Alternating Currents Festival continues Saturday

Published: Aug. 19, 2021 at 6:40 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 21, 2021 at 10:02 AM CDT
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(KWQC) - Whether you love music, art, film, or comedy, the 2021 Alternating Currents Festival has something for you.

The festival, which runs through Sunday, will showcase more than 120 live performances, film screenings, and art-related events at 30 venues across Davenport, Rock Island, and Moline.

“Designed to showcase the vibrant culture of our downtown areas, the annual event features a variety of indoor and outdoor events including musical acts, film screenings, a comedy lineup, and many art-inspired activities,” organizers said in a media release.

Alternating Currents features more than 60 national, regional and local acts over the four-day event at locations across Downtown Quad Cities including 25 locations in downtown Davenport.

The festival kicks off Thursday with a mural unveiling from 3:45 to 4:45 p.m. at 313 20th St., Rock Island.

A blank alleyway wall is being transformed into a beautiful mural by Rock Island High School student Riley Jones in collaboration with professional muralists Dana Harrison, whose artist name is Limone, and Brandon Warner (ASPHATE).

The mural is an adaptation of Jones’ artwork, originally titled “Black Pride,” that was competitively selected by U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos and is displayed at the U.S. Capitol this summer. The project is part of a public art initiative of the Quad Cities Chamber and Quad City Arts.

Now in its fourth year, Alternating Currents is organized by the Downtown Davenport Partnership, a division of the Quad Cities Chamber, in collaboration with local talent across our region’s creative community.

“Alternating Currents gives us an opportunity to showcase the businesses and vibrant cultures of our Downtown Quad Cities businesses while at the same time, it allows us to offer four days of great entertainment, much of it by local talent,” Jason Gilliland, Director of Events for DDP, said.

All Alternating Currents performances are free to attend. Visitors are encouraged to travel from one venue to the next, which are easily identifiable by their yellow Alternating Currents venue signage.

For the first time, Alternating Currents also will feature events at several downtown Rock Island venues as well as at Bass Street Landing in Moline.

New this year are complimentary pedi-cab rides are being offered to help transport festival-goers from one venue to the next. Pedi-cabs will be in downtown Rock Island on Thursday and downtown Davenport on Friday and Saturday.

“The best way to navigate the festival is through the Alternating Currents’ new app,” Gilliland said. “Users can craft their own festival experience and schedule that is unique. Using the app, they can ‘favorite’ an artist, click to find their performance time and location, as well as use the map to discover all of the participating venues.”

Visit to download the app.

Alternating Currents app QR codes.
Alternating Currents app QR codes.(KWQC)

The festival’s indoor and outdoor venues provide space for attendees to keep a safe distance.

Here’s a look at some of the Alternating Currents’ highlights:

Live Music highlights

  • Blues band Avey Grouws Band, 7 p.m., Thursday, Bass Street Landing, Moline.
  • Squonk Opera!, a group of interdisciplinary performing artists from Pittsburgh, will give three performances: 2 to 2:30 p.m. and 6 to 6:30 p.m., Friday, and 10 and 10:30 a.m,, Saturday, at the Davenport Skybridge parking lot. A Meet & Greet with Squonk will be from 6:30 and 8:30 p.m., Thursday, at Quad City Arts, Rock Island.
  • Punk band Radkey returns to Alternating Currents for their second appearance after just finishing a leg with the Foo Fighters 26th-anniversary tour; 9:15 and 10 p.m., Saturday, at Lopiez’s 2nd Anniversary Party, Davenport.
  • QC COLLABS, a mixed media project consisting of an album featuring local talent, will be at 7 and 7:45 p.m., Saturday, River Music Experience (RME) Courtyard, Davenport. The project is led by Josh Graves of Underground Economy, a collaborative hub at the RME for creatives and entrepreneurs.

Art highlights

  • Mural unveiling/ceremony, 3:45 and 4:45 p.m., Thursday, in the alleyway by 313 20th St., Rock Island. The event will honor young artist Riley Jones and feature music by DJ Cat Dady, a spoken word performance by Aubs & Wes Julien, and remarks from other special guests.
  • Gallery opening of Mike Leinhauser and Judith Eastburn Exhibit, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Thursday at Quad City Arts, Rock Island. The dual exhibit features a collection of black and white portraits, and landscapes by the regional artists: Leinhauser, of Bettendorf, and Eastburn, Des Moines. The event also includes a reception for the 2nd Ave. Window Exhibit featuring works by Zay Williams of Zay Creatives, Davenport.
  • Crafty Cat Indie Art Festival, an indoor fair with more than 130 vendors, from 5 to 8 p.m., Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, at the Davenport RiverCenter.

Film highlights

  • Meet & Greet with Illinois Film Office, 5 to 7 p.m., Thursday, at Rock Island Holiday Inn. Attend a reception with Peter Hawley, the film office’s director, and Ted Reilly, founder and executive director of Chicago Media Angels.
  • Musician William Campbell, who wrote the original score for the Oscar-nominated film Hunger Ward, will perform on piano at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, and 1:30 p.m., Saturday, at the Figge Art Museum, Davenport. Campbell, a St. Ambrose University professor, also will participate in a Q & A at 4 p.m., Saturday, at the Figge.
  • The Quad Cities River Bandits will show The Sandlot, at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, at Modern Woodmen Park, Davenport.
  • Alternating Currents Film Festival will showcase a variety of original films Thursday-Sunday in three different programs: family-friendly, mature audiences, and experimental. Each program will host a variety of showings on multiple days. The family-friendly lineup, which will be shown at Figge Art Museum and Mockingbird on Main, both in Davenport, includes the showing of Sea Dogs, an animated short produced by Alternating Currents Comedian Spencer Louks.
  • Comedy highlights
  • Stand-up comedian Nick Thune from Los Angeles, will perform 9 to 10 p.m., Thursday, at Raccoon Motel, Davenport.
  • The Best of the Speakeasy Burlesque and Comedy Show is 8 to 10 p.m., Thursday, at Circa ‘21 Dinner Playhouse, Rock Island. Must be 18 or older.
  • A panel discussion hosted by Idea Factory on Comedy & Cancel Culture is from 3 to 4 p.m., Saturday, CITY Church, Davenport.

“Fun stuff” highlights

  • Grand opening of The Spot, a new inclusive space and live music venue for Quad Cities creatives, 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, 1611 2nd Ave., Rock Island. Musical guests M3 and Chicago-based artist AMI will perform from 5 to 7 p.m. followed by Big Man G and the E$ at 8 p.m.
  • Lopiez 2nd Anniversary, Friday and Saturday, featuring live musical performances including headliner Radkey at 9:15 p.m. Saturday. Other festivities include a sideshow, drag show and an exhibition by SCW Pro Wrestling from 8:15 to 9:15 p.m., Saturday.
  • Silent Disco with DJ’s CupCaine, DollaMilite and Planet 93.9. Enjoy the nightclub vibe of the Skybridge’s color-changing lights as three DJs battle it out, 9 to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday, Davenport Skybridge. Attendees must be 18 or older.

Visit for more information about the festival and its full line-up.

Organizers say they are closely monitoring current guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local health departments regarding COVID-19 in the region.

“As in any public place where people are present, there is an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19,” organizers said. “We encourage attendees to wear masks indoors in all public areas and participate in festival activities that fit your level of comfort. Each individual establishment will determine the COVID-19 guidelines for its business.”

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