The Flaming Lips, a five-year-old punk band from Oklahoma, rocks the underground punk scene with a legendary show at the club 7th.Flash forward to September of 2016 in Fort Wayne, Indiana:
The Flaming Lips, venerated psychadelic rock headliners, plan to return for the first time in 28 years to headline the Middle Waves Music Festival.
According to event co-chair Matt Kelley, the timing of the first Middle Waves Music Festival is a combination of synergy and credibility.
“A synergy happened at the right time. Our music scene is on the rise, our festival scene is on the rise, and we had local organizations ready to offer their financial support,” said Kelley. Sweetwater Sound stepped-in as a festival sponsor and Parkview Health as main stage sponsor.
“Economic support for riverfront development and downtown development has gained momentum,” said Kelley, “Middle Waves will tap into that momentum in a big way.”
Ticket-holders for the September 16-17 event can expect two days of music and more. Middle Waves will happen in beautiful Headwaters Park in downtown Fort Wayne. The festival will feature three stages operating simultaneously, food and art vendors, interactive river activities, and various other cultural offerings.
Fort Wayne Music Industry Credibility
Credibility within the Fort Wayne music industry is another bonus and has helped organizers attract an impressive lineup of performers.
“Local venues like the The Brass Rail and The B-Side have an established work history with the booking agents,” said Kelley in regard to the national acts that the festival has attracted, “and their comfort level with Fort Wayne has grown enough that they’re willing to buy into something bigger.”
An additional factor contributing to the success in organizing Middle Waves is Fort Wayne's demonstrated support of local music and festivals.
Fort Wayne has spent the past several years building an attractive music-fest resume. Performers of diverse styles often enjoy sold-out venues and energetic listeners, whether or not those performers materialized from the local scene. The city's large turnout for festivals like Three Rivers and Johnny Appleseed also give strength to the momentum of Middle Waves.
Music and arts that flow underground haven't lost their importance, but it's time for Fort Wayne to bring some of its momentum to the surface. The underground river Rio Hamza gives more water to the ocean than the Amazon that flows above it, but the Amazon gives its region identity. Middle Waves Music Festival is the culmination of community support, economic development and the general readiness of Fort Wayne residents to acknowledge that we are a city on the rise.