There will be music, of course, and lots of it at the 11th annual Music is Art Festival on Saturday. But MiA has never been about only music, has it? So there will be dancers – belly dancers, Irish dancers and ballet, too. And DJs, so you can do your own dancing. Photographers and artists will display their work. And please bring the kids – there will be eight tents and a stage devoted to them. Helium Comedy Club is bringing the laughs. And when you’re hungry, grab a bite from the many eateries and food trucks on site. There will be nearly 200 musicians, dancers, artists and entertainers of all ilks at the festival, so it’s near impossible to list them all. Grab a guide once you’re there; for now, here’s a quick look at what to expect.
Main Stages (Stages 1, 2 and 3)
Located at the foot of the grand staircase at the back of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, these three stages will have continuous 15-minute performances hosted by Robby Takac and his friends. Music swings from rock to jazz, pop to hip-hop and metal. Add dance and the skills of master escape artist Jonathan Bryce to round out the entertainment.
An eclectic array of the “rootsy” side of American music showcases the expected – folk, country and blues – with the unexpected, such as skiffle and cow-punk, too.
Lincoln Parkway Stage
Look for the young Abraham Lincoln statue. That’s where you’ll find experimental musical artists and DJs, plus some exotic dance groups performing.
The Town Ballroom Stage
We’re not talking ballroom dancing here, but the kind of young, hip sounds you would hear at the Town Ballroom, one of our best live music venues. Go to Shakespeare Hill for 30-minute sets of indie-rock.
Casino Main DJ Stage
Head over lakeside by the Marcy Casino for a show of lights, projections and music from techno and house DJs.
Rose Garden DJ Stage
More house and techno music, plus live drummers and painters throughout the day under the Rose Garden pergola.
Sky Mound DJ Stage
DJs spin Big Bass Music from a natural mound of earth nestled in the woods lakeside. A free yoga session is at 11 a.m.
Helium Comedy Tent
The new comedy club in town hosts this latest addition to MiA. This one is for the adults – alcohol will be served inside the tent so you must be 21 and older to enter. The stage opens at 11 a.m. with Eksite, followed by a long list of comedians doing 15- to 60-minute sets. DJs fill in between sets. Catch Kristen Becker, Tyrone Maclin, Dan Fisher, Matt Bergman, Greg Bauch, Josh Potter, Dan Mahoney, Shaun Murphy, Kate Anderson, Brian Herberger, Mark Walton and Eric Lingenfelter.
Kids Stage/Big Easy Stage
This stage will split the entertainment. First, family-style fun is from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with storytellers, puppetry with Mike Randall, the performing arts organization Encore Experience, and young voices including Bello Voice Studio and the teen singing duo of Andrew & Ally. After 6 p.m., the stage is transformed into a taste of New Orleans with music by Brass Monkeez, Electric Church and Randall & TLNS.
More for the kids
Eight tents make up the Kids Village, where all sorts of interactive activities will take place with Explore & More, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, “Live Starring ... You” and MiA. Youngsters can make hats and instruments, and twice during the day they’ll get to march in a parade around the festival grounds and make lots of noise.