The JoeStock festival doesn’t want to be defined by one genre of music.
In its decade of booking bands, it wants to touch on every facet of music, from rock to country to metal. To celebrate its 10-year anniversary, it will do just that.
“The festival has every type of music that anybody would want to hear,” Anthony Glise, member of the St. Joseph Music Foundation, said.
Being held from 4 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 30, and 3 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 31, at Coleman Hawkins Park at Felix Street Square, JoeStock 10 will feature a variety of acts from an array of cities. It is free and open to all ages.
Headlining the show will be a country showcase, including Rich McCready, a Joplin, Missouri-born, Missouri Music Hall of Famer, earning hits like “Hanging On” and CMA and ACM nominations. He’ll be joined Kamber Cain, an up-and-coming country singer, and Kaleb McIntire.
Other acts included will be Irish folk artist Tom Meehan, acoustic singer Scotty Plowman, rock band Friends, classic rock group Midlife Crysis, country-rock singer Olivia Malita, rock band Hyland Church, the eclectic St. Joseph Arts Academy and the fusion duo The Nova Project,
Michael Fuson, vice president of the St. Joseph Music Foundation, which created and organizes the festival, said while the festival books local acts, the goal was to expand its reach to artists throughout Missouri.
“We wanted to expand earlier. We wanted to grow it that big, to get a bigger park to put it in. It was slow going,” he said.
When the festival started in 2009, it was a three-day event at Phil Welch Stadium. Organizers said while people showed up, there was a physical barrier between the audience and performers. People also had the tendency to not show up for the artists on Sunday.
JoeStock’s organizers took the feedback in stride, moving the festival to the more intimate setting at Felix Street Square and tightening up its lineup to a leaner, two-day showcase. It also closes early so it won’t compete with other music venues in the area.
“We do it once a year, they do it every night, every weekend. They need to have that income, too,” Fuson said.
During the past decade, the St. Joseph Music Foundation watched its biggest project get off the ground, with the launch of the radio station 99.3 FM, KFOH-LP, in 2014. The station plays a variety of music, from Mozart to Metallica, and incorporates local artists in the mix. Fuson said JoeStock is an extension of that all-inclusive mindset.
“It’s like a live version of the station. It’s all over the place,” Fuson said.
To its organizers, one of the remarkable things is the consistent support the festival receives, not only from people attending, but those financing it.
“This is entirely unfunded (by grants). There’s not a festival for probably 200 miles that can tell you that,” Glise said.
The bands volunteer their time to perform, which Glise thought might be viewed as a hindrance to booking bigger acts. It turned out it had the opposite effect.
“Most years, bands come to us, which is a pretty nice feeling. There’s a group from Wichita, Kansas City, there’s several from outside our area. They’re willing to come up just to play,” Fuson said.
The festival generates money through registration fees from its vendors and donations. All of the money goes back into the foundation to help pay for operating costs.
“This is our big fundraiser. This is it for the year for us. Running the station and everything else, we have a lot of expenses out there,” Fuson said.
Looking back at the past decade, Glise and Fuson said they’re blown away by the people who consistently have shown up, brought their friends and have helped keep their vision alive.
“The bottom line is this is an extremely successful, an extremely positive situation for St. Joe. It’s a chance for people to hear total cross reference of different musical styles,” Glise said. “Everybody’s willing to jump in and support this because they realize what we’ve got going on.”
— Andrew Gaug | St. Joe Live