ST. LOUIS – Music lovers rejoice because a new festival is set to take over Forest Park this summer called Evolution Festival.
This comes nearly five years after “LouFest” folded in 2018, and this new festival has no connection to that one.
At the Evolution Festival this summer, 15 artists such as the Black Keys, Brandi Carlile, Ice Cube, The Black Crowes, Brittany Howard, Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, Morgan Wade, Cautious Clay, Michigander, Modern English, Nikki Lane, The Sugarhill Gang, The Nude Party, and many more local artists will perform.
“It’s imperative that we have a place for artists to come to in the summertime,” said Steve Schankman, co-executive producer of Evolution Festival. “If we don’t have a festival, artists will pass over St. Louis.”
The festival will be held over two days, August 26 and 27, in Forest Park.
An evolution of not just the music but also the culture that makes the city unique.
“St. Louis has been a music city for decades,” said Joe Litvag, co-executive producer of Evolution Festival. “We’ve got great venues, we don’t really have a festival at this point, and Steve and I are both born and raised in St. Louis and knew St. Louis should have a festival to call its own.”
A year and a half in the making, the festival is intended to bring the best that St. Louis has to offer. The plan is to create a cultural experience that will put the city on the map in ways it hasn’t been before.
“Year after year, it will build, this is not a one year and done,” Schankman said. “This is our town, this is our time, this is our evolution!”
This not only includes music but other St. Louis staples such as bourbon and barbecue.
“We feel like we’re a part of the fabric of St. Louis. We promote St. Louis all over the world, really,” said Mike Johnson, owner of Sugarfire Smokehouse. “We travel around the world doing BBQ stuff, and it’s really important to be involved in something like this.”
The BBQ lineup includes Sugarfire Smoke House, Pappy’s Smoke House, Beast Craft BBQ, Gobble Stop Smokehouse, Heavy Smoke BBQ, and Treaux’s Cajun BBQ.
The bourbon will also be flowing in fresh and creative ways with specialty cocktails, tastings, and demonstrations featuring the best local, regional, and national bourbon brands including Ezra Brooks, Rebel, Daviess County, Blood Oath, Yellowstone, Withered Oak, and many more.
A portion of ticket sales will go towards Forest Park Forever and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
“I think that it’s amazing because the other people that may come here may grow,” said Mariah Conners. “People may fly in more businesses for local small businesses, and they get to enjoy what we get to enjoy.”
“I like music; I like being outside. I like the combination and having a beer,” said Vladimir Lamm. “I’d like to go to it, and I feel St. Louis doesn’t have enough of it.”
Weekend general admission ticket prices start at $99.50 (plus ticket fees). The festival will also feature three levels of weekend VIP ticket experiences starting at $199.50 (plus ticket fees).
Tickets go on sale Friday, Feb. 17 at 10 a.m. You can find out more here.