Change is afoot for LouFest, the annual music festival held in St. Louis' expansive Forest Park. A temporary venue change, a third night geared toward college kids and a new, recurring tribute to local legend (and father of rock 'n' roll) Chuck Berry are all in the offing when LouFest returns Sept. 8-10, organizers announced this week.
Music, too. There'll be plenty of that, including headliners Weezer, Snoop Dogg and Cage the Elephant, plus notable topliners Run the Jewels, Spoon, Nathaniel Ratecliff & The Night Sweats and the incomparable Huey Lewis & the News. Other acts include Robert Randolph, ZZ Ward, Lizzo, Lecrae and buzzworthy rapper Noname. Local standouts include Beth Bombarra, Jack Grelle and Mvstermind.
Organizers are also working closely with the family of Chuck Berry to launch a new segment of the festival to be called "Hail! Hail! Chuck Berry!". Details for that portion of the festivities will be announced in the coming weeks, but Mike Van Hee and Rich Toma, partners with Listen Live Entertainment, have indicated it won't be a one-off. "Just as Chuck made an indelible mark on music of every genre, in his honor LouFest will make his legacy an everlasting part of our event," they said.
Berry, who died March 18 at age 90, was inextricably tied to St. Louis and until a few years ago was still playing a monthly residency in town. "Chuck loved to bring people music -- especially in St. Louis -- and the family is excited to see that carry on through LouFest," a family spokesperson said in a statement.
Location-wise, the festival is moving a short walk from the Central Fields to a new event space adjacent to the historic Muny Amphitheater. The oft-used but underdeveloped Central Fields are currently undergoing a $4.7 million project to address infrastructure problems and to add amenities, and will return to hosting LouFest when work is completed.
As mentioned, the festival is adding a third night dedicated to area university students that it's calling LouFestU. The event will include local and national bands, plus guest speakers and other elements (meet-up opps with local employers) that give it a job fair-like quality.
Tickets are on sale now at loufest.com. Here's the official poster: