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New Black music festival ready to rock American Legion Mall

I Made Rock N Roll headlined by Janelle Monaé, Gary Clark Jr.
i made rock n roll
Posted at 6:24 PM, May 17, 2024

INDIANAPOLIS — A concert and art show from the creators of the Butter art festival will bring the noise to downtown Indianapolis.

I Made Rock N Roll will feature ten hours of live music on the American Legion Mall Saturday. The music festival is a joint collaboration between GangGang and Forty5, the Indianapolis-based concert promoters behind the Vogue Theatre and Rock the Ruins.

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The I Made Rock N Roll music festival sets up on the American Legion Mall in downtown Indianapolis.

The festival is headlined by singer-songwriter Janelle Monaé and Grammy-winning guitarist Gary Clark, Jr.

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"We're celebrating a music genre that has at times been polarizing and using this as a moment to bring people together," said GangGang co-founder and president Alan Bacon. "You'll get this Butter type of experience and you'll also have learning and education interwoven into the multisensory experience."

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The I Made Rock N Roll music festival sets up on the American Legion Mall in downtown Indianapolis.

"Using a vehicle like live music and using a festival to bring people together to tell that story feels urgent and necessary," said Forty5 CEO Jenny Boyts.

The music is the main draw, but there are art exhibitions and a visual timeline showing the history of iconic Black rock musicians.

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The I Made Rock N Roll music festival sets up on the American Legion Mall in downtown Indianapolis.

"Showing acts from Chuck Berry to Jimi Hendrix that contributed to a genre of music that is now America's standard," Bacon said.

This is the inaugural I Made Rock N Roll festival. Boyts said it took 18 months to plan the event, but the American Legion Mall was always the preferred venue.

"There's a through line in the way that Black Expo has used this space, the way Indy Pride has used this space, and the way presidential visits have used this space," Boyts said.

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The I Made Rock N Roll music festival sets up on the American Legion Mall in downtown Indianapolis.

Bacon hopes this can become an annual companion to Butter which can also showcase Indianapolis' creativity to the world.

"There's Black culture in Indianapolis, Bacon said. "There's a lot of culture in Indianapolis."

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The gates to I Made Rock N Roll open at noon Saturday. The music is expected to last until 10 p.m.

Tickets are available on the I Made Rock N Roll website or at the American Legion Mall itself the day of the show.