Free Never Sounded so Good until the Virginia Ave Folk Fest

To say the Virginia Avenue Folk Fest on May 9th is “folking up Indy” could quite possibly be an understatement. The first (and hopefully annual) festival will host 12 straight hours of live music on nine different stages from 70 different musical acts all on Virginia Avenue in Fountain Square. And if great local beer, local music, and local arts weren’t enticing enough, it’s all for a good cause with proceeds of the event being donated to Trusted Mentors, a local non-profit.

Folk Fest Founders: Mike Angel, Patrick Burtch, Shelley Landis (& her daughter Skylar)

Folk Fest Founders: Mike Angel, Patrick Burtch, Shelley Landis (& her daughter, Skylar)

When Mike Angel, Patrick Burtch and Shelley Landis hatched the idea for the event back in January they initially planned an event on a much smaller scale: an all day music day at Rocket 88 Doughnuts, which Burtch owns. However, as they began to reach out to Fountain Square business owners and local bands they realized the event had the opportunity to be much bigger.

“As a business owner it’s been nice to see the cohesiveness of the community down here,” Burtch explained about the neighborhood.

The founders partnered with Trusted Mentors, which is located in Fountain Square right next door to Rocket 88 Doughnuts, to help raise money for the foundation that pairs volunteer mentors with at-risk adults in Indianapolis. The festival is an open festival with all of the band fees covered by sponsors so any donations made at the event will go directly to Trusted Mentors. Festival go-ers can also purchase VIP access, which is a direct donation to Trusted Mentors, and receive complimentary food, beer and coffee throughout the day for only $15.

While the event aims to raise funds from Trusted Mentors, the founders are also looking to raise awareness and visibility for local musicians and the growing music scene in Indianapolis. Not only will there be music on all nine stages, but also musicians playing along the cultural trail in Fountain Square. No matter where you stand at the event, you will be able to hear music, and great music at that.

“It’s a free taste of great local music,” said Angel, who will also be performing with his band, Bigfoot Yancey.

The festival will begin at 10am on Saturday, May 9th and run until 10pm that evening with an after party to follow. Parking will be limited so carpool, cab, bike or walk to the event. Bring your own seating if you find yourself needing a break from dancing or standing. For a full list of all the musical acts, stage locations and times swing by the official Folk Fest website. You can also catch a list of all the sponsors of the event. Virginia Ave Folk Fest Website

Written By: Warren Cangany

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