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Highland Park Music Festival Raises Money For Local Businesses

The Bitter Jester Music Festival, which was cancelled because of the July 4 mass shooting in Highland Park, was held Sunday.

The festival took place at Madame Zuzu’s, a cafe and teahouse owned by Smashing Pumpkins frontman and suburban resident Billy Corgan.

13 different artists from all over the Midwest performed. Proceeds earned from the event will go to the business recovery fund to help raise money for businesses that were shut down for several days during the shooting investigation.

“Over 150 establishments were shut down while the FBI investigated, many of them paying out-of-pocket to compensate their employees despite being shuttered for a week,” Nicolas DeGrazia, the festival's founder, said. “Turning our biggest show of the year into a helping hand for so many people that have supported us over the years is something I’m very proud to be a part of.”

The show is produced by the non-profit Bitter Jester Foundation for the Arts, which DeGrazia leads. The city of Highland Park has been a sponsor of the festival since its inception in 2006.

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