at one of the multiple shows and venues you have to make a reservation online.

“But you have to make advanced reservations to attend any of our performances to make sure we can know exactly who’s coming; and we’ll have seats set out for everybody,” said Benyas.

Benyas said musicians from all across the United States are coming into town to perform. Musicians will be playing Chamber music.

“I’ve got people coming from different parts of the country and from Chicago and here in southern Illinois. Everybody is excited to finally get together and not play music into a computer screen, but to play with another human being,” said Benyas

One musician from Chicago has been making the trip back down for the festival since 2012. William Cernota is part of the Lyric Opera in Chicago.

“Whether it is now or anytime this is a treasure down here,” he said.

He said musicians need crowds to play in front of.

“It’s important for us to perform in front of an audience and there’s nothing like a live audience,” said Cernota.

Southern Illinois University graduate student Gloria Orozco-Dorado is excited to play with professional musicians.

“I’m really excited because were going to get together and play with professionals and that’s very important for us students,” said Orozco Dorado.

There are certain locations that performances will be held at across southern Illinois.

“We have three performances in Shryock Auditorium, three performances at Art Space 304 Carbondale community arts, one right here at congregation Beth Jacob, one at Anna Arts Center, then two down in Cairo starting tonight, actually, at at the Episcopal Church,” said Benyas.

Tickets can be found at

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