Feb 15, 2023 - News

Nelly, Khalid and Walker Hayes headlining Wonderstruck

Rap star Nelly stands on stage with outstretched hands wearing sunglasses and a large necklace.

WonderStruck 2023 is going to get hot in herre. Photo: Isaac Brekken/Getty Images for iHeartMedia

WonderStruck, the Cleveland area's biggest mainstream music festival, is upping the ante for 2023.

Driving the news: The festival, running July 8-9 at Lakeland Community College in Kirtland, announced the lineup for its eighth annual event yesterday.

  • Whereas previous years focused on indie and alternative acts, this year's headliners include chart-toppers Nelly and Flo Rida, R&B star Khalid and country pop artist Walker Hayes.

Why it matters: Last year's Wonderstruck drew more than 15,000 attendees, making it one of the biggest music events in Northeast Ohio in 2022.

  • Plus: It is the flagship festival for Cleveland-based events company Elevation Group, which also runs WonderBus in Columbus, WonderRoad in Indianapolis and WonderWorks in Pittsburgh.

Details: WonderStruck's lineup also features indie-pop band Coin, country singers Chris Lane and Jimmie Allen, hip-hop/pop hybrid Tai Verdes, rockers The Struts, pop-rock duo Aly & AJ and more.

  • Further down the promotional poster is pop singer Paris Jackson, daughter of Michael Jackson.

What they're saying: Denny Young, president of Elevation, tells Axios this year's lineup is about "raising the roof" with hitmakers and trendsetters.

  • "One lesson we learned last year was about general awareness and name recognition," Young says. "Duran Duran and Lorde were a huge hit for us in Columbus last year. People want to come out and hear the hits."

Zoom out: Hybrid festivals with a broad mix of genres are becoming more popular both nationally and in Northeast Ohio.

  • For instance, this year's Bash on the Bay at Put-in-Bay, a festival that draws around 15,000 people, is headlined by Pitbull and Luke Bryan.

If you go: Tickets for WonderStruck go on sale at 10am Saturday. Prices start at $65 for single-day passes and $109 for two days.

A poster featuring the lineup for Wonderstruck music festival the names Khalid, Walker Hayes and Nelly at the top.
Photo: Courtesy of WonderStruck festival
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