Twangfest kicks off tomorrow night at the Pageant and continues through the weekend at the Blueberry Hill Duck Room. The festival, formerly an independent entity and now run by KDHX, turns fifteen this year.
"Twangfest has really awesome crowds," says organizer Marie Arsenault, who has been with the Fest since year three. "It's a crowd made up of music fans. Some of the best live performances I've seen have been at Twangfest."
As for what to expect for year fifteen: "We've purposefully invited back some of our favorite past performers." Among those, Arsenault specifically mentions Robbie Fulks, Marah and Steve Wynn.
Wynn, who played a few years ago, put on one of the most memorable shows in Twangfest history. "The crowd went nuts and it really fueled his show. It was one of the best performances. We've been trying to get him back ever since," says Arsenault.
Twangfest has changed substantially in its decade and a half of existence. It used to be a smaller, more regional affair, and many of its attendees weren't from St. Louis. "It was a lot of people from out of town," says Arsenault. "I'd say the majority of attendees."
Now, despite bigger names and larger venues, most of the Twangfest loyal are St. Louisans. Still, says Arsenault, "they're on vacation, they're excited to see music. They just seem to be great music fans. They're respectful but they're a really exuberant crowd.
"And they're also really open to seeing bands they don't know. They come to see what else we booked. I guess that's just the reputation we've built."
The full schedule is below; tickets can still be purchased for all four days or you can buy the Friends of Twangfest package, the first 70 of which come with a pass to a house show by the Baseball Project.