Music Festival Roundup (part one of a series)

It seems like I usually get the music festival itch long before artist announcements start to pop up in my social media feeds, but 2012 is proving to be quite the opposite. Less than three full weeks into the new year, we’ve already seen two rounds of announcements from Wakarusa, a tantalizing list of artists slated to appear at California’s Coachella (which will run an identical lineup two weekends in a row), a sold-out Ultra Music Festival in Miami, and a significant amount of buzz surrounding local and regional festivals. Read on for a condensed list of newsworthy notes surrounding the Midwestern festival circuit that I’ve compiled thus far. ================================================================================


Just four hours from Indianapolis in Thornville, OH, the historic Legend Valley will serve as the new location for two well-established festivals this year: All Good and The Werk Out. After a tragic incident on Marvin’s Mountaintop in West Virginia last year, it came as no surprise when All Good announced they would relocate in 2012. What did come as a surprise, however, was their decision to move the festival to Ohio, resulting in a 50% shorter drive for Indiana residents and shaving a whopping four hours off their commute. As an All Good veteran, I’m sad to say good-bye to the beauty of the West Virginia terrain and mystique that comes with camping at a festival that takes place in the sky. On the other hand, as a Hoosier, I am thrilled at the thought of my fellow music enthusiasts finally having much easier access to the scheduling genius of All Good (no overlapping sets) and their continued focus on the jam scene and its musical forefathers.

On a much smaller- but equally as heady- scale, The Werk Out Festival will also relocate to Legend Valley in 2012. Presumably seeking a larger venue after two successful years at the beautiful and modest Zane Shawnee Caverns in Bellefontaine, OH, The Werks are movin’ on up to bigger and better things with their homegrown annual event.

No artist announcements have yet been made for either festival.

All Good Music Festival

July 19-22

The Werk Out Festival

September 20-23

Drive time from Indianapolis: 3.5 hours



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After three years of steady growth, any one who went to Mojostock last year will agree that the event has outgrown it’s home, Sleepy Bear Campgrounds. No official word has been released, but a relocation announcement is expected. Only two artists have been confirmed and announced at this point: RoeVy (representing EDM) and Jessie & Amy (representing acoustic rock).


July 27-29

Drive time from Indianapolis: less than 30 minutes



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Known for its eclectic mix of large- and small-scale acts with representation in everything from heavy bass to rock-n-roll to folk, The Forecastle Festival has always been a nice alternative for Hoosiers not wishing to make the eight-hour drive to All Good; historically, the festivals fell on the same weekend and thus featured many of the same artists.

The event has always been unique in its “Half-way to Forecastle” weekend that acted as a mini-fest to raise funds and get people excited for the real deal six months in advance of the actual festival. When the announcement came in early 2011 that the event would take a year off, the bad news was sandwiched by a promise to return in 2012, as well as the decision to omit the winter Half-way To Forecastle and instead present it in the summer when the 2011 event would have taken place- in effect, still falling half way to the next Forecastle Festival.

No artist announcements have yet been made.

Forecastle Music Festival

July 13-15

Drive time from Indianapolis: 2 hours

Note: this is an urban music festival with no on-site camping.



The famous, late-night, extra-ticket-required, barn show at Summer Camp.

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A summer music festival staple for many residents of Indianapolis, Summer Camp is a mere three hours away in Chillicothe, IL and continuously features one of the best lineups in the Midwest. With two of the five price tiers already sold out and a substantial list of talent announced, 2012 is shaping up to be a good year for the 11th annual Summer Camp.

Confirmed acts include: moe., Umphrey’s McGee, Primus, Weir, Robinson, Greene Acoustic Trio, Gogol Bordello, Ozomatli, Cornmeal, Victor Wooten, Greensky Bluegrass, The Infamous Stringdusters, Hot Buttered Rum, Family Groove Company, DJ SOLO, Positive Vibr8ions, Chicago Farmer, Brainchild, Spankalicious, and The Giving Tree Band.

P.S. Here’s what they don’t tell you about Summer Camp:

The bad stuff:

• you can’t carry in your own beer or alcohol; you’re expected to buy it on-site from the festival

• you don’t get to camp with your car; all gear has to be carried from the parking lot to your campsite

• every bag is searched as it’s carried through the security tent en route to your campsite

The good stuff:

• once you’re through the ridiculous search at the front gate, there are no security check points as you wander from stage to stage

• you can get to any stage from anywhere on the premises in a 10-minute walk

• the woods provide a much-needed escape from the sun’s brutal rays during the day and create a psychedelic playground for exploration at night

• Prime real estate for camping is first-come, first-serve. You can make your home in the woods, but you have to get there early on Thursday.

Summer Camp Music Festival

May 25-27

Drive time from Indianapolis: 4 hours



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Returning for its second year in 2012, Karma will remain a humble gathering for festival-goers in Kentucky and neighboring states. Although organizers haven’t formally voiced their preference for electronica, it shines through in the booking decisions. You won’t see the same big names that headline the larger Midwestern festivals, but you will see a lot of familiar local and regional favorites- including heavy Hoosier representation from The Twin Cats, Eumatik, Glostik Willy, Fresh Hops, Lounge Soundsystem, Flatland Harmony Experiment, Turtle Matt, The Mundies, Mikial Robertson, and Megan Maudlin.

Additional, non-Indiana confirmed acts include: The Werks, ekoostik hookah, Blue Moon Soup, Bitch Please, Elemental Groove Theory, Arpetrio, Skeetones, Sweet Earth, The Silo Effect, The Shack Band, DJ Booty Sweat, New Planet featuring Sparkz, MoonPig, Secret Beats Don’t Fear The Satellites, Ghost Trees, DJ Sterilize, DJ CircleZ, Jammer Kammer Sessions, and Ghostwork.

Karma Music Festival

May 10-12

Drive time from Indianapolis: 4.25 hours



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Papadosio’s homegrown music and arts festival Rootwire has had very little to say so far in 2012. The website has no updates other than when the event will happen… and lots of pretty pictures.

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Rootwire Music & Arts Festival

August 16th-19th

Drive time from Indianapolis: 4 hours


Stay tuned for more posts in the Music Festival Roundup series with butterfly_89000 on

Which of these Midwestern music festivals do you plan to attend?

Which ones have you been to before? Who is your favorite? What do you like most about it? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Continue reading: Music Festival Roundup (part two of a series)