Off Square Music ... This Is Our Story

Off Square Music ... This Is Our Story

Off Square Music is the heart and soul of the Woodstock music scene and the center of musical energy in McHenry County, Illinois. From all of its year-round indoor live music venues to outdoor special events and the award winning Woodstock Farmers Market, musicians and non-musicians alike travel to Woodstock to learn, hear and play music of many genres. Read more about our history in "About."

New Year’s Eve Party

Thursday, December 31, 2020.

Didn’t get the email announcement? For a Zoom link to attend, email is hosting a New Year’s Eve gathering. Unfortunately there won’t be pizza and champagne this year, but we’re still going to have a fun time bringing live music into your homes. We’ll start at 8 and go until probably around 10. Rich and Jacquie (Small Potatoes) have agreed to conclude the event with their customary virtual toast, and we are grateful to them. They are our inspiration and leaders of this wonderful musical community.

We did our best to accommodate everyone who wanted to perform, but there just wasn’t enough time to give everyone one song or five minutes. We will put you on the next regular Every Saturday event on January 2nd. Here’s the list of performers:

  • Sharon Arnold
  • Mike Breen
  • Norm Seigel
  • Dave Wagner
  • Mike Eckert
  • Jim Fine
  • Steve and Sylvia
  • John and Carol
  • Jeremy Simon
  • Mike Reed
  • Randy Anderson
  • Andrew Huber
  • Marcia Krieger
  • Bob Maleske
  • Dave Ashby
  • Pete and Cheryl
  • Russ and Diane Ward
  • Les Urban
  • Tricia Alexander
  • Tony Willis
  • Kent and Deb.
  • Small Potatoes

Didn’t get the email announcement? For a Zoom link to attend, email

The folks at the Woodstock Folk Festival present….

Small Potatoes – Woodstock Wednesdays, 12/23/2020 – 7 pm CST

For more info see the Woodstock Folk Festival Site:

Every Saturday Zoom Open Mics

Join us for our weekly Zoom Open Mic

Every week we join together for eight performances of music and poetry — and to enjoy each other’s company. We bring together musicians from our local area — but Zoom has allowed us to go national, and we even reach across the pond!

Doors open at 6:30 pm, so join us early to greet your friends, or stay afterward to visit. If you are performing, please come at 6:30 pm for a sound check.

  • Ken Balmes
  • Mike Eckert
  • Sharon Arnold
  • Tony Willis
  • Mike Kraus
  • Waddle & Daub
  • Mike Reed

7/10 Group Photo:

7/3 Group Photo:

If you’d like to perform, please contact Andy Andrick, If you are a first timer, you can find a video HERE that will help you get set up.

We record our sessions and share them within our group of performers. It enhances sound quality greatly to use a USB mic in preference to a built-in computer mic.

Hope to see you there, Every Saturday, Weekly Zoom Open Mic, doors open at 6:30 pm.

5/29/21 Group photo:

  • Ken Balmes-Lake County poet laureate
  • Jane Tomsett–hello UK
  • Mike Breen
  • Paul Klonowski
  • Mike Reed
  • Andrew Huber
  • Randy Anderson
  • Dave Kunzweiler

5/22/21 Group photo:

5/15/21 Group Photo:

  • Ken Balmes
  • Wattle and Daub
  • Nancy Grovarek
  • Carol and John
  • Mark Lyons
  • Bobby and Melva Swigart
  • Suzy Schwartz
  • Scott Engstrom
  • Small Potatoes – Rich Prezioso and Jacquie Manning

5/8/21 Group Photo:

  • Ken Balmes
  • Tony Willis
  • Bob Maleske
  • Nancy Grovarek
  • Mark Lyons
  • Paul Klonowski
  • Jimmy Bartholomew
  • Sammy Byerly

Don’t miss it, it promises to be another great night of live music! See you there!

5/1/21 Group Photo:

This Saturday’s performers are:

  • Norm Siegel
  • Carol Obertubessing
  • Rich Nelson
  • Tricia Alexander
  • Russ and Diane Ward
  • Mike Reed
  • Jim Fine
  • Dave Kunzwieler

4/24/21 Group Photo:

4/17/21 Group Photo:

4/10/21 Group Photo:

4/3/21 Group Photo:

3/27/21 Group Photo:

3/20/21 Group Photo:

3/13/21 Group photo:

2/27/21 Group photo:

1/29/21 Group Photo

New Year’s Eve Party 12/31/2020

This year has presented challenges to many musicians to stay connected in virtual ways. Off Square’s New Year’s Eve parties have historically been held at Stage Left Cafe for a number of years. But this year……Small Potatoes and Off Square Music want to welcome a brand new year and would love for you to join in and help us do just that!

A Zoom New Year’s Eve party will be set up for Thursday, December 31, 2020 from 8-10:00 pm.

There will be spots for 12 performers @ 10 minutes each. For the last 10 minutes the Spuds will welcome the new year. If you would like a slot, sign up:

  • use the “Contact” button on the menu above by selecting “Other” and inserting your name in the form that follows;
  • send an email to and use New Year’s Eve in the Subject line; or
  • send a message to Off Square Music on Facebook.

Each performer will have 10 minutes.

This is a free event. We would like to thank all those of you who support our venue, both live and virtual, throughout the year. We happily welcome any donation you would like to give. Use the Donate button on our site.

See it also on Facebook –

Sundays on the Square with

The Last Word

with Tricia Alexander and Diana Laffey

September 27, 2020

This Sunday, September 27th, we will have the final outdoor Sundays on the Square concert of the 2020 summer season from 5 to 7 pm. We will be presenting “The Last Word” Concert with Tricia Alexander, Diana Laffey, Al Day and a fine support band from Chicago. Please bring your lawn chair. All donations go to the performers. Please stay tuned for future events. We have some tentative plans for the fall and winter.

Every Saturday Zoom Open Mic-9/19/2020

Looking forward to seeing everyone at the Off Square Music “Every Saturday” Open Mic this Saturday. Doors open at 6:30 pm. This week’s performers are:

Andy Andrick Paul ‘Barney’ Barnicle Norm Siegel Les Urban Cheryl Niemo Randy Anderson

  • Andy Andrick
  • Paul “Barney” Barnicle
  • Norm Siegel
  • Les Urban
  • Cheryl Niemo
  • Randy Anderson

Sounds like another great line-up. See you there!

Just in case you missed it, click this link to listen!

Sundays on the Square with the Leftovers – 9/20

Show runs 5-7 pm, it’s FREE, and the weather looks to be superb. Bring a lawn chair and your masks, and we’ll see you there! Joe Pesz, Rich Prezioso, Brian Murphy, Jim Seidel, Pete Jonsson, Laurel Palma and Les Urban.

Sundays on the Square with Rob Anderlik and Josh McPartland

September 13, 2020

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Corner Boys will not be appearing on 9/13. In their place we are pleased to present Dobro and guitarist Rob Anderlik and mandolinist Josh McPartland. Weather looks great! See you there.

Music at the Market-September & October 2020

It’s always a beautiful day at the market!

  • Tuesday, September 1st
    • Courtney & Chris 9-12:30
  • Saturday, September 5th
    • Stage LeftOvers 9-12:30
  • Tuesday, September 8th
    • ThingamaJig 9-11:00
    • Mark Hobbs 11-12:30
  • Saturday, September 12th
    • Big Fish 9-11:00
    • Mary Lai 11-12:30
  • Tuesday, September 15th
    • Steve Firak 9-10:00
    • Mike Breen 10-11:00
    • Tricia Alexander 11-12:3
  • Saturday, September 19th
    • Rachel and Jori 9-11:00
    • Mark Hobbs 11-12:30
  • Tuesday, September 22nd
    • Sharon Arnold 9:00
    • Rich Prezioso 10:00
    • Lara Bell 11:00
  • Saturday, September 26th
    • Kishwaukee Ramblers 9-10:30
    • Mark and Jean 10:30-12:30
  • Tuesday, September 29th
    • ThingamaJig 9-11:00
    • Pete Jonsson 11:00-12:30
  • Saturday, October 3, 2020
    • Guyz with Bad Eyez 9-11:00
    • Moriyah and McCoo 11-12:30
  • Tuesday, October 6, 2020
    • Courtney and Chris 9-11:00
    • Tricia Alexander 11-12:30
  • Saturday, October 10 – No music due to train show
  • Tuesday, October 13, 2020
    • ThingamaJig 9-11:00
    • Lara Bell 11-12:30
  • Saturday, October 17, 2020
    • Bad Penny – 9-12:30