Dillo Day is an annual all-day music festival at Northwestern University that takes place at the end of May or beginning of June on the Lakefill. Initiated in 1972, it is organized by Mayfest Productions, a Northwestern student group, and is the largest completely student-run festival of its kind.
The festival has its roots in May Day, or Mayfete. Mayfete was a time when students would celebrate the "renunciation of the May Queen of the temporal world for a spiritual one," according to a 1951 history of the event. Although little is known about the early days, May Day was originally a celebration of the women of Northwestern. The crowning of the May Queen was the central event, and the pomp included a Maypole dance and cotillion. May Day expanded to May Week in 1946 to accommodate a women's sing, men's sing, and an honors ceremony.
Armadillo Day began in 1972. In 1981 the A&O board first produced a free two day outdoor concert event to coincide with Armadillo Day, featuring rockabilly revivalist Robert Gordon on Friday, and blues legend Muddy Waters on Saturday. The all-day Saturday concert event on the shores of Lake Michigan has continued the tradition of presenting major industry artists. Food trucks and a "Dillo Village" surround the two stages. Northwestern University lists Dillo Day as one of its most notable traditions.
On May 30th, 2020, Mayfest Productions hosted Digital Dillo, a virtual replacement for the annual music festival. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dillo Day would not have been able to take place in an in-person format. As an alternative, students received a link to a livestream on which they could watch live performances and Q&A sessions with the artists. The virtual lineup included Rico Nasty, Jai Wolf, and The Regrettes.
- EJ3 (Pumai Subanakyot, Student DJ)
- Wop St. Bass Ritual
WNUR x Nongshim Stage
- Onnij x Ouyang (Student DJ)
- Prez Harris & Friends (Student Band)
2015 (Note: Dillo Day was canceled in 2015 due to high winds.)
- The GTW
- Sirr Tmo
- Teen Witch Fan Club
- A DJ set by Northwestern University alumnus William Butler, member of Arcade Fire
- Ted Leo and the Pharmacists
- A DJ set by Flosstradamus
- Broken Social Scene
- Third Eye Blind
- The Cool Kids
- Clash Gordon
- DJ Sicarii
Past headlining bands include The Roots, Cake, and Lupe Fiasco in 2007, and Robert Randolph and the Family Band and Ben Folds in 2006. Performers from previous years include George Clinton, Yellowman, Third World, The Wailers, The Crystal Method, Outkast, and Bela Fleck and the Flecktones.
- "Northwestern Traditions" Archived 2011-09-27 at the Wayback Machine, Northwestern University Office of Undergraduate Admissions
- "Dillo Day 2018 Lineup". Dillo Day. Archived from the original on 22 May 2018. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
- Dillo Day [@Dillo_Day] (4 April 2014). "Mayfest is happy to announce that @chancetherapper will be Dillo Day 2014's Daytime Headliner! This act is sponsored by @Cricketnation!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Dillo Day [@Dillo_Day] (14 May 2014). "Mayfest is excited to announce @2chainz as our 2014 Dillo Day Nighttime Headliner!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-05-10. Retrieved 2012-05-25.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Matt Connolly, "Week in Review May 26: Dillo Day, lacrosse and coupon apps", North by Northwestern, 26 May 2011
- "Full Dillo Day lineup posted" Archived 2012-07-16 at the Wayback Machine, The Daily Northwestern, 25 May 2010
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-04-04. Retrieved 2009-03-16.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Liz Coffin-Karlin, "Third Eye Blind will headline Dillo Day lineup"[permanent dead link], North by Northwestern, 25 May 2008
- Youtube video of Colbert's commencement speech at Northwestern University, 2011: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6tiaooiIo0