Questions Remain About Summer Rocks Festivals; Vote Postponed

Categories: Live and Local

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Josh Hallett/Flickr
For seven days, St. Louis has been speculating about what Board Bill #328 could mean for downtown as a tourist destination and music haven. Multiple large-scale festivals? Ousted local events? Big music names? A burden on city resources?

But after an aldermanic hearing yesterday, we're only marginally closer to figuring out what twenty years of the proposed Summer Rocks festivals are and how they might affect the Gateway City.

See also: Bluesweek Moves to Chesterfield Due to Financial Woes
- St. Louis City Committee Talks of New Major Downtown Music Festival
- Summer Rocks Festival Proposal Scrutinized Over No-Compete Concerns

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Summer Rocks Festival Proposal Scrutinized Over No-Compete Concerns

Categories: Live and Local

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Eva Rinaldi/Flickr
Los Angeles talent agency ICM Partners is working on plans to hold dual Summer Rocks music festivals in downtown St. Louis' Gateway Mall, beginning the Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends in 2015. Proponents of the festival say that St. Louis' geographically central location makes it a perfect travel destination, and it would be a boon for just about every business that benefits from tourism. Skeptics worry that the deal is a disingenuous sleight-of-hand proposal that could see the city locked into a ten- or twenty-year contract with out-of-town interests.

ICM is no slouch, and its success is hard to understate. The company represents just about every major musician, comedian and performer worth anything in this country and many others. Its concert division has a hand in a few festivals with familiar names including Bonnaroo, Coachella and Lollapalooza. The company reported 2013 revenues of about $200 million.

But will its magic work in St. Louis? That remains to be seen.

See also: St. Louis City Committee Talks of New Major Downtown Music Festival

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For Peat's Sake: St. Louis Rallies to Benefit a Friend

Categories: Live and Local

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Peat's poor hip bones.
On Friday, March 7, the St. Louis bike and punk communities come together to help out a veteran from both fronts. Peter "Peat" Henry, a hyper-positive personality who spent years pogo-ing across stages in bands including the Pubes and Nerve Parade, recently fractured his femur at the hip during a recreational bike ride that followed an intense competitive race. Friends from near and far — including Kansas City's Faultfinder — are hosting a special benefit party to help recoup costs, and all are welcome to show up for the fun.

"The first thing I ever said to Peat Henry was, 'I have to kick you off the stage, because we have to play now,'" remembers St. Louis ex-pat Don Beasley of Faultfinder. The "stage" was plywood set over a garage floor, the air chalky with kicked-up rock dust. Henry, the frontman of the infectiously poppy Pubes, responded with his trademark happy-go-lucky grin, accentuated by what Beasley describes as "big shards of purple hair."

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Acclaimed Music Director David Robertson Extends Contract with St. Louis Symphony

Categories: Live and Local

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Photo courtesy of the SLSO.

St. Louis will continue to be graced by the presence of world-class music director David Robertson through the St. Louis Symphony's 2017-2018 season, according to a press release sent out by the organization today. The revered conductor began his run with the SLSO in 2005.


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Watch: Kentucky Knife Fight's Jason Holler Talks Van Theft on Fox 2 News

Categories: Live and Local

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Screenshot from the video.
Kentucky Knife Fight frontman Jason Holler appeared on FOX 2's evening news program last night to discuss fundraising efforts the band is undertaking in order to replace its recently stolen, obliterated touring van.

As we reported back in January, KKF's van, affectionately nicknamed the Rage Cage, was stolen in broad daylight outside of Holler's home on the 3200 block on Indiana Avenue. The vehicle was found two days later at a local scrapyard, crushed to pieces.

See also: Found: Kentucky Knife Fight's Stolen Van, Obliterated

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Five St. Louis-Based Music Festivals that Draw Out-of-Towners

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Steve Truesdell
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros at LouFest this year.
Our beloved St. Louis -- celebrating its 250th birthday this year -- is on an uptick. The city has tech startups out the wazoo, gets recognized for all kinds of cuisine and is one of the most literate cities in the nation. Basically, we're surrounded by awesome stuff at all times.

But new residents and visitors also are flocking to St. Louis because of its music community, which has grown significantly in national visibility over the past five to ten years. Earning a reputation for both quality and quantity, the Gateway City has plenty of festivals that stack lineups of nationally known artists for surprisingly low (or free) ticket costs. In fact, we may even get another one downtown in 2015! In the meantime, here are five local music festivals that keep the tourists visiting, the music playing and the beer flowing.

See also: St. Louis City Committee Talks of New Major Downtown Music Festival

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St. Louis City Committee Talks of New Major Downtown Music Festival

Categories: Live and Local

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Eva Renaldi/Flickr
A company with ties to a heavyweight concert promoter wants rights to host a music festival for two decades in Gateway Mall, beginning in 2015.

Board Bill 328, introduced Friday in the city's Convention and Tourism committee by Ald. Phyllis Young, would see the city of St. Louis enter into an agreement with Summer Rocks LLC to produce music festivals on Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends.

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Bluesweek Moves to Chesterfield Due to Financial Woes

Categories: Live and Local

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Mike Kociela
Bluesweek at a previous downtown location.
Financial woes and dwindling sponsorship have forced the relocation of the popular STL Bluesweek festival from downtown St. Louis to the Chesterfield Amphitheater, according to festival promoter Mike Kociela, who spoke to the RFT while on vacation in Key West, Florida.

"When you build a festival from the ground up, they're incredibly expensive," he said. "I didn't have the amount of time to raise all of the sponsorship dollars and it takes a couple hundred grand to pull off a free festival. So it really came down to the finances of it and this was the easiest and the best solution," he explains.

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Mild Power Presents Experimental Music and Intermedia Art in Unconventional Show Spaces

Categories: Live and Local

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Courtesy of Jeremy Kannapell
Mild Power is a new experimental show series in St. Louis.
A mile south of the Arch, the Kerr Foundation Building (21 O'Fallon Street; 314-436-3325) sits on the Mississippi riverfront, amid an industrial graveyard of forgotten warehouses. Built in 1894 as a private bathhouse and health spa, the space found a second life in the mid-naughts with $2 million worth of LEED-Platinum certified renovations. The sustainability-based gem of a space acts as one of several unique venues for Mild Power, a new series curated by local artists Jeremy Kannapell and Kevin Harris that will showcase experimental music and intermedia art from near and far.

See also: The Best St. Louis Noise/Experimental Shows: February 2014

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Foxing Releases New Video, Lands on Huffington Post's "Best Albums" List

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Local band Foxing officially is on the national -- nay, international -- radar. The band's album The Albatross landed on the U.K. site of the Huffington Post as part of a writer's list of "The Best Albums of 2013 (That You Probably Haven't Already Heard)." Placing The Albatross at number five in a list of ten albums, HuffPo writer Todd Cochran had this to say:

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