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In-LieuFest: 11 things to do this weekend now that LouFest has been canceled

The guitarist for St. Paul Minnesota band Hippo Campus bends to his Fender Telecaster and rocks out. The band brought their particular brand of dance rock to the main stage.
Eli Chen | St. Louis Public Radio
The guitarist for band Hippo Campus performs at LouFest 2017. Organizers canceled the 2018 event days before it was set to begin.

LouFest isn’t happening.This is a huge blow to the thousands of fans who look forward to the music festival in Forest Park every year.

With the cancellation coming just a few days before the event, fans now have a gaping hole in their weekend plans. Here, in no particular order, are some other arts and entertainment doings that may help ease the pain of a lost LouFest.

Update: We're updating this list with new shows as we're scheduled. Check back for the latest bookings. 

Robert Plant & The Sensational Space Shifters

  • When: Sunday, Sept. 9
  • Where: The Pageant
  • Cost: $50 - $100
  • More info

Festival headliner Robert Plant and his band The Sensational Space Shifters will still perform in St. Louis. They’ll take their act to the Pageant for a 9 p.m. show on Sunday. Tickets go on sale Thursday at 7 p.m.

Jukebox The Ghost & Mt. Joy with Zach Sullentrup

  • When: Saturday, Sept. 8, 8 p.m.
  • Where: Delmar Hall
  • Cost: $22 in advance, $24 at the door
  • More info

Jukebox the Ghost formed in college in 2006 and has been a steadily growing cult favorite and a globally touring band ever since. Composed of Ben Thornewill (piano/vocals), Tommy Siegel (guitar/bass/vocals) and Jesse Kristin (drums/vocals), they have played over 1,000 shows across the country and around the world. Mt. Joy started off as a rekindling of shared musical ambitions between Philadelphia high school friends Matt Quinn (vocals, guitar) and Sam Cooper (guitar). They named themselves Mt. Joy as an ode to a mountain in Valley Forge National Park near Sam’s childhood home.
The Last Laugh Stage

  • When: 2 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 8
  • Where: Southtown Pub
  • Cost: Free

After this week, we all need a good laugh. The producers of LouFest’s comedy stage have moved the roster of national and local comedians to a show at Southtown Pub on Kingshighway. See local comics Stephon Hightower, Jon Venegoni, Angela Smith, Chris Cyr, Duke Taylor, Nathan Orton, Emily Hickner, Bobby Jaycox, Kenny Kinds and national headliners Matt Rife (“Wild ‘N Out”) and Mia Jackson (“Last Comic Standing,” “Inside Amy Schumer”).
The Sound of St. Louis Showcase

  • When: Sunday, Sept. 9
  • Where: The Grandel Theatre & Dark Room Stages
  • Cost: Free

There is some consolation for fans who were looking forward to the jazz and heritage lineup at LouFest. Starting at 2 p.m. on Sunday, the Kranzberg Arts Foundation will bring together some of the musicians hit hardest by the cancellation: The local artists who were going to have a big moment on the new jazz and heritage stage. (We will update with more details as they become available).

  • When: Saturday, Sept. 8 and Sunday, Sept. 9
  • Where: Cherokee Street, St. Louis
  • Cost: $20-$30
  • More Info

Organizers say the name is more a playful variation than a heated jab at LouFest, but make no mistake: This low(er) profile weekend music festival, now in its fifth year, is a thoughtful response to that better known event. With a similar spotlight on local acts, it’s a corrective to the typical rock-oriented festival. Co-founder Luc Michalski has said: “We try to make sure we have accurate representation of women, our queer community and people of color in our community. If we just put up 30 independent bands that are all straight white guys we’re not nearly doing the right thing. There’s almost no point in doing it then.”

Fans got hype at the GYMSHORTS performance at Pü FeST in 2016.
Credit Tom Bremer
Fans got hype at the GYMSHORTS performance at Fans got hype at the GYMSHORTS performance at Pü FeST in 2016.

The Head and the Heart

  • When: 7 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 9
  • Where: Delmar Hall
  • Cost: $39 in advance, $44 at the door

This Seattle band busked on street corners before their 2011 debut album with Sub Pop.
Basquiat Before Basquiat: East 12th Street, 1979-1980

St. Louisans can get a rare glimpse into the life and early work of Jean-Michel Basquiat, a one-time New York street artist whose paintings eventually sold for more than $100 million. “Basquiat Before Basquiat: East 12th Street, 1979–1980” displays the nascent creations of the artist of Haitian and Puerto Rican roots, who died in 1988 at age 27, reportedly of a heroin overdose.
St. Louis Art Fair

While fans with their hearts set on LouFest may not have an art fair in mind as a backup plan, it is an option for those seeking a festival vibe. You can stroll through the fair and check out the booths featuring 181 artists whose work ranges from classic to funky. There will be music throughout the weekend on three stages around the fair. And, many popular St. Louis eateries will be represented. A popular feature each year is the demonstration area where you can watch artists in action, working live in a variety of media. (St. Louis Public Radio is a sponsor of this event.)

The St. Louis Art Fair, in its 25th year, draws thousands to downtown Clayton.
Credit St. Louis Air Fair
The St. Louis Art Fair, in its 25th year, draws thousands to downtown Clayton.

Punch Brothers

  • When: Saturday, Sept. 8.
  • Where: Touhill Performing Arts Center (at UMSL)
  • Cost: $37-$79
  • More Info

Public radio fans may know Punch Brothers frontman Chris Thile as host of "Live from Here". He and his four bandmates will bring their eclectic sound to St. Louis in a show featuring Madison Cunningham as a special guest. For the LouFest fan looking for their music fix this weekend, this show may check a lot of boxes. Rolling Stone described the group's 2015 album, Phosphorescent Blues thusly: “The genius of Thile and bandmates guitar player Chris Eldridge, bassist Paul Kowert, banjo player Noam Pikelny, and fiddler Gabe Witcher is the artistry with which they mix bluegrass, roots, rock, pop, jazz, and classical to create a unique, contemporary sound.” (St. Louis Public Radio is a sponsor of this event.)

  • When: Wednesday, Sept. 5 through Sunday, Sept. 20
  • Where: The Rep, 130 Edgar Rd, Webster Groves
  • Cost: $29 to $102
  • More Info

Too much of a stretch for LouFest fans? Not really. After all, the Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice musical features some classic numbers, like "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" and “You Must Love Me.” And, lest we forget, pop megastar Madonna played Evita in the 1996 film adaptation. Still not convinced? Here’s how The Rep describes the musical: “The incandescent Eva Perón’s rise from poverty to power electrified the world – and made her an iconic political celebrity. Winner of seven Tony Awards, the tour-de-force musical revels in the glamour, charisma and controversy that defined the First Lady of Argentina.”

We know there's more! We invite you to add other events to the comments section below.

Alton Jazz and Wine Festival

  • When: Saturday, Sept. 8
  • Where: Argosy Casino Music Hall, 1 Piasa St., Alton
  • Cost: Admission is free, but “VIP experience” tickets range from $15 to $90
  • More Info

Fun fact: Miles Davis was born in Alton. This annual event is a celebration of the native son who is among the most influential and acclaimed figures in jazz history and 20th century music. The lineup of local and national acts includes Terell Stafford, as well as St. Louis’ Jim Manley Quintet and Miss Jubilee & the Humdingers. The high school jazz musicians who comprise the Jazz St. Louis All Stars will also be center stage. Note: Due to the forecast for significant rain on Friday and Saturday, the Alton Jazz and Wine Festival scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 8 has been relocated to Argosy Casino in Alton. The jazz fest will be held as planned Saturday starting at 4:30 in the Argosy Casino Music Hall on Alton’s riverfront.
AFROSEXYCOOL's College Bounce Back

  • When: Friday, Sept. 7
  • Where: The Ready Room, 4195 Manchester Ave., St. Louis
  • Cost: $7.50 to $10
  • More info

For people who were planning to bust a move at LouFest, a dance party might be just the ticket to release that cancellation frustration. Organizers for this event, aimed at the college and college-adjacent crowd, promise “hella Hip-Hop, Trap, Bounce, R&B, Dancehall, Afrobeat and more courtesy of The Soulition's Makeda Kravitz, DJ Nico Marie, and James Biko. And you can’t beat the price.
The Disco Ball

  • When: Friday, Sept. 7
  • Where: Daily Disco, 2139 Marconi Ave., St. Louis
  • Cost: Free
  • More info

If the aforementioned dance party doesn’t seem age-appropriate for you, an event earlier in the day may be the place to get your groove on. The Disco Ball is a creative way to get potential customers in the door of this local custom embroidery and design shop. There will be a DJ as well as ice cream, snacks and beverages. Here’s what the organizers say on the Facebook Event page: “We're throwing a party! Stop by Disco HQ for an evening of FUN! Be the first to shop our fall products and see our studio. We're doing custom denim embroidery on site so don't forget your jacket! Come by to shop, dance, and mingle. Can't wait? Neither can we!”
Just Lou It: Trackstar The DJ / Sean Canan's Voodoo Soul

  • When: Saturday, Sept. 8, 8 p.m.
  • Where: The Boathouse in Forest Park
  • Cost: $10 in advance, $13 at the door
  • More info

Watch live music under two tented states by the water in Forest Park.
In-Lieu Fest

  • When: 8 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 9
  • Where: South Broadway Athletic Club
  • Cost: $10, or free for LouFest ticket holders

Walter Lukens, known as one of the best songwriters in Texas, heads the lineup that also includes St. Louis favorite River Kittens.
Tank and The Bangas, with Scrub and Ace Ha

  • When: 7 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 8
  • Where: The Old Rock House
  • Cost: $15

The winners of the 2017 NPR Tiny Desk Contest, Tank and the Bangas are still playing St. Louis even with the festival canceled. They’ll play after local act Scrub and Ace Ha.

  • When: 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 9
  • Where: The Boathouse at Forest Park
  • Cost: Free

Sugarfire Smoke House and Hi-Pointe Drive-In are excited to participate in this weekend’s LouWow. On Sunday, September 9th, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sugarfire and Hi-Pointe Drive-In join other Loufest vendors for a free festival at The Boathouse. Along with other great St. Louis food and beer vendors, music will be provided by Kevin Buckley & Friends from Grace Basement, River Kittens, Mathias and The Pirates, and more!
More events:

And as for the food fans would have eaten at LouFest ...

Vendor Byrd & Barrel is hosting FowlFest through Sunday. The Facebook Event it posted says it all: “Due to the cancellation of Loufest we have a ton of chicken. Please come eat it!!!!”

Both Steve’s Hot Dogs locations have also got a lot of extra food on their hands due to the cancellation. On Friday and Saturday they’re offering $4 Chicago dogs and $5 mac and cheese dogs for people who bring in their LouFest ticket stubs or credentials showing they were slated to work the festival.

One more thing ... 

There's a movement growing to support the local businesses that planned on being vendors at LouFest, spending money on supplies as well as registration fees. This Facebook Page provides links to lists of eateries, breweries and merchandisers who would have been vendors at LouFest.

Follow Holly Edgell on Twitter @HollyEdgell.

Nancy Fowler and Jeremy Goodwin contributed to this article.

Holly Edgell is the managing editor of the Midwest Newsroom, a public radio collaboration among NPR member stations in Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska.