GANGGANG and Forty5 join forces for inaugural music festival at The American Legion Mall, celebrating Black artistry and authorship in rock music
INDIANAPOLIS (January 10, 2024)—GANGGANG, the makers of the BUTTER Fine Art Fair, together with Forty5, the live entertainment company behind The Vogue Theatre and Rock the Ruins, have announced the I Made Rock ‘N’ Roll Festival—Indiana’s first one-day Black rock festival designed to honor the true origins of rock ‘n’ roll while celebrating the ongoing legacy of Black rock and promoting equity in the genre.
Featuring live performances by Janelle Monáe, Gary Clark Jr., Robert Randolph Band, Joy Oladokun, Meet Me @ The Altar, and Inner Peace, the I Made Rock ‘N’ Roll Festival will take place on Saturday, May 18 at The American Legion Mall downtown (St. Clair Street to North Street between Meridian and Pennsylvania Streets).
“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, GANGGANG co-founder. “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.”
A limited number of presale tickets for the I Made Rock ‘N’ Roll Festival will be available starting on Thursday, January 11 at 10 am; audiences may access the presale code by signing up for the I Made Rock ‘N’ Roll email newsletter on the festival website. Tickets start at $75 and go on sale to the general public on Monday, January 15 at 10 am at imaderocknroll.com.
“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.”
Leading up to the I Made Rock ‘N’ Roll Festival on May 18, 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 spark 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 at imaderocknroll.com soon.
To learn more about I Made Rock ‘N’ Roll, visit www.imaderocknroll.com and sign up to receive emails with additional festival information and advance ticket notifications.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
I Made Rock ‘N’ Roll is proud to welcome the below artists, a stacked lineup of contemporary Black musicians with ties to the mission of celebrating Black authorship in the arts.
Multi-talented musician, songwriter, actress, writer, producer, and ten-time Grammy nominee, Janelle Monáe will headline the inaugural I Made Rock ‘N’ Roll Festival. A trailblazer like artists such as George Clinton, Prince, Lauryn Hill, and OutKast, Monáe is both a student and teacher of Afro-Futurism. Their music surpasses genre and time, combining technology with raw creativity while utilizing theatrical storytelling to create new musical landscapes. From their musical compositions and electric live performances to their short fiction collection The Memory Librarian: And Other Stories of Dirty Computer, Janelle Monáe exemplifies a core value of Rock ‘N’ Roll: creative and unapologetic self-expression.
Gary Clark Jr.
This four-time Grammy award-winning musician and performer exemplifies the deep connection between Blues and Rock ‘N’ Roll music. As a guitarist, singer, and songwriter, he has recorded with R&B artists including Alicia Keys and Childish Gambino and has collaborated with rock stars such as Foo Fighters, Tom Morello, and Sheryl Crow. His fourth studio album, This Land, was released in 2019.
Robert Randolph Band
A six-time Grammy nominee, Robert Randolph came onto the national scene as the front person of Robert Randolph and the Family Band in 2003 with its debut album Unclassified. The album’s high-energy infusion of Gospel and Rock, paired with Randolph’s pedal steel playing introduced a wider audience to the legacy of “sacred steel”, a style of pedal steel guitar playing popularized and passed down among African American Pentecostal churches. Unclassified was nominated for “Best Rock Gospel Album” at the 46th Grammy Awards. Robert Randolph and the Family Band has released two live albums and six studio albums, the latest being 2019’s Brighter Days.
Singer-songwriter and musician Joy Oladokun was raised in a small farming community in Arizona, so it was seeing a video of Tracy Chapman—a queer, black woman with a guitar—in which Oladokun saw herself and decided to pick up the instrument. Her blend of folk, country, and rock has captivated listeners ever since. Her debut album In Defense of My Own Happiness (2021) topped year-end lists from American Songwriter, Billboard, and PopMatters and was nominated for Outstanding Breakthrough Music Artist at the 2022 GLAAD Media Awards. Her fourth studio album Proof of Life was released in 2023.
Meet Me @ The Altar
Since its founding in 2015, pop-punk band Meet Me @ the Altar (M.M.A.T.A.) has taken audiences by storm as a talented band of queer women of color on the pop-punk stage. From meeting and trading song ideas online to signing with Fueled By Ramen in 2020, the band has performed at Lollapalooza and TwitchCon and opened for Green Day. M.M.A.T.A. released its debut EP Model Citizen in 2021 and followed up with debut album Past // Present // Future in 2023.
I Made Rock ‘N’ Roll proudly welcomes Indianapolis’s own Inner Peace to our inaugural festival. Known for its high-energy performances and charismatic frontman, Inner Peace is the result of Indy’s longtime collaborating rap and hardcore scenes. Featuring members of Big Hog, L.I.B., and The Resource Network, the band is fronted by rapper Drayco and was named an ‘Artist to Know’ by Revolver Magazine in 2023.
GANGGANG is a creative advocacy agency based in Indianapolis working to center culture, equity, and beauty in cities through major initiatives like BUTTER: A Fine Art Fair. For more information on the founding organization, visit www.ganggangculture.com or follow on social media @ganggangculture. For more information on BUTTER, visit www.butterartfair.com or follow on social @butterartfair.
Music is in Forty5’s DNA. Forty5 exists as a live events organization to bring people together through music via talent buying, event production, ticketing, box office management, and promotion for events at venues across Indianapolis and the surrounding areas including The Vogue Theatre, Rock the Ruins at Holliday Park, and The Toby at Newfields, all powered by the technology platform, Opendate. For more information on Forty5, visit www.forty5.com or follow on social @forty5presents.
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