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'Burbs Music & Arts Festival brings new sounds, experimental art to Chesterfield

'Burbs Music & Arts Festival brings new sounds, experimental art to Chesterfield


Country music, jazz, rock, blues and various cover bands have been showcased at Chesterfield Amphitheater since it opened in 2011. Now, dance/electronic music will take the main stage at the new ’Burbs Music & Arts Festival.

The Aug. 5 festival will feature three music stages.

“I’m just trying to do something a little different,” says festival producer Jack Martinez. “I’ve been involved with electronic music one way or the other since I moved to LA.”

The main stage will feature electronic sounds including dubstep, house and other dance music genres by Virtual Riot, Barely Alive, Dubloadz and Blaqout.

Martinez, who currently lives in Ballwin, produced Los Angeles’ Silverlake Jubilee from 2011 to 2013 and its renamed and relocated Jubilee Music and Arts Festival in 2014. He’s also the sponsorship operations manager for Listen Live Entertainment, which produces LouFest.

“I see the joy that it brings everyone to get out there and dance,” he says. “I feel like it’s a really positive vibe and culture. And I think St. Louis is ready for it. There’s a dance culture here. So there’s definitely going to be some dancing going on and fun and good times.”

The field just outside the amphitheater will be used for activities and stages, as it is for other events such as Taste of St. Louis.

The second stage will feature mostly indie-rock acts but could incorporate hip-hop and jazz. One of the acts that will be seen there is St. Louis favorite Looprat.

National and local acts, including comedy, will be booked throughout the festival. “I’m really happy to get local talent booked,” Martinez says.

Art will be a big part of the event, with a stage for live comic book readings, graffiti artists, authors, performers and more. The Gateway Kite Club will feature some of its unusual fare.

The festival will partner with a local Burning Man group, the Gateway Burners, which will build a two-story-plus spaceship that will look as if it is crashing onto the field.

“You can climb on it,” Martinez says. “And we’re going to burn the spaceship in true Burning Man form. It’ll be a great experience for music festival lovers. And just generally, everyone likes to enjoy a nice campfire.”

A smaller stage will feature singer-songwriter acts and poetry.

The evening before the festival, Go! Magazine will present a Sip & See VIP Preview, which will include food and wine tastings. Details and the full lineup will be announced.

“It’ll be a preview of all the beautiful art installations and more of an upscale event — a real way to enjoy the art,” Martinez says. The VIP event also will allow visitors who may not attend the festival to still experience the art.

He says the ’Burbs Music & Arts Festival is inspired not only by his experience working on festivals in Los Angeles, but also by Sunset Junction, a now-defunct LA street fair.

He figured Chesterfield Amphitheater was ideal for the new festival because Chesterfield “is the epicenter for the arts in West County while other communities have eliminated their arts programs. Chesterfield had brought it into its arts department and made it a priority, and they’ve given me the opportunity to do it in their beautiful facility. It’s just going to be a great thing.”

What The ’Burbs Music & Arts Festival • When 2 p.m. Aug. 5 • Where Chesterfield Amphitheater, 631 Veterans Place Drive, Chesterfield • How much $20-$25 • More info

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