A new two-day music festival is coming to Indianapolis’ Garfield Park in June, organizers and Mayor Joe Hogsett announced at a joint news conference Wednesday.
WonderRoad, organized by Elevation, the same company behind the annual WonderStruck and WonderBus festivals in Cleveland and Cincinnati, will feature food and live music set across three stages June 11-12.
“It’s going to be spectacular — I think the biggest music event in Indianapolis in a long time,” Elevation President Denny Young said at the news conference, held in the park’s arts center just feet from the planned outdoor festival area.
The top of the announced bill leans heavily into alternative/indie rock, with Vampire Weekend and Lord Huron headlining and Bastille, Chvrches, Milky Chance, Bishop Briggs and Mat Kearney filling it out.
WonderRoad is billed as a “contemporary music festival,” with hip-hop, EDM, folk and metal bands also on the docket. It is presented in association with local promoter MOKB Presents, which organized Holler on the Square and other recent local festivals, as well as Garfield Park’s summer concert series.
Five local favorites will also perform: 81355, Huckleberry Funk, The Protest, Fern Murphy and The Palace, which won MOKB’s local battle of the bands in 2020.
In all, 28 acts will be spread across the weekend.
Young hopes the festival will be an annual summer event in Indianapolis, noting 2022 will mark the sixth and fourth WonderStruck and WonderBus festivals in Ohio, respectively.
“We have every reason to believe that Indianapolis is going to be a home for a very, very long time — assuming the mayor and the parks will allow us to keep coming back,” Young said with a slight laugh and look towards Hogsett.
Indy Parks and Recreation is also among the organizers. As part of the festival announcement, Elevation gave Indy Parks a $25,000 grant to fund its 2022 Indy Parks Summer Concert and Movie series.
“This festival will serve as yet another reminder of how special our Indianapolis parks are for our neighborhoods, and why they should have and deserve our city’s upmost support,” Hogsett said.
Hogsett noted the city has a track record for pulling large-scale events, even during the pandemic. He thanked Elevation and other organizers for bringing the festival to Indy, which will be served both by the $25,000 grant and the economic boon from a multiday event likely to draw tens of thousands of people.
Two-day passes start at $99.50 and will be available online or at the Hi-Fi box office at 1043 Virginia Ave. in Fountain Square beginning Friday.
Organizers recommend using public transit for the festival, as “a limited amount of on-site parking will be available for purchase.”
Health and safety guidelines are possible. The festival’s website notes organizers “will monitor COVID-19 developments throughout the winter months and as Indiana heads into spring/summer 2022.”
“It is Elevation’s hope that COVID-19 will be under even better control by the time the company stages WonderRoad and that there will be no need for special entry requirements,” the website reads. “However, Elevation will make a final determination on all health protocols closer to the festival weekend.”
At the news conference, Young, Elevation’s president, said the company hosted almost 70,000 people at the two Ohio festivals “without a single incident.” Elevation offered on-site testing and vaccination.