For its fourth year, Boulevardia will remain in the West Bottoms but move everything several blocks south, toward Kemper Arena. The annual beer, food, arts/crafts and music festival will also last two days, one day shorter than its predecessors, this time skipping Sunday/Father’s Day.
What hasn’t changed: a music lineup that includes several big-name national and international touring acts, plus many of the best bands and performers from our region.
Here’s a look at Boulevardia 2017, which runs June 16-17.
This year’s headliners include the legendary funk band George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, who performs at 10 p.m. Friday on the Boulevard Main Stage.
Friday’s other main-stage acts: the Strumbellas, an insurgent roots/rock/country band from Toronto; and the Joy Formidable, an indie-rock/pop band from North Wales. The No BS! Brass Band, a 10-piece New Orleans-style brass band from Richmond, Va., opens the main stage Friday and Saturday.
Saturday’s headliners comprise a wide variety of styles and flavors. Local Natives, a poly-genre indie-rock band from Los Angeles; Guster, a veteran jangly, alt-rock band from Boston; Saint Motel, an indie-pop band from Los Angeles; the Struts, a young, glam-rock band from England; and the Heydaze, an indie-/dream-pop band from New York.
Several well-known Kansas City and Lawrence bands will perform on the Boulevard Main Stage on Saturday, starting with My Brothers & Sisters, the multi-genre music troupe founded by Jamie Searle, who perform at 12:20, joining other local acts, all worthy of main-stage billing: the Grisly Hand (rock and soul with some country) and Not a Planet (rock with a variety of retro undertones).
The Chipotle Homegrown Stage will host Kansas City and Lawrence bands all weekend, starting with the indie-pop/rock band Rachel Mallin and the Wild Type, who open the stage on Friday. Also on that stage on Friday: Jaenki (indie-pop), singer/songwriter Jessica Page, Katy Guillen & the Girls (alternative blues) and the Phantastics (funk, soul and hip-hop).
Matt Pryor (Get Up Kids) and his daughter Lily headline the Vinebourgh Acoustic Stage on Friday. Also on that stage: the Matchsellers (old-timey country), Crystal Rose, Brody Buster (blues/rock), Dylan Guthrie & the Good Time Guys (rock and soul) and Nicholas St. James (insurgent folk/blues).
Saturday’s homegrown stage will provide 11 hours of top-shelf music from Kansas City/Lawrence bands and artists, including singer/songwriter Sara Morgan (country), the Conquerors (garage rock), Hembree (indie pop/rock) and Duncan Burnett X Riot (hip-hop).
Singer/songwiter and folk harpist Calvin Arsenia is one of several must-see performers at the Vinebourgh Acoustic Stage (3 p.m. Saturday). Other Saturday recommendations: Kasey Rausch’s Country Duo (old-time country), Danny McGaw (folk-based singer/songwriter), Cadillac Flambe (gothic blues) and Julian Davis and the Hay-Burners (flat-picking country).
Hi-Lux: This Kansas City/Lawrence band comprises some of our best local musicians: Julia Haile (the Buhs) on vocals; Nick Howell, keyboards and organ; Kian Byrne (the Elders, New Riddim), drums and vocals; Pete Leibert, bass; and Tim Braun, guitar. Their dance-ready sound blends soul, funk and reggae. On their Facebook page, they cite Sharon Jones, the Meters and the Budos Band as influences. They perform at 8 p.m Saturday on the homegrown stage.
This year’s version of Boulevardia has moved south in the West Bottoms, from around the 12th Street Viaduct to adjacent to the Livestock Exchange Building, south of 14th Street on Genessee Street. This puts the festival within short walking distance of several restaurants and bars, including Voltaire, Genessee Royale Bistro, Lucky Boys, Stockyards Brewing Co. and the Amigoni Urban Winery.
Two main lots will be provided, one on Liberty Street and one on Genessee Street in the Gateway Computers lot. Parking at each lot is $7 a car. There will be additional parking along Wyoming between 16th and 14th streets. Free shuttles will be available to the main gate from the Liberty and Genesee lots. The festival will also designate a drop-off point for taxi, Uber, ZTrip and other riders.
Single-day general admission tickets are $20. Various VIP and beer-dinner packages are still available at boulevardia.com. All Taps & Taste packages are sold out except for the Ultimate VIP Weekender tickets, which includes a variety of VIP tickets and extras for two, including Taps & Taste, for $900.
Music for this year’s two-day Boulevardia begins at 4 p.m. Friday on the festival’s grounds near the Stockyard Exchange Building in the West Bottoms. Saturday’s music begins at 11 a.m. Tickets and other information are available at boulevardia.com.