About Breaking the Silence

Breaking The Silence is an annual concert founded by drummer, Ron Thomas of one of Chicago’s most popular Original bands, VEILSIDE. After years of struggle with his own son’s diagnosis of Autism, Ron and his wife Jean, composed the idea of having a fund raising event to benefit one of the various supportive non-for-profit organizations within the state of Illinois. BTS was originally started to raise awareness for Autism but what started out as a simple event has grown into one of the Midwest’s most popular non-corporate fund raising events.

With Veilside’s unwritten creed of “Unity within the Music Scene,” BTS is brought to life by the overwhelming generosity of bands and volunteers that request to donate their merchandise, their time and their unremarkable talents. And just so you know, unlike most “charity” events, BTS prides itself on its ability to have ABSOLUTELY 100% of ALL funds donated to its honored charity. There are no “off the top” or “this person gets paid first…” excuses!

From the clubs that donate the room, the sound, the lights and security to the bands and volunteers who donate their art, their music, their time and most of all, their love, simply showing up, promoting, donating or volunteering…you have already done your part!

In 2008, Ron and Jean Thomas composed an idea of having a fundraising event to benefit one or more of the various supportive non-for-profit organizations within their home state of Illinois. This annual event will honor their son, along with many Illinois families, for their daily struggles and victories with Autism. What was originally started as an event to promote awareness has grown into one of the Midwest’s most popular non-corporate indoor festivals for all ages to enjoy.

Past Years

Click the poster to get an image gallery from the event!

2018 2017
BTS 2018 BTS 2017
2016 2015
BTS 2016 BTS 2015
2014 2013
BTS 2014 BTS 2013
2012 2011
BTS 2012 BTS 2011
2010 2009
BTS 2010 BTS 2009

More Information

  • What is BTS?

    Breaking the Silence is an annual ALL AGES fundraising benefit hosted by Chicago's Original Rock band, VEILSIDE, to promote Autism Awareness and services needed throughout the autism community.

  • How was BTS started?

    BTS was founded in 2008 by Ron and Jean Thomas in honor of their son, Justin and daughter, Brianna who are affected by ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). It was created to celebrate their abilities and remember their daily struggles as a person with developmental disabilities and Autism. What was started as a simple awareness benefit has grown into a large concert to raise awareness of Autism in Illinois.

  • What is Autism?

    Autism is described by NINDS (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke) as "a developmental disorder with difficulty in social interaction, display problems with verbal and non verbal communications and exhibit repetitive behaviors or narrow, obsessive interests."

    "Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a range of complex neurodevelopment disorders, characterized by social impairments, communication difficulties, and restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior. Autistic disorder, sometimes called autism or classical ASD, is the most severe form of ASD, while other conditions along the spectrum include a milder form known as Asperger syndrome, and childhood disintegrative disorder and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (usually referred to as PDD-NOS). Although ASD varies significantly in character and severity, it occurs in all ethnic and socioeconomic groups and affects every age group. Experts estimate that 1 out of 88 children age 8 will have an ASD (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, March 30, 2012). Males are four times more likely to have an ASD than females."