IndieCraft to shake up Memorial Day weekend in Springfield

Fifth year for fast-growing free festival mixes variety of music, food and drink.

Credit: © Scarlet Page

Credit: © Scarlet Page

Prepare for a B invasion in downtown Springfield to start Memorial Day weekend — as in bands and beer. You’ll get plenty of both options when one of the city’s fastest-growing events marks its fifth year.

IndieCraft, presented by the Greater Springfield Partnership (GSP), will boast a lucky 13 bands in a variety of genres at Mother Stewart’s Brewing Co., the State Theater and National Road Commons Park at 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and up to 12 breweries selling their signature drinks on Saturday during BeerFest.

Admission is free, and food trucks will be offered at multiple venues.

Live music and adult beverages are staples of any number of music festivals, but there’s a mix here that sets IndieCraft apart, according to Chris Schutte, GSP’s vice-president, destination marketing + communications.

“Our festival fills a different niche. A lot of festivals have just a single genre, but we have a variety of acts, and this year is even more eclectic than before,” he said.

Schutte said IndieCraft also differs in not trying to feature the same performers each year. Partnering with radio station WYSO for the first time on the lineup has allowed organizers to take a new direction in variety. The result is a mix of punk, indie rock, alt country and more.

“Pair that with BeerFest — with craft beers from regional breweries throughout the state — and you have something super unique, and that’s the cool part of it,” Schutte said. “We get so wrapped up in the bands that having the craft beer separates us from other festivals.”

Word has spread about IndieCraft. Several people come from all over the state and Indianapolis and at least one individual will travel up from North Carolina. Schutte anticipates it could draw nearly 3,000 people.

Moving the festival back to Memorial Day weekend from mid-May could expand the reach even more. This avoids things like college graduation weekends here, which conflicted previously, and some people will be traveling.

Another move is using National Road Commons Park as a new location. Already the site for several big Springfield events including MustardFest and the Springfield Jazz and Blues Festival, it will complement the State Theater, where everything will be inside and Mother Stewart’s, where the bands can play outdoors and inside.

Schutte said the mobile professional stage along with the open space of the park is the ideal location to feature each night’s headliner.

“People are used to National Road Commons as a central point in our town, so it’s natural to use it,” he said.

Friday’s headliner is Brigitte Calls Me Baby, a Chicago band that blends indie rock with other genres and recently performed on national television.

“We’re catching them at the right time as they’re about to break,” said Schutte. “They’re the only non-regional band, and they have a unique sound and look.”

Not familiar with our Friday headliners, Brigitte Calls Me Baby? No worries! Here’s a little primer to get you pumped!

Posted by IndieCraft on Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Alt-country performer Lydia Loveless will headline Saturday evening on the strength of her new album and a dedicated following Schutte said will turn out for her.

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

Another draw is Tommy Stinson, a veteran rocker who helped co-found the acclaimed alternative band The Replacements and later on joined Guns N’ Roses. He’ll play with Chip Roberts as duo Cowboys in the Campfire at 7 p.m. Saturday.

“Tommy and his music are the perfect fit for BeerFest,” Schutte said.

Kevin Loftis of Mother Stewart’s is coordinating BeerFest, which will offer a variety of brews including sours, IPAs, porters and more and will be for sale as half- or full-pour portions.

Roughly a dozen food trucks will be at Mother Stewart’s and at the park, and attendees can move between the venues with their DORA cups.

Schutte said being able to keep the festival free is important to the GSP as they could easily charge and attendees would usually pay to see these bands anyway. Organizers made a conscious decision to introduce new bands and rally around the community. The presenting sponsors are Benjamin Steel and Link-Hellmuth Insurance.

“This could not happen without the sponsorships, and we’re in a way taking a cue from the Summer Arts Festival,” he said.

He added that since prices have skyrocketed on many products and services, being able to offer admission-free music means more people can travel and spend money on other things here, which can be especially helpful in drawing a younger crowd.

“We have some stars in the making and trying to attract younger artists and have young volunteers and hope that younger people along with people of any age will come to enjoy that at IndieCraft,” Schutte said.

For more information on the bands, BeerFest or other details, go to indiecraftoh.com.

Friday’s band lineup 6:30 p.m. Joe Waters Band (National Road Commons); 7 p.m. Mol Sullivan (Mother Stewart’s); 8 p.m. Brigitte Calls Me Baby (National Road Commons) and Leggy (State Theater); 8:30 p.m. Mosant (Mother Stewart’s; 9:30 p.m. Isai Morales and Devin Burgess (State Theater).

Saturday’s band lineup 6:30 p.m. Soften (National Road Commons); 7 p.m. Tommy Stinson (Mother Stewart’s); 7:30 p.m. K Carter (State Theater); 8 p.m. Lydia Loveless (National Road Commons); 8:30 p.m. Vacation (Mother Stewart’s); 9 p.m. Crabswithoutlegs (State Theater); 10:30 p.m. Salvadore Ross (State Theater).

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