Organizers say the June festival in downtown Grand Rapids pays homage to the event’s legacy while offering ‘delightful curveballs’ that include The War and Treaty and Lady Ace Boogie.
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In what may be the strongest performer lineup in years, Founders Fest will heat up streets in downtown Grand Rapids this summer with iconic, Southern rock/blues jam-band favorite Gov’t Mule, renowned reggae act Toots & The Maytals and R&B singer Macy Gray.
The 12th annual street festival hosted by Founders Brewing on June 22 will also boast a set by Michigan’s own soulful roots phenomenon The War and Treaty, which recently awed fans in a blistering, high-energy concert at St. Cecilia Music Center and was the big winner at WYCE-FM’s recent Jammie Awards.
Rounding out the bill will be Grand Rapids hip hop artist Lady Ace Boogie and Founders’ own FBC All-Stars, who perform at the event every year.
“This year, the goal for Founders Fest was to present a lineup that paid homage to the past legacy of the festival while branching out a bit into areas we have never been,” said Luke Sass, Founders Brewing promotional manager.
“Basically, the goal is to make sure that there is a little something for everyone at Founders Fest 2019.”
That starts with headliner Gov’t Mule, which Sass called “a legendary Southern rock, guitar-based, jam act that features one of the hardest working guitarists in the biz, Warren Haynes.” (Check out a past Local Spins interview with Haynes online here.)
Beyond that, he said, “Toots & The Maytals dang near invented the word ‘reggae,’ Macy Gray is a phenomenal R&B performer and has had a No. 5 hit with the song “I Try,” and The War And Treaty bring the soul and have performed on our taproom stage early on in their career and are now opening for the likes of Al Green and Bob Seger.”
EMBRACING A ‘ROOTS ROCK FOUNDATION’ AND ADDING ‘CURVEBALLS’
The FBC All-Stars featuring Founders employees have always been a crowd favorite and Sass said Lady Ace Boogie “rounds out the lineup with her firebrand style of MC’ing.”
Morgan Haner of Founders added that the roster of stars stays true to “the roots rock foundations of the festival while also throwing some delightful curveballs to the audience that maybe they didn’t expect.”
After re-orienting the festival layout outside Founders Brewing last year, organizers said they don’t expect major changes for 2019 but there will be improvements.
“We have put a lot of thought and effort into making the festival more accessible,” Haner said. “We heard a lot of concerns about accessibility last year after changing our layout around, and we have taken that very seriously.
“This year, we plan on placing more handicapped parking closer to the entrance gate, and providing some other accommodations to make sure everyone feels invited, welcomed and included.”
A limited number of early-bird tickets, $30, go on sale at 10 a.m. Wednesday (March 6). Advanced general admission tickets, $40 ($25 for mug club members), will go on sale when early-bird tickets sell out. If any tickets remain available on June 22, they’ll be available at the gate for $45 ($40 for mug club members). Admission includes two drink tickets; the festival is a 21-and-older event.
Tickets will be available online via Eventbrite.com.
VIDEO: Gov’t Mule, “Dark Side of the Mule” (December 2018)
VIDEO: Toots & The Maytals in Germany (2017)
VIDEO: Macy Gray, “Sugar Daddy”
VIDEO: The War and Treaty, “If It’s In Your Heart”
VIDEO: Lady Ace Boogie at The Jammie Awards
VIDEO: FBC All-Stars (2018)
Copyright 2019, Spins on Music LLC