The annual celebration of independent music and craft beer on the banks of the Fox River in downtown Yorkville is back once again, as the Summer Solstice Indie Music and Craft Beer Festival is set for Friday, June 22, and Saturday, June 23 at Riverfront Park.
Admission to the festival is free, but those wanting to consume alcohol will need to purchase a $5 wristband, as in past years.
The festival this year includes fresh talent from Nashville, Austin, Ohio, and the Chicago area in addition to a variety of cold brews and the annual race before the fest.
The Summer Solstice Four Miler and Two Mile Walk, organized in partnership with the State Champion Yorkville High School Cross Country program, is on Friday, June 22, at 7 p.m. Same day registration is from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the small pavilion near the pedestrian bridge at Riverfront Park. More information on the race and online registration can be found at RunSolstice.com.
Organizer Boyd Ingemunson of Yorkville said he spends the year scouting for new talent and has help from singer-songwriter Cory Chisel, whom Ingemunson has teamed up with since the festival's inception. Chisel, as he does every year, will be performing sets on Saturday night, with special guests that have yet to be announced.
Chisel, who lives with his wife, fellow musician Adriel Denae, in Appleton, Wisconsin, co-founded the massive Mile of Music festival in Appelton that is now in its sixth year.
Ingemunson credits Chisel and his connection with musicians in communities such as Nashville with helping him find some of the bigger acts that will be gracing the Summer Solstice stage this year. Ingemunson said he has also learned a lot about the music business and networking via his ownership of the Law Office Pub & Music Hall in downtown Yorkville.
Ingemunson said he likes to "mix it up" every year, so there's a blend of local and regional talent along with national touring acts like those headlining this year's fest.
One of the more high profile national acts to grace the fest's stage was Sturgill Simpson, whose 2017 album "A Sailor's Guide To Earth" won the best country album Grammy. Simpson performed as a relative unknown when he headlined the festival in 2013.
This year's headliners could be the next Grammy winners or big touring acts, Ingemunson said.
A kick-off show the night before the festival begins will be held at the Law Office on Thursday, June 21, with Angela Perley and the Howlin' Moons at 8 p.m. and Third Man Records artist Craig Brown Band at 9:30 p.m.
Headlining the festival Friday night, June 22, at 9:30 p.m. is Austin, Texas-based Mike and the Moonpies, who have been recently featured in Rolling Stone, are touring on their new record "Steak Night at the Prairie Rose."
Headlining Saturday, June 23, at 9:30 p.m. is Nashville-based Lillie Mae. Born Lillie Mae Rische, she and her siblings were taught music by their father, Forrest Carter Rische, and were all in a family band. She has performed as a touring and studio musician for Jack White and her latest LP, "Forever and Then Some," was produced by Jack White and is on White's Third Man Records label in Nashville. Lillie Mae has been featured on NPR and Rolling Stone, and has performed on "Conan" and "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert."
Chicago's Rebel Soul Revival, playing Saturday at 9:10 p.m., serves up a unique musical stew. Their list of influences on their Facebook page includes everyone from Duane Allman, Jeff Beck, and Canned Heat, to hip-hop artists Tupac and Mos Def, to modern day jammers like Pino Palladino, John Mayer Trio, and Phish.
Joe Garner, who goes by the stage name The Kernal, is based out of Jackson, Tennessee and will bring his unique brand of Bob Dylan-flecked honky-tonk to the stage on Friday at 8:10 p.m.
Carson McHone of Austin, Texas is playing on Saturday at 5 p.m. She was listed by Rolling Stone last year as one of the 10 new country artists you need to know about. Rolling Stone described her music as sounding like "the bridge between Texas twang and Tennessee country, occupied by a road warrior who's spent plenty of time in both states."
The entire festival schedule is below, with some slots yet to be announced:
Friday, Pavillion Stage: 6 p.m. Aaron Kelly Band; 7 p.m. Angela Perley & The Howlin' Moons; 8:10 p.m. The Kernal; 9:30 p.m. Mike and the Moonpies. River Stage, 5:30 and 6:40 p.m., artists TBA; 7:50 p.m., race results announced; 9:10 p.m. Mackenzie O'Brien.
Saturday, Pavillion Stage: noon, YPAC Blues Experience; 2 p.m. Dave Sills; 3 p.m. Christopher Gold & The New Old Things; 4 p.m. Airpark; 5 p.m. Carson McHone; 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. Cory Chisel and Special Guests; 8:10 p.m. Cory Chisel; 9:30 p.m. Lillie Mae. River Stage, 1:20 p.m. Desperate Bastards, 2:40 p.m. Noah Gabriel; 3:40 p.m. Olivia Ports; 4:40 p.m. Dirty Water; 5:40 p.m. 5:40 p.m. Tim Gleason; 6:40 p.m. Small Houses; 7:50 p.m. Winnow; 9:10 p.m. Rebel Soul Revival.
There will also be after shows Friday and Saturday at the Law Office: Friday, June 22, the Aaron Kelly Band is playing at 10:30 p.m. and John Till is playing at midnight. Saturday, Christopher Gold and the New Old Things are playing at 10:30 p.m. and Max Benson is playing at midnight.