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Fountain Square Music Fest announces brand new setup and fest headliners

Andrew WK and Thurston freakin' Moore


  • Andrew WK; Kimya Dawson

Mother of all that is holy are we excited for this spring's Fountain Square Music Fest. That's right: we said spring. The four-year-old fest is bouncing up the calendar from July 4 to March 25 and 26, and that's far from the only big change. The fest — which won Best Festival in this year's Best of Indy readers poll, which means you dig it a whole heck of a lot — is changing structure yet again. Instead of a day-long festival, FSMF will take over The Hi-Fi, White Rabbit Cabaret, Pioneer and Radio Radio, where showcases will take place from 7 p.m. to 10:30 both Friday and Saturday. 
"My buddy Andrew WK?!" Yes, tiny cat. - LILBUB.COM
  • "My buddy Andrew WK?!" Yes, tiny cat.

Each night at 10:30, you'll migrate en masse toward the Square's center where each night's finale will go down at the Fountain Square Theatre, featuring headlining slots by (drumroll...): 

Andrew WK and The Thurston Moore Group. (!) 

That's right, the Positive Party God and Mr. Sonic Youth will take over the Theatre stage alongside regional and local acts to close out Friday and Saturday night. (Which night they'll claim remains to be seen. Keep your eyes on the schedule here.) Thurston's planning an album release with his group, which includes Deb Googe, Steve Shelley and James Sedwards. (Hey, fingers crossed that's on Joyful Noise, huh?) Andrew WK's been up to his usual shenanigans this year, including giving totally amazing advice at the Village Voice. 

There's more awesome news, but we'll limit it to five bullet points. 

1) Hell, yes, Famous Space Cat and Tiniest Bloomington Celebrity Lil BUB —- and collaborator of Andrew WK, natch — will make perhaps her only musical appearance to play songs from her album Science & Magic. To do so, she'll shapeshift into multi-man form, perhaps taking form as Mike Bridavsky, Josh Morrow, Mike Dixon and Matt Tobey. (Probably. Perhaps she'll play every instrument herself). Watch Lil BUB's Star Party music video with Andrew WK here. 


2) A Cultural Manifesto columnist Kyle Long and rapper Oreo Jones will assist in curating the fest. Expect to see their hands in different world music performances and hip-hop sets, respectively. Absorb, MOKB and Rivet are also lending hands to help set up the fest. 

Stranger Cat; Thurston Moore Group - FOUNTAINSQUAREMUSICFEST.ORG
  • Stranger Cat; Thurston Moore Group
3) A careful look at the lineup reveals Joyful Noise is intimately involved this year — they're bringing in most of their roster, plus coordinating special live recording sessions in their Murphy Center space, organizing meet and greets and putting together other various goodies. Expect JNR artists Kishi Bashi, Surfer Blood, Helado Negro, Reptar, Jad Fair, Stranger Cat, Serengeti, Sound of 
Ceres and Yonatan Gat to appear. Kimya Dawson, who is slated for an releases as part of the last Joyful Noise Flexi Disc Series ever, will also play. 


4) Locals on the fest include: Mathaius Young, Ghost Gun Summer, SM Wolf, Sweet Poison Victim, Maxie, Flaco, Jefferson St. Parade Band and more to be announced. (We've profiled almost all of these artists; click through to read.) Each venue will feature both local, regional and national acts. 

5) Perhaps the most awesome thing of all: Fountain Square Music Fest is a nonprofit, which means a percentage of net profits are evenly split between Musical Family Tree and Girls Rock Indianapolis. 

Now on to the nitty-gritty. Tickets can be purchased in one or two day passes; VIP wristbands get you a whole lot of special stuff.   

Kishi Bashi; Mexican Institute of Sound
  • Kishi Bashi; Mexican Institute of Sound
More artists will be announced in coming days and weeks. But if we were you, loyal reader, we'd grab tickets fast. The sheer ecstatic buying power of Lil Bub's fans alone could overwhelm the amount of tickets available. 

“This year’s festival is a step forward,” said Adam Pedersen, executive director of FSMF in the handy-dandy press release provided to NUVO. “Our goal is for the Fountain Square Music Festival to continue to build and support our local music scene, and help establish Indianapolis as a cultural hub for artists and musicians.”

I agree with Pederson. FSMF has consistently impressed me with their growth and flexibility, plus their ability to get all sorts of Indy entities on board. All right. That's enough facts and figures. You know what time it is. It's time to party hard. 


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