St. Louis had a good thing going with LouFest, the festival that took over the fields of Forest Park for one weekend every September from 2010 to 2017 and brought the likes of LCD Soundsystem, Arctic Monkeys, Outkast, Wilco, the Killers, Flaming Lips, Run the Jewels, and dozens more before reported issues of vendor nonpayment led to the 2018 edition (to be headlined by Robert Plant and Modest Mouse) to be canceled just days before it was set to commence. Starting in 2021, Music at the Intersection stepped in to fill the void by filling Grand Center with a richly varied lineup of R&B, hip hop, rock, and jazz that grew big enough in its second year to draw Erykah Badu and Gary Clark Jr. as headliners.
But the newly announced Evolution Festival, debuting this year, seems more poised to follow directly in LouFest’s footsteps. Held in Forest Park’s Langenberg Field and the Boat House on August 26th and 27th of this year, the festival promises “Music – Bourbon – BBQ,” and on the music front, it delivers with a very LouFest-esque lineup led by headliners The Black Keys and Brandi Carlile, who are supported by the likes of the Black Crowes, Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals, Brittany Howard, and Ice Cube, with a few special surprise older acts like new wavers Modern English and hip hop progenitors the Sugar Hill Gang. The festival has teamed with six distillers like Ezra Brooks, Rebel Bourbon, and Blood Oath for their bourbon selections, and the barbecue offerings include St. Louis favorites like Sugarfire, Pappy’s, and Beast Craft BBQ, among others.
Weekend passes go on sale Friday, February 27th at 10:00am and range from $99.50 for general admission to $999.50 for platinum VIP, with prices set to increase as the festival date approaches (day of show tickets will be more than double the initial price). Hotel packages and premium cabanas are also available. See poster below for the full lineup; for more info and to purchase tickets, visit EvolutionFestival.com. | Jason Green