Heart to heartland
Soul-bearing Nebraska-born singer-songwriter Conor Oberst was last espied hereabouts six years ago fronting his indie-folk band Bright Eyes in a U of I show in Champaign. For his current pass through Central Illinois, at 7:30 p.m. Sunday in Bloomington's Castle Theatre, the acclaimed singer-songwriter (e.g. Rolling Stone's designated Best Songwriter of 2008) will be in full solo touring mode, preceded on stage by openers The Felice Brothers and Phoebe Bridgers. Tickets are $30 and $33. UPDATE: THIS SHOW HAS BEEN CANCELED; REFUNDS WILL BE AVAILABLE.
Illinois State University’s Horticultural Center has some a-mazing things planned for this fall’s edition of the Autumnal Festival, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, chief among them, a three-acre corn maze, this year sporting a solar system theme. There's also: a corn palace, hayrides, scarecrow and flower container silent auctions, bushels of fresh produce, baked goods, local vendors and a bumper crop of more fun. Admission is $5, with a $2 discount for kids 3 to 13; anyone younger is free.
Outside of B-N, the fall festival season is in full harvest mode, with plenty of reaping available all over the area this weekend, including Dwight's Harvest Days, Thursday through Sunday downtown; Morton's Pumpkin Festival, Thursday through Saturday downtown; Mount Pulaski's Fall Festival, Friday and Saturday on the square and elsewhere; Peoria's Oktoberfest, Friday through Sunday on the downtown riverfront; and Lincoln's Abraham Lincoln Railsplitting Festival, Saturday and Sunday at the Logan County Fairgrounds.