More than nine dozen bands and music performers will descend upon Kansas City this spring for Ink’s Middle of the Map Fest. So will Fred Armisen, a comedian, actor and former cast member of “Saturday Night Live.”
Organizers of the sixth annual festival, a production of Ink magazine and the Record Machine, on Tuesday announced the lineup for the four-day music festival, which runs May 4-7, a Wednesday through Saturday. Among the headliners:
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▪ Cold War Kids, an indie-rock band from California whose song “First” reached No. 1 on the alt-rock charts in 2015.
▪ Aimee Mann, a singer/songwriter formerly of the band ’Til Tuesday whose solo career includes an Academy Award nomination for the song “Save Me” from the film “Magnolia.”
▪ Manchester Orchestra, an indie-rock band from Atlanta whose last two albums have cracked the Top 25 on the Billboard 200 charts.
▪ Zhu, an electronic/house producer and songwriter with two Top 10 dance-chart singles and a Grammy nomination for best dance recording in 2015.
▪ Vince Staples, a rapper from Long Beach, Calif., whose debut album, “Summertime ’06,” landed in the Top 40 of the Billboard 200 chart in 2015.
▪ Charles Bradley, a funk/soul singer from Gainesville, Fla. A former James Brown impersonator, he was signed to Daptone Records, home of Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings. He has since released two full-length albums, including “Victim of Love,” which received widespread critical acclaim.
The list of bands includes 75 local acts.
The first two nights of the music festival will be in Westport, where four dozen bands and artists will perform. Venues include Californos (indoor venue and the patio), the Westport Saloon, Ernie Biggs Dueling Piano Bar and Mills Record Co.
For its final two nights, the first of which will coincide with First Friday festivities in the Crossroads Arts District, the festival will move to five downtown/Crossroads venues, where more than five dozen bands and artists will perform: Crossroads KC, the Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland, the Brick, the Tank Room and the new RecordBar, which is planning to reopen at 1520 Grand Blvd.
Organizers also announced plans for the other two components of Middle of the Map. The Film Fest will be April 28-May 1 at the Alamo Drafthouse. Three bands will perform at the theater the first night of the Film Fest, including Peelander-Z, a so-called “action comic-punk band” from Japan.
The other component of the festival, formerly known as the Forum, is now called Ideas and will feature a series of speakers, including former “SNL” cast member Armisen, who is co-creator and star of the TV comedy “Portlandia.” He will speak at the Uptown Theater on April 27.
Other Ideas speakers: Aaron Draplin, designer and founder of Field Notes; Tom Vanderbilt, author of “You May Also Like” and “Traffic”; and Nolan Gasser, chief musicologist at Pandora radio. They will speak at the Plaza branch of the Kansas City Public Library on May 2 and 3.
A variety of ticket options are available for the Music Fest: A four-day pass is $80. A four-day VIP pass is $150. It includes preferred viewing at the Midland and Crossroads KC. A weekend pass is $65. A Wednesday/Thursday pass is $30. Single-day weekend passes are $35. Single-day weekend VIP packages are $75. Tickets are available now at middleofthemapfest.com.
A list of confirmed Music Fest performers
Cold War Kids, Manchester Orchestra, Aimee Mann, Zhu, Vince Staples, Charles Bradley, The Struts, The Good Life, Com Truise, Strfkr, San Fermin, Besnard Lakes, Son Little, Big Black Delta, Gallant, La Sera, Sales, Foxes in Fiction, Your Friend, Bassh, Krystle Warren, The Noise FM, Spirit Is the Spirit, the Philistines, Westerners, Illphonics, Light Music, Max Justus, Kangaroo Knife Fight, the Free Years, Valley Hush, Ggoolldd, Kississippi, L.A. Witch, Sharks in the Deep End, Al Scorch, the Rocketboys, Ford Theater Reunion, Altos, Santah, Me Like Bees, Ensemble Ibérica, SHEL, the Grisly Hand, the Conquerors, Shy Boys, Bonzo Madrid, Heartfelt Anarchy, Duncan Burnett & the Riot, Yes You Are, Archie Powell & the Exports, Migrant Kids, Annie Ellicott, Baskery, the Sluts, the Phantastics, Rachel Mallin and the Wild Type, Various Blonde, Pink Royal, Ebony Tusks, Blk Flanl, Major Games, Real Adults, Second Hand King, Ivory Black, Berwanger, Red Kate, Heidi Lynn Gluck, the Roseline, the Widow’s Ride, LionMaker, Hipshot Killer, Not a Planet, the Author & the Illustrator, Dreamgirl, Ovaries-eez, Atlas, Jessica Paige, Nicholas St. James, Gracie Schram, Quirk & Ruckus, Cowgirl’s Train Set, Julian Davis, Spencer Mackenzie Brown, Toughies, Roosevelt Dime, Saharan Gazelle Boy, the Hollow Ends, Lauren Anderson, Tracy Huffman and the Walking Sticks, Sugar Britches, Levi Parham, Youth Pool, Amy Farrand & the Like, the Blackbird Revue, My Oh My, Be/Non, Monta at Odds, Jorge Arana Trio, Psychic Heat, Connor Leimer, the People’s Punk Band, Riala, Dean Monkey & the Dropouts, Thom Hoskins, Shadow Rabbits, Golden Groves, Theta Intellect, Brother, Tall Tales, Fake Drugs, John Velghe & the Prodigal Sons, Via Luna, Captiva, Fullbloods.