March 30, 2016 / 11:07 am

Recap: Fountain Square Music Festival


Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of attending Fountain Square Music Festival, a two-day music festival located in Indianapolis. The festival, which is known for local Indianapolis music acts, occupies four different music venues over the course of the weekend. The venues are all close by, located in Fountain Square: Pioneer, Fountain Square Theater, Hi-Fi, and White Rabbit Cabernet.

My goal was to see each venue at least once, which gave me the opportunity to see several outstanding artists I have never heard of. Additionally, during the daytime, there were free performances on different stages located close by the venues. Most of these day time shows started at 1 p.m., which the headliners at the venues started around 5:30 or 6 p.m., depending on the venue.

Personally, I have never been to a festival so unique. Usually, the festival consists of different stages in a big grassy field (Think: Lolla, Pitchfork, Bonnaroo…) Since all the stages are are at local venues, FSMF created an intimate experience no matter who I was seeing, which is honestly a quality that lacks at most bigger music festivals.

Some of the notable acts of my weekend ended up being random music acts that I originally had not planned to see. On Friday: Dream Chief, a local electro-pop group, topped my weekend with their “sexy beats,” as described by one audience member. Headliner Andrew W.K. was just as hardcore rock as everyone expected him to be, but I found myself sauntering over to Helado Negro’s extremely relaxed atmosphere after five minutes at Andrew W.K.

On Saturday: I found Saturday to be the more enjoyable of my two days at the festival. I enjoyed Varsity quite a bit, an alternative rock group originally from Chicago. They had a wonderful stage presence, and I found their performance very entertaining. The group has good chemistry, that much was evident to me. Next, while trying to get a good spot for Kishi Bashi, I found myself entranced by Sound of Ceres, which was as captivating as possible, complete with alluring lights and a stage presence from the lead singer that I can only describe as mesmerizing. Following that (and it was a hard act to follow!), Kishi Bashi was also excellent and there is really no comparison to his music; his use of string and looping machine along with his own voice is so completely unique to him. His show was a perfect cap to my night; I tried to run over to the final bit of Mexican Institute of Sound, but just missed it.

Fountain Square is the perfect place for this festival. The venues were all located steps from each other, there were tons of restaurants to eat at (it was not easy to pick where to eat!), it was easy to find parking, and the festival had an interesting atmosphere of being within a city, yet I still felt removed from the hustle and bustle of Indy. I would recommend this festival to anyone looking to experience great music and local environment mixed into one.