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LouFest announces 2016 lineup

Morgan Nusbaum of Bruiser Queen
Provided by Jess Luther
Morgan Nusbaum of Bruiser Queen

Dance act LCD Soundsystem, country musician Chris Stapleton and singer Lauryn Hill will headline this year’s LouFest, set for Sept. 10 and 11 in Forest Park.

Other scheduled performers for St. Louis’ largest music festival include local acts Illphonics, Bruiser Queen, Karate Bikini, Sleepy Rubies, Foxing and John Henry.

For Bruiser Queen drummer Jason Potter, the festival is a huge opportunity. He and his band mate Morgan Nusbaum have wanted to perform at LouFest for years.

“Getting to run around and play in Forest Park is just one of the most unique experiences you can basically have in St. Louis,” Potter said.  “Loufest being such a big deal and such an awesome crowd to play in front of is something we’ve been working on for quite some time.”

John Henry performs at Off Broadway
Credit Provided by Jess Luther
John Henry performs at Off Broadway

The seventh annual festival will feature two days of music. Organizers say there will be improved food offerings, an enlarged LouKidz area, and more extensive beer tastings. Last year, an estimated 50,000 people attended the festival, up from 36,000 people in 2014, promoters said.

This year’s event will be the first LouFest since founder Brian Cohen quit the organization. Cohen, who founded the organization in 2010, announced his departure early this year. He has since co-founded the Murmuration Festival, an innovation festival that also will include music. It takes place in late September.

For many in St. Louis Loufest is still the big ticket. Illphonics vocalist Larry “Fallout” Morris said the event provides an opportunity for the band’s members to broaden their fan base, even in their hometown.

“Even though we’ve grown here in St. Louis, there are still people that don’t know us, so this is our introduction to them,” Morris said. “You know a big stage requires a big show and that’s what we plan on putting on.

The concert’s been criticizedfor not including enough local acts on the bill. So this year organizers attempted to include more local acts.

“We’ve definitely made a concerted effort to showcase this amazing homegrown talent,” Rich Toma, a partner with Listen Live Entertainment, said in a press release. “It’s no secret that St. Louis has a nationally recognized music scene with many emerging and established artists representing a wide range of genres.”

The festival also has been criticized for not providing enough top talentor including diverse performers. Perhaps to answer such critiques, the festival’s lineup this year swings from pop to hip-hop and includes hallowed bluesman Buddy Guy, New Orleans institution the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, indie act Frightened Rabbit and soul group Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires.

For the full lineup, visit the LouFest website.

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