The confetti has barely settled on LouFest year three: Despite some uncooperative weather, this year's incarnation, featuring headliners Girl Talk and the Flaming Lips, was its biggest yet, with some 12,000 in attendance. And today, its organizers have an announcement that will dramatically change the festival in Forest Park going forward: LouFest has entered a partnership with C3 Presents, which is most well known as the producer for massive events Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits.
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"We're excited to enter into this partnership -- it's a perfect match," says LouFest founder Brian Cohen in a press release. "Through the creation of this joint venture, we gain C3's experience and expertise, as well as investment, that will allow us to grow."
It's a huge step for the festival and one that will have immediate, dramatic impact starting right away. The exact extent of LouFest's expansion remains to be seen, but the new depth of resources will result in a more stages, larger area and bigger names on the bill.
This doesn't mean C3 will take over every aspect of LouFest -- the organizing body here in St. Louis (Listen Live Entertainment) will maintain an equal say in the decision-making process.
"LouFest will continue to have the same local feel and dedication to St. Louis that we've always had," says Cohen. "But now we can take it to the next level and create a premiere destination music festival for the city."
So while there are few specifics at this point, it's safe to say LouFest 2013 will mark an unprecedented shift in the young festival's evolution.
Along with today's announcement about the partnership with C3, we've got the dates for year four: September 7 and 8. It will still be held in Forest Park. That's a bit later than in years past.
At this point, there's no knowing exactly what kind of complexion next year's lineup will take. It depends a lot on the size of the expansion and the way the still-fresh partnership between the two entities develops. The marquee events currently put together by C3 -- Lollapalooza in Chicago and Austin City Limits -- are of course huge, long-established tent poles of the festival circuit. They are very different events from each other, and it's safe to say LouFest won't look too much like either one.
Still, though, there is a conspicuous overlap in the lineups for C3's big shows this year that might offer telling compass points for where LouFest is headed. The three are spaced fairly evenly -- Lollapalooza is in early August, LouFest will be in early September and ACL is in mid-October. So there's unlikely to be issues with overlapping draw.
Here are the bands that both played Lollapalooza this year and will be at Austin City Limits next month:
Red Hot Chili Peppers The Black Keys Jack White Florence + the Machine AVICII Bassnectar The Shins The Weeknd Metric The Afghan Whigs Alabama Shakes Band of Skulls Bombay Bicycle Club Childish Gambino Delta Spirit Die Antwoord Dry the River First Aid Kit Gary Clark Jr. Kopecky Family Band LP M83 Michael Kiwanuka Oberhofer Polica Trampled By Turtles
So that's a lot of common ground. Speculate away, fine readers...