2020 Middle Waves lineup announced

A news release from the Middle Waves Music Festival organizers:

Middle Waves announces 2020 lineup

(February 26, 2020) — Today, Middle Waves Music Festival announced the lineup for the 2020 festival, taking place on Friday, June 12, and Saturday, June 13, at Electric Works (east campus) and McCullouch Park on the edge of downtown Fort Wayne. Volunteer opportunities are also now available and listed on the website.

Presented by Sweetwater Sound, Middle Waves is a two-day destination music featuring an eclectic mix of 20+ performers on two paid stages and one free stage. With music, interactive art installations, experience events, food trucks, beverages, and fun around every corner, people of all ages, backgrounds, and music preferences will have the time of their lives!

This will be the fourth Middle Waves festival. Previous performers include The Flaming Lips, MGMT, Lizzo, and Dr. Dog, among many others. Middle Waves is committed to showcasing great music and bringing national acts to Fort Wayne that might not otherwise come to our community.

“We are thrilled to be back, and on the Electric Works campus this year,” said festival co-chair Beth McAvoy. “Middle Waves is all about jaw-dropping, pride-inducing, and diverse music and art experiences. We can guarantee you’ve never experienced something like this in Fort Wayne before.”

“Our lineup offers a little something for everyone,” said festival co-chair and finance chair Sanee Lombari. “We have a proven track record of bringing amazing talent to Fort Wayne, like Lizzo and festival favorite Jax Anderson, formerly Flint Eastwood. We are proud of this year’s talent mix.”

The festival will be headlined Saturday night by indie rock band Cold War Kids. Over the course of a dozen releases on major and indie labels alike, non-stop tours and the festival circuit’s biggest stages, massive radio and streaming successes as well as a few lineup changes, Cold War Kids have become a major part of the modern scene.

Their most recent album – New Age Norms 1 – was released November 1, 2019. New Age Norms will be a planned trilogy. Writing from urgent, of-the-moment perspectives in order to respect and reflect the day’s normative behaviors and climate, lead singer Nathan Willett focused on a bird’s eye view of the current values he was observing all around him – the new norms of class, gender, race, and power that are creating our modern world. The first volume’s eight songs explore the connective tissue apparent to him in the landscape, with the sense of optimism and uplifting positivity he feels necessary to approach any issue, or song.

Friday night headliner Big Boi, is from Atlanta, Georgia, a city that indisputably set the pace for modern hip-hop. Formerly one half of hip-hop duo OutKast, his solo career launched in 2010. Since, he’s released four albums (the third, titled Big Grams, was created and recorded with group Phantogram). He’s won seven GRAMMY awards as duo OutKast, including Album of the Year for 2003’s Speakerboxx/The Love Below.

All Night, released in 2017, is arguably his most recognizable song. “The biggest hit of his solo career,” according to Rolling Stone, the smash single soundtracked a high-profile Apple Animoji commercial, blew up radio, and clocked 40 million streams within a year. Apart from his music career, Big Boi is an active member of his community and devoted humanitarian, having launched the Big Kidz Foundation, a nonprofit which enriches the lives of youth in Atlanta, in 2006. He’s also an avowed animal lover, providing a home to owls and dogs alike.

Roots rocker Yola, from Bristol, England, released her critically acclaimed debut album Walk Through Fire in February 2019 and established herself as the queen of country soul from the very first note. Nine months later, she received four GRAMMY award nominations including Best New Artist. The album, produced by Dan Auerbach, is a contemporary twist on a traditional sonic tapestry of orchestral strings, fiddle, steel, and shimmering tremolo guitars. Walk Through Fire is a career-defining and genre-bending release from one of the most exciting emerging British artists in music today. The album received accolades including Rolling Stone’s “Artist You Need To Know” and NPR Music’s “Artist To Watch in 2019” who said Yola is “an artist sure to stun audiences for years to come.”

Yola has performed on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert, Jimmy Kimmel LIVE! and is the first taping of Austin City Limits for its 46th season. Yola’s arresting vocals captivate with sincere tales of heartache and loves lost, forgotten, and broken.

Rocker Ezra Furman, from Oakland, California, has nine studio releases, including 2019’s Twelve Nudes and 2020’s Sex Education Original Soundtrack, an acclaimed comedy on Netflix. “One of my goals in making music is to make the world seem bigger, and life seem larger,” says Furman in her bio on her website. “I want to be a force that tries to revive the human spirit rather than crush it, to open possibilities rather than close them down. Sometimes a passionate negativity is the best way to do that.”


Performers include:

Friday, June 12

  • Big Boi – Hip Hop; Atlanta, Georgia
  • Ezra Furman – Rock; Oakland, California
  • Joe Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers – Pop/Rock; Lansing, Michigan

Saturday, June 13

  • old War Kids – Indie Rock; Long Beach, California
  • Yola – Rock/Country; Bristol, England
  • Kiwi Jr. – Indie Pop; Toronto, Canada
  • Amythyst Kiah – Folk; Johnson City, Tennessee
  • *repeat repeat – Rock; Nashville, Tennessee
  • Miki Fiki – Pop; Nashville, Tennessee
  • Addison Agen – Indie Folk; Fort Wayne, Indiana

“We’re super excited to feature such a wide range of genres, from indie rock to hip-hop, including Cold War Kids and Big Boi” said Andy Dunn, booking chair. “Locally, we have so much talent. We’re featuring artists who we feel deserve to be front and center in the Fort Wayne music scene.”

The festival’s three stages include main stage St. Marys Stage presented by Parkview Health, the St. Joseph Stage, and the Maumee Stage. A ticket is required for entry into the St. Marys and St. Joseph Stages, located on the east campus of Electric Works. The Maumee Stage will be free to the public at McCullouch Park, adjacent to Electric Works.

Tickets can be purchased online at MiddleWaves.com. Two-day GA passes are available for $75 and two-day VVIP passes are available for $155. Two-day GA and VVIP prices will increase $10 on February 29, on again by $10 on June 7.

VVIP passes include dinner on Friday and Saturday nights, premium viewing experiences, a drink ticket for each day of the festival, the festival’s only liquor bar, an exclusive swag bag, deluxe air-conditioned restrooms, an ice cream party, festival hair braiding, and more.

As of today, single-day Friday tickets are available for $35, and single-day Saturday tickets are available for $65.

Over 200 volunteer positions are needed to execute festival weekend. Free or discounted tickets are available to individuals who volunteer for festival. Positions include admissions, merchandise, set up, and tear down, and more. Signup information is available at MiddleWaves.com.

Middle Waves, LLC is a volunteer-run, nonprofit community event. It is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit status organization, and relies on the financial support of local businesses and individuals.

The presenting sponsor for Middle Waves 2020 is Sweetwater Sound. The festival would not be possible without the support of our community, including Parkview Health and Electric Works.

Sponsorships are still available. Please contact sponsorships@middlewaves.com for more information.


The festival’s Board of Directors are:

  • Sarah Aubrey – gBETA Fort Wayne at gener8tor; Vibe Art Installation Chair
  • Andy Dunn – 91.1 The Point WCYT; Booking Chair
  • Ryan Holquist – Sweetwater Sound; Logistics Co-Chair
  • Justin Jones – Granite Ridge Builders; Logistics Co-Chair
  • Heather Leas – Team Quality Services; Sponsorship Logistics Chair
  • Sanee Lombardi – Lutheran Health Physicians; Festival Co-Chair, Finance Chair
  • Beth McAvoy – One Lucky Guitar; Festival Co-Chair, Volunteer Chair
  • Sean O’Leary – Asher Agency; Marketing Chair
  • Katy Silliman – Three Rivers Distilling Co.; Sponsorship Chair
  • Kourtney Teegardin – Rothberg Logan Warsco LLP; VVIP Chair
  • Melissa Twitchell – Novae Corporation; Band Hospitality Chair
  • Mo Vergara – Fort Wayne Metals; Ticketing Chair, Data Chair
  • Nicholas Weaver – Sweetwater Sound; Bar Operations Chair

For more information on this year’s festival, contact info@middlewaves.com or visit MiddleWaves.com. Be sure to follow Middle Waves on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

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