The woman behind Fifty50 Shows: An interview with Alicia Maciel

Fifty50 shows, a new Chicago promotion company, launched at the beginning of 2018. Fifty50’s mission is not only to provide the city with great shows featuring local talent, but also to use the proceeds obtained from their shows to serve their community. Locals Only talked to Alicia Maciel, the promotion company’s founder, to learn more about her ambitions for 2018.

What is Fifty50?

Maciel: FIFTY50 is a promotion concept based in Chicago where proceeds are divided among performing acts and the rest is donated to non-profits. Dedicating ourselves to work with four non-profits across the span of 2018, we will garner proceeds to then donate in bulk to the organizations at the end of the year.
Prioritizing indie rock and local bands, FIFTY50 also welcomes touring artists interested in live performances at professional venues and DIY spots. FIFTY50 will also provide artist promotion with flares of personality, ranging from photography to articles, interviews, and simply sharing tracks.
We’re partnering with Lincoln Hall + Schuba’s and Subterranean; we’re invested in all that is mentioned above as well as providing involvement opportunities to women in the music industry.
What caused you to create this organization?
M: Struggling with my identity as many others do, I never wanted to be labeled or fit in cliques. Obstacles such as being first-generation Mexican/Honduran, being an anti-socialite, coming from low-class, and plenty more all shaped me tremendously. This lead to my intimate relationship with music – both live and simply listening.
Attending concerts since 6th grade, getting involved in street teaming during high school, and becoming heavily involved in pro-bono work with artists and music business internships really helped me find my true passion to be an innovator in the music scene.
Just last year, I attend over 100 shows – many of which had different combinations of the same bands, some difficult to get to, and most were male-dominated in presence and/or production.
Working with so many artists, building friendships and business relationships, and more than willing to meet and help people whenever wherever – I wanted to find a way to give back to both Chicago’s music scene and to nonprofit organizations. This led me to formulate FIFTY50, inquire venues and bands, and live out my dream job — curating exhilarating, live music experiences for the betterment of the community.
How do you select the bands and charities you work with?
M: When it comes to selecting local bands, I go through a lot of online publications, zines, and social media outlets. I also attend a lot of shows here in Chicago whether it’s at a record shop or a bar. I keep track of bands I check out, listen to at least an entire album, write some notes, and color code everything.
When it comes to touring bands, my main go-to is digging a black hole on Spotify. Being a heavy, active music listener I’ve generated an awesome variety on there which leads to a lot of discovery. I keep track of bands like I do with locals and go from there.
We’re currently in the process of finalizing the four nonprofits we’re donating to this year. We have announced Hope For The Day as one of the tour. When it comes to the selection process, I wanted to think of 4 different categories locally that can resonate with anyone and are very involved in awareness and activism. FIFTY50 will focus on mental health awareness, animals, music, and education.
Upcoming Fifty50 Shows
January 28th // Schuba’s Tavern // 18+ // $10
The Curls
Brisco Darling
February 10th // Evergreen Manor // $5
Beach Bunny
Karma Wears White Ties
Harvey DenturesApril 16th // Subterranean // $10

L. Martin
Rachel Powers

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