The success of WARMFest 2013 has expectations high for WARMFest 2014, and event organizers are not selling themselves short.
Running from Friday, August 29 through Monday, September 1, multiple stages will sprout up in Broadripple Park to feature an array of musicians from Indiana and beyond. Fountain Square’s Joyful Noise Records will also have their own stage featuring big names like Of Montreal, Why?, Sebadoh, Half Japanese, Guided By Voices and many others.
“WARMFest is pretty unique in that it’s able to have these big names and bring a full-size festival to Indianapolis,” said Festival Director Jack Shepler.
Though much of the music at WARMFest will oriented to the alternative rock scene, a dance music stage on Sunday will feature DJs from the recently-opened Deckademics DJ School, located on College Avenue. Instructors DJ Metronome and DJ Topspeed, as well as students from the school are scheduled to perform.
“They’re going to feature some of the people who have been in the DJ school that are ready to start performing in front of people,” said Shepler.
In addition to live music performances in Broadripple Park, hour-long boat cruises with live music will be offered on White River, known as the Wapahani River Sessions. Featuring musicians such as Sleeping Bag, Brandon Tinkler, Todd Park Mohr and others, Shepler wants raise awareness of White River as a recreational natural resource that is visually appealing.
“We raise money for the Indy Parks Foundation and the Carl G. Fisher Society,” said Shepler.
Shepler says the goal of the Carl G. Fisher Society is to improve the quality of White River.
“We want to see White River treated like the great resource that it is,” said Shepler. “Not just because it’s water, but because it’s a great place to hang out and go boating. A lot of people don’t think of White River that way. They just think of it as something they drive by on the road.”
WARMFest 2014, however, will still focus on local music from Indiana. Prominent acts such as Sugar Moon Rabbit, Busman’s Holiday, and DJ Kyle Long, amongst others, will be given the opportunity to showcase the musical talents that Indiana has to offer.
Organizing a festival of this size is no small task, and a lot is at stake for Shepler and WARMFest vendors and sponsors.
“Festivals aren’t cheap. This is a huge undertaking,” said Shepler. “We have a very aggressive marketing campaign with radio and web advertising. I’ve been watching ticket sales and we have people coming from all over the place- even Florida. A lot of people from Chicago, and obviously many people from Indiana will be there.”
August 29 – September 1
This Labor Day weekend the Carl G. Fisher Society threw down in Broad Ripple Park, bringing to the city the first ever WARMfest. The event included a large range of musical styles from EDM, bluegrass, rap and rock, which spanned over 100 acts, 5 stages and 3 days. Inclement weather not withstanding, WARMfest was a much welcomed transition into the fall season. The event was well staffed with very respectable volunteers, security and everybody else that helped make the festival what it was.
Saturday started out smoothly, with very small crowds testing the waters to this new Indianapolis event. Though the first half of the day went off without a hitch, around 4:30 PM the rain came, and it came, and it did not want to stop. In the wake of previous mobile stage tragedies, the festival was forced to evacuate and close the festival down for the rest of the night. As attendees flocked to social media websites looking for somebody to blame, concert promoters assured people who purchased Saturday tickets that they would be honored for the rest of the weekend. Headlining act RJD2 headed to downtown’s BLU Night Club where he closed out the night. On the other side of town local act Magnetic whose set was canceled due to weather was graciously allowed a small set in between Hip Hop/emcee act Rusty Redenbacher and DJ Shy Guy Says, two well know local acts.
Sunday afternoon came with no chance of rain, but rather great music, great festival hospitality and a perfect Indiana day. I got to the festival a little late due to work, but got to catch a number of regional and local acts I had not seen before while catching up with friends I hadn’t seen in a very long time. However the best part of the night was getting to see famed musical act JJ Gray & Mofro followed by Big Head Todd & The Monsters. I was skeptical of this style of music, I knew these guys were well known but I did not know their sound, and I was very impressed. The bar service was also worth noting, as Hoaglin Catering took very good care of all the staff and musical guests all night, with help from Sun King Brewery.
As Monday rolled around I got to spend my first full day and night at the festival. We began with lunch in surrounding Broad Ripple then went directly into the park, getting prime parking space just across the street. The festival was offering free shuttle rides all weekend, which I heard were phenomenal at getting guests to and from their cars, though I didn’t find it necessary to use. We started out by seeing the Blue Monkey Side Show, a great local act I remember seeing as a kid. Though the performance was pretty cheesy and predictable, it was a nice change of pace. After that we went to see The Main Squeeze, old friends of mine from my Bloomington days. I had seen these guys before, but never had I seen Max their guitarist kill it like he did then and there. These guys are going places so be sure to keep an ear out.
Next up for Monday was Woodstove Flapjacks, another local act I had never seen, bringing to the stage an old timey bluegrass style of music. Indy’s own Hyryder took the stage after them drawing in a bigger crowd then I had seen all weekend at the Heron Stage, playing sweet Grateful Dead songs their whole set. The highlight of the evening was catching Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, an amazing New Orleans jazz band as well as G Love & Special Sauce, a great band with an unclassifiable sound that just makes you want to groove. Following G Love was Michael Franti & Spearhead, a group of guys that look more like a punk band but play feel good, peace loving reggae tunes. Michael was not scared to get in the crowd, as he ran around hugging anybody he could and spreading his gospel of music.
Overall, WARMfest 2013 was spectacular and definitely something I will go to again if the musical draw is to my liking. It was a very well produced, organized and ran event that was kept clean, family friendly and fun. There was shopping, there was art, they raised awareness to local issues and they played great music from local, regional and national acts. If you missed WARMfest this year be sure to consider attending next year as the atmosphere alone makes it a great way to relax after a long summer of working.
For those that did not get the chance to make it to WARMfest, the Broad Ripple Community will be hosting another festival September 13 & 14 in Opti Park. Wheelhouse, Indy’s first two day electronic music festival will feature acts such as Flosstradamus, Paul Oakenfold, Crystal Method, Key N Krates and Shy Guy Says.
In an area of Indy known for supporting the local community, Broad Ripple has always been a haven of good food, music, art and beauty. This summer will be no different, as we welcome a new addition to the annual music line-up, WARMfest. Managed by the Carl G. Fisher Society (CGFS), the mission of WARMfest is to, “promote environmental responsibility, independent business and artisans, and sustainable goods and services through the magic of music, art and culture.”
The main draw of WARMfest is sure to be the abundance of live music that will grace Broad Ripple all weekend during this three-day festival being held this Labor Day weekend, August 31st – September 2nd. With over 40 acts spread across five stages inside Broad Ripple Park, as well as a riverboat cruise, WARMfest will be a wonderful end of summer event for local residents looking for something to do in the absence of the no longer Rib America Festival. Headlining acts for the weekend include Mayor Haythorne, JJ Gray & Mofro, Big Head Todd & The Monsters, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, G Love & Special Sauce and Michael Franti and Spear Head. WARMfest paired with the former Broad Ripple Music Fest, who will be presenting a large number of local acts throughout the weekend including Magnetic, The Main Squeeze, Hyryder and Whipstitch Sallies to name a few.
In addition to music, WARMfest will host an array of activities for the whole family throughout the weekend. The September Indie Arts & Vintage marketplace will be held in conjunction with the fest. On Monday, September 2nd, the Ripple Effect 4-Mile Run/Walk will take place, helping to raise money for neighborhood improvement projects. Click here for more info and to register for the run. There will also be Yoga In The Park held Monday morning, as well as the Wapahani Boat Cruise down the White River featuring music from local acts, which will take place throughout the weekend. Tickets to the boat cruise are separate and limited.
Tickets for this year’s WARMfest are still on sale, single day passes going for $40 in advance, $45 at the gate. For the whole weekend you can get in for $90 in advance, $100 at the gate. For more information and to purchase tickets click here. Attendees will be free to come and go as they please throughout the weekend, and this is an all ages event. Group packages, as well as VIP packages are also available. For all the really important info about what you can and cannot bring, be sure to check out the Festival Guidelines Page to ensure you have the best possible experience. In terms of parking, WARMfest will be offering free parking at the Glendale Town Center near Keystone and 62nd street with shuttles going to and from the fest. A map of the festival map can bee seen below with entrances and stages clearly marked.
All in all, WARMfest will be a great addition to the Broad Ripple music and arts scene, bringing together a large number of local and national acts, highlighting the art of Indianapolis and bringing an awareness to the Broad Ripple community. Come out for just an afternoon to support your local community, or for the whole weekend if looking for something fun to do with the family.