My first concert experience was at a music festival. Wait – my first concert experience was at THE music festival, Lollapalooza, in 1995. It was the summer after my senior year of high school, and as an alternative music fan, I was stoked to see some of my favorite bands in the flesh: Sonic Youth, Beck, Hole (Courtney Love punched my friend Dan in the arm!), Cypress Hill (The best mosh pit I’ve ever been in!), The Mighty Mighty Bosstones (Trombones!). It was the start of a love affair with live music; over the course of the next year I went on to see Live, PJ Harvey, Bush, The Goo Goo Dolls, No Doubt…and I haven’t looked back. I’ve seen pretty much all of the great ‘90s alternative bands, but there’s one exception that stands out, and that’s The Flaming Lips. But this September 16 - 17 I’ll be able to remedy that at Fort Wayne’s inaugural Middle Waves Music Festival!

The great (and sometimes terrible) thing about music festivals is the choice. You get to make your own experience. There’s a band you don’t want to see? No worries, just check out who’s playing on the other stage. There are two bands you want to see? Time to choose. No one’s playing right now? Grab some food from a food truck or check out one of the vendors. There’s something fun to do wherever you look. Besides The Flaming Lips, Saturday’s headliner, you can catch Best Coast, an LA rock duo, headlining Friday night. Also announced have been Doomtree, Jeff the Brotherhood, Sidewalk Chalk, Metavari, Heaven’s Gateway Drugs, and Either/Or. More bands – and the full schedule – have yet to be announced.

I want to say a couple things about this festival lineup. You may not have heard of all these bands. I hadn’t heard of all of them when they were announced. But that’s the beauty of an event like this – you’re going to become a fan of lots of great new bands. Consider this music research! Second, this is yet another link in the chain of the downtown Fort Wayne renaissance. I’ve lived here for nearly forty years, and although I’ve always loved living here, it’s been a long time since I’ve been this excited to live here. If you live here, come out and support the festival. If not, this gives you one more reason to come see us!

Two days of great music and activities in lovely fall Fort Wayne weather? Count me in. Single-day and weekend passes are both available. For tickets and for more information, check out