Inaugural I Made Rock ‘N’ Roll Festival To Honor Black Artistry With Janelle Monáe, Gary Clark Jr., More

Afro-futurist superstar Janelle Monáe, blues guitar hotshot Gary Clark Jr., Sacred Steel ensemble Robert Randolph Band, and more are set to perform as part of the inaugural I Made Rock ‘N’ Roll Festival at Indianapolis, IN’s American Legion Mall on May 18th, 2024 (St. Clair Street to North Street between Meridian and Pennsylvania Streets). Billed as Indiana’s first one-day Black rock festival, I Made Rock ‘N’ Roll Festival aims to honor the origins of rock ‘n’ roll while celebrating the ongoing legacy of Black rock and promoting equity in the genre.

The new event, co-presented by Indianapolis-based creative advocacy agency GANGGANG and local live event promoter Forty5, will also feature performances by celebrated singer-songwriter Joy Oladokun, pop-punk upstarts Meet Me @ The Altar, and hardcore outfit Inner Peace.

“We are doing this to celebrate the significance of Black artistry in rock music, a sound with direct ties to the rhythm and blues of Black people,” said Alan Bacon, a co-founder of GANGGANG. “This festival is about the longstanding presence of Black artists and authorship in rock ‘n’ roll as much as it is about racism, cultural appropriation, and economic justice.”

Related: Robert Randolph Talks Juneteenth, Unity, & Helping Black Youths “Create Their Future” [Interview]

Leading up to the I Made Rock ‘N’ Roll Festival on May 18th, GANGGANG and Forty5 will co-present Sonic Stories, a series of rock music listening sessions and screenings, slated for February, March, and April. Designed to spotlight local and regional voices, the series will include conversations about race, music, and culture and about the origins of rock. More details about this lead-up series and tickets for these events will be available soon.

“GANGGANG and Forty5 are aligned in our mission to bring people together and build community by way of the arts,” said Forty5 CEO Jenny Boyts. “We are proud to be a part of producing this important series of events and look forward to bringing this amazing collection of artists to Indy, who will drive important conversations, create space for joy and celebration, and ultimately inspire us all.”

A limited number of pre-sale tickets for the inaugural I Made Rock ‘N’ Roll Festival will be available starting on Thursday, January 11th at 10:00 a.m. Access the pre-sale code by signing up for the festival’s email newsletter on the festival website. Tickets start at $75 and go on sale to the general public on Monday, January 15th at 10:00 a.m. here.

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