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The Arts
Sep 01, 2013

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Inside LouFest 2013

LouFest’s new partnership with C3 Presents means more stages and bigger bands. Don’t be caught unprepared.
Story: Amanda Henry

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Grab your water bottle, your favorite pair of shades and some comfy shoes—it’s time for the fourth annual LouFest, and Founder Brian Cohen of Listen Live Entertainment assures us that this year’s festival will be one for the books. The company has teamed up with C3 Presents, the force behind Lollapalooza, to co-produce the festival, which means even more can’t-miss bands, activities and vendors—and more of Central Field to navigate. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Be sure to pack this LouFest map and guide to make the most out of your weekend.

Dates: Sept. 7-8
Location: Central Field at Forest Park
Tickets: $95 two-day pass, $55 one-day pass, $250 VIP experience
Website: loufest.com

So Much To Do, So Little Time! With three stages of great music this year, fans will have to mull over the schedule (check it out at loufest.com) and make choices about who they want to see and how much of each set they stay for. Cohen suggests: “Do as much as possible. I usually hit one set for three songs,
then head to another stage, then another. You experience a little bit of everything that way.”

When You Were Young Kiddos age 12 and under get in free with a ticketholding adult, but what to do with them once inside? LouFest’s kid zone, LouKidz, has gone all out this year to provide children with the same rockin’ experience their parents are sure to have. Don’t miss:

  • Kid-friendly DJ with dance floor for the little ones to boogie.
  • School of Rock conducting instrument instruction for all ages.
  • Punk rock hair station with (temporary!) coloring and styling.
  • Kids’ yoga, Zumba and breakdancing.
  • Arts and crafts, including face painting.
  • Life-size chess board.

Merch and Swag Be sure to hit up the Euclid tent between the Bud Light and BMI stages to pick up music from all of the bands performing at the fest this year. This is also where bands will be holding autograph sessions, so keep an eye on loufest.com to find out when your favorite groups will be there and work some face time into your game plan. For band t-shirts and merch, as well as all of the LouFest gear you need to commemorate the occasion, head to the Festival Store, situated near the entrance.

Eat, Drink and Be Merry The Nosh Pit will be your go-to for food, and there are bars distributed throughout the festival grounds for refreshments, but you’ll want to make it a point to visit some of the special sponsored attractions as well. Chipotle has an air-conditioned tent that’s ideal for taking a break from the heat—usually with an abundance of free samples for visitors. Nearby, the Schlafly beer garden claims a shady corner with plenty of seating where festivalgoers can kick back with a tasty local brew and take a break from all the action. Take advantage of the free hydration station just outside to fill your water bottle with clean, ice-cold water before heading back into the fray.

Sweet Seats All of the perks of last year’s LouFest VIP Lounge return this year, but VIP ticketholders will be surprised and delighted as they experience the new viewing deck. With sight lines to the Bud Light and Forest Park stages, VIPs get the entire LouFest experience— without having to leave the comforts of the VIP Lounge. (Massages and photo booths, anyone?) Food is provided by Mike Shannon’s, with Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams serving up cool treats and Kaldi’s providing much-needed pick-me-ups.

The Forest Park Stage is the go-to spot at LouFest for sick house beats and indie rock. Indie favorite Ra Ra Riot brings its cheery pop sound to the stage Saturday at 3:30pm. Be sure to catch Icona Pop, the Swedish duo responsible for this summer’s anthem “I Love It,” on Sunday at 1:45pm. Other must-sees: funky electronica artist Robert DeLong (Saturday at 1:45pm) and the beloved folk sounds of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros (Sunday at 7:30pm). Shows on the Forest Park Stage run 12:15-8:30pm both days.

Bud Light Stage LouFest headliners take the spotlight on the Bud Light Stage throughout the weekend. The National will have fans swaying to its beautiful, melancholy tunes Saturday at 6:30pm, followed by Midwest natives and indie-rock idols Wilco at 8:30pm. Sunday brings the charming ditties of Local Natives (4:30pm), followed by blues-rock favorite Alabama Shakes (6:30pm). The Killers close this year’s festival with an 8:30pm set on Sunday.

BMI Stage Head to the BMI Stage for all things local and regional. St. Louis’ own Kentucky Knife Fight opens the show Saturday at 12:15pm, and local rapper Tef Poe heats up the stage Sunday at 3:30pm. Shows on the BMI Stage run from 12:15-8:30pm both days, featuring other regional sensations like Chicago’s Wild Belle (Saturday at 7:30pm).

Market Square, LouFest’s retail area, returns this year with loads of super-unique out-of-towners. Don’t forget to stop and browse your local faves as well—including STL-Style, Erker’s Fine Eyewear, Paperdolls Boutique, Rack + Clutch, Just Liv, The Foundrie, East + West, FernBird, Blue Bird the Boutique and Bellestyle—for a great selection of clothing, shades and accessories.

Nosh Pit Whether you’re vegan or a diehard meat-lover, you’re sure to find something that delights your taste buds at LouFest’s Nosh Pit—with options so mouthwatering that they nearly rival the music.

  • Vegan Sink those herbivore teeth into free-range vegan nachos from Local Harvest or the hearty vegan burger from Atomic Cowboy.
  • Gluten-free Chesterfield’s PM BBQ has a variety of gluten-free options, including baby back ribs and smoked chicken quarters. Or, check out Triumph Grill’s gluten-free soft pretzel with Guinness mustard.
  • Local Faves You won’t want to miss the offerings from other local hot spots Cleveland-Heath, Mission Taco Joint, or Dressel’s. You’ll find vegetarian and carnivorous offerings at all three.
  • Out-of-Towners Be sure to show some STL hospitility to out-of-town vendors Magoo’s Pizza (from Denver) and Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams (Ohio).

Long Live Forest Park In an effort to be as environmentally conscious as possible, LouFest will again feature water bottle re-fill stations throughout the festival area. Be sure to bring a refillable bottle (just no glass) or a factory-sealed plastic water bottle that you can refill throughout the day. All items from the Nosh Pit will be served with recyclable or compostable plates and cutlery, so seek out the recycling stations to toss your trash. The C3 Presents partnership facilitates yet another way to help keep the park clean, through the Rock ‘N Recycle program. Just head to the booth, grab a trash bag and fill it with recyclables you find throughout the park. Then, return your full bag to the booth and trade it for a free commemorative t-shirt.

Follow ALIVE’s culture blog, The 314, for more LouFest coverage leading up to and during festival weekend, including band Q&As, photo diary recaps and the Best Dressed at LouFest contest. For event updates, visit loufest.com.

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