Loufest is treat for music lovers: Festival features national and local acts

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When Brian Cohen moved from Austin to St. Louis, he realized he didn’t want to live in a city without a two-day music festival in a park. It was from this realization that Loufest was created.

This is the first year for the music festival, which will take place in Forest Park Aug. 28-29.

Cohen explained that the Loufest team wanted to have the festival in the location that they envisioned could be the long-term location. The park was a natural fit.

“People look at [Forest Park] as, in some way, being in the heart of the city,” he said.

But Cohen didn’t want to step on the toes of any other St. Louis festivals; he needed something to set Loufest apart. This came in the form of a high concentration of national acts.

Among these national acts will be well-known duo She & Him. This group is made up of singer Zooey Deschanel and guitarist Matt Ward. Festival attendees may recognize Deschanel from her roles in movies such as Elf and Yes Man. The pair released their second album, Volume Two, back in March.

Cohen expects that She & Him will have the biggest draw. However, he thinks that Broken Social Scene will have the second biggest. This band released their seventh album, Forgiveness Rock Record, in May.

However, it is not the well-known acts that have Cohen most excited.    

“For me some of the most exciting acts are those we have sprinkled throughout the day,” he said.

One of these acts is Airborne Toxic Event. According to Cohen they are “killer” live.

In addition, there are some local artists scattered throughout the lineup such as Adam Reichmann, Magnolia Summer, Kim Massie and Gentleman Auction House.

When deciding which bands to book, the Loufest team reached out to fans through Facebook. They received 200 responses.

“We used those suggestions to craft the lineup,” Cohen said.

According to talent booker Jeff Jarrett, they wanted to get something for everyone.  He is optimistic about the turnout of the festival.

“I hope that everyone in St. Louis is supportive, so we can do it year after year,” Jarrett said.

Not only will the festival provide entertainment, but it will be environmentally friendly.

“It was important to consider the environmental impact of an event like this,” Cohen said.

Several steps are being taken to make the festival green. One of these steps is providing a refillable water program to reduce plastic bottle waste. Attendees will be able to stop by the Water Station with an empty water bottle and fill up for free.

“There will be generally very little land filling,” Cohen said.

In addition, AmerenUE Pure Power and 3Degrees will be providing offsets for 100 percent of the electrical usage and all band and audience travel.

There will be a total of 18 bands playing, 9 each day. The music will start at 12 p.m. and end at  8:30 p.m.

For more information about the festival and the lineup, visit www.loufest.com.