Not one, not two, not three but at least four homegrown, multi-day music festivals
are bursting across St. Louis this summer of 2023.
Twangfest — June 7-10 at Off Broadway. At Twangfest, you’re practically in the musicians’ laps they’re so close. This year boasts the twenty-fifth Twangfest, that’s right 25 years of this local event put on by a nonprofit to “preserve and promote the unique tradition and culture of Americana music.” Bringing national and local acts to the stage, the 2023 lineup includes Black Joe Lewis, The Freedom Affair, James McMurtry, Robbie Fulks, Graham Curry & The Missouri Fury, Nadine, Amy LaVere & Will Sexton, BAJA, Waco Brothers, The Paranoid Style, and Town Cars.
Open Highway Music Festival — June 16 – 17 at Chesterfield Amphitheater. This local festival that started out dispersed throughout various venues made its way to Chesterfield Amphitheater a few years back and has moved its date up by about a month this year. 2023 marks the 12th year for this Americana music festival and it’s boasting its biggest lineup yet of local and national acts. Bring a blanket and lounge on the plush grass while the music of Blackberry Smoke, The Heavy Heavy, Beth Bombara, Mattie Schell, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, S.G. Goodman, Funky Butt Brass Band, The Sleepy Rubies, The Burney Sisters, Matt Jordan, and Hillary Fitz waft over you.
Evolution Festival — August 26 – 27 in Forest Park. Evolution Festival makes its first appearance in St. Louis this year. Most are seeing it as a comeback of LouFest — mainly because of the large acts it’s bringing in and that it’s based in Forest Park where the former LouFest was also held (although it will be in a different part of the park). Since it is in the first year, we don’t know what to expect, except it is being produced, in part, by Contemporary which has been in the music business for decades. From rock to hip-hop to blues and country this two-day event will have a little something for everyone. Headliners are Brandi Carlile, The Black Keys, The Black Crowes, Brittany Howard, and Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals. Other acts include Ice Cube, Morgan Wade, Cautious Clay, Michigander, Modern English, Nikki Lane, The Sugarhill Gang, The Nude Party, Smidley (of Foxing), Carriers, The Knuckles, Yard Eagle, and Punk Lady Apple. Oh, and it sounds like there will be a lot of BBQ offered as well.
Music at the Intersection — September 9-10 in Grand Center. From their website, “First held in 2021, the festival tells the story of St. Louis’ musical, cultural and artistic heritage. It celebrates the city’s imprint on the American songbook, the relationship St. Louis has with its Mississippi River sister cities, and the musical genres that have been birthed and fostered locally. Music at the Intersection gives a spotlight to national acts as well as St. Louis-based musicians across blues, jazz, soul, R&B, hip-hop, and rock and roll.” National and local acts include more than 50 artists such as homegrown rapper and singer Smino, two-time Grammy-winning jazz, funk and hip-hop fusion artist Thundercat, Cameo, Arrested Development, Tank and the Bangas, The Mighty Pines, Mai Lee, Grandmaster Flash, icons Herbie Hancock, Taj Mahal, and Angela Winbush and dozens more.
This post won’t even try to cover the hundreds of concerts at venues and, since it’s summer, parks, every night of the week. But trust us when we say there is music galore in our river city this summer.
What are you waiting for? Find yourself some music to enjoy somewhere this summer, you won’t be disappointed.
In my work life, I help nonprofits and small businesses with media and public relations. In my what I love to do life, you can typically find me photographing either wild horses or concerts.