May 16, 2024 - News

The I Made Rock 'N' Roll Festival hits Indianapolis

Janelle Monae performs

Janelle Monáe will hit the stage in Indy this weekend. Photo: Chet Strange/Bloomberg via Getty Images

This weekend, a major moment in Black music history will be made in Indianapolis.

What's happening: The inaugural I Made Rock 'N' Roll Festival goes down Saturday at American Legion Mall.

  • Janelle Monáe and Gary Clark Jr. headline a lineup that also features Robert Randolph Band, Joy Oladokun, Meet Me @ The Altar and Inner Peace.
  • Festival activations include an enclosed A/V experience showing performances by legendary Black rock musicians, a rock history timeline and the chance to design your own overalls or thrifted denim jackets.

Why it matters: The event is billed as Indiana's first one-day Black rock festival, designed to honor the true origins of the genre.

The inspo: The festival is the latest creation of local creative advocacy agency GANGGANG, the entity behind the BUTTER equitable fine art fair.

What they're saying: "We are doing this to celebrate the significance of Black artistry in rock music, a sound with direct ties to the rhythm and blues of Black people," said Alan Bacon, GANGGANG co-founder. "This festival is about the longstanding presence of Black artists and authorship in rock 'n' roll as much as it is about racism, cultural appropriation and economic justice."

If you go: Gates open at noon Saturday.

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