Metro-East Living

LouFest’s eclectic lineup has something for everyone

Lauryn Hill plays the LouFest at 7 p.m. Sunday.
Lauryn Hill plays the LouFest at 7 p.m. Sunday.

LCD Soundsystem, Lauryn Hill, and Chris Stapleton will headline this year’s LouFest. The music festival, now in its seventh year, returns to Forest Park this weekend.

The organizers have maintained LouFest’s diverse lineup with acts that run the gamut from indie rock to jazz.

“Eclectic might even be an understatement,” said Rich Toma, a managing partner with Listen Live Entertainment which organized the event this year. “We have LCD Soundsystem who are coming off headlining gigs at Coachella, Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, Outside Lands. They have headlined almost every major music festival from coast to coast so it’s beyond exciting to have them, truly a privilege and an honor.

We want people to leave here at the end of the weekend fat, full and happy on St. Louis. St. Louis overload if you will.

Rich Toma on LouFest

“We have a massive Grammy award-winning country star in Chris Stapleton. We have the iconic Lauryn Hill who has been producing hit after hit going on 20 years now.”

The lineup also includes blues legend Buddy Guy, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band from New Orleans, soul singer Charles Bradley and hip hop artists Anderson Paak and Vince Staples.

“We have folk, we have dance pop, we have it all,” said Toma. “It’s going to be an incredible weekend.”

LouFest founder Brian Cohen sold his interest in the festival and is focusing his energy on the upcoming Murmuration festival at Cortex Innovation Community in St. Louis the last weekend in September.

The new organizers have stayed true to their St. Louis roots by featuring local acts from the St. Louis area and the metro-east.

“We like to say we have an emphasis on the Lou in LouFest this year, perhaps more than any year before,” said Toma. “More local bands, more local restaurants, more partners from St. Louis throughout the festival. We want to give the hometowners everything that they love and expect, and we want the out-of-towners to be blown away. We want this festival to really paint a picture of what makes our city so unique. We want people to leave here at the end of the weekend fat, full and happy on St. Louis. St. Louis overload if you will.”

Edwardsville-based Aaron Kamm and the One Drops will bring their unique fusion of blues, reggae, and rock to the LouFest lineup. The band formed in 2007 and is comprised of: Aaron Kamm, of Highland, on vocals and guitar, Andy Lee Dorris, of Godfrey ,on bass and backup vocals and Sean Raila, of Chicago, on drums. The band has built a strong following thanks to their live performances and relentless touring.

"We’re looking forward to gaining exposure to a St. Louis crowd that may have not otherwise heard of us,” said drummer Sean Raila. “We feel like we have a strong following locally already, but LouFest will hopefully get us some attention from new fans.

“There’s something special about the energy of playing outside. People are always enjoying themselves and we get to see other great music, too! ... ”

You can check out Aaron Kamm and the One Drops at LouFest at12:30 p.m. Sunday on the Bud Light stage. For more information about the band's upcoming shows or to hear some of their music visit :

Recently headliners LCD Soundsystem canceled dates on their Asian tour, but organizers are confident that all the performers are “booked and confirmed” and that LCD Soundsystem will be performing the festival this year. For a complete lineup of the bands visit:

In addition to the greater presence of local acts, other aspects of the festival have been expanded including a larger nosh pit food area that features several local restaurants and a bigger beer garden. The children’s area or LouKidz is also getting more activities and a Ferris wheel.

“We have folk, we have dance pop, we have it all,” said Toma. “It’s going to be an incredible weekend.”


What: Thirty national acts on four stages. Chris Stapleton plays at 8:30 p.m. Saturday on the Bud Light Stage. Lauryn Hill plays at 7 p.m. Sunday on the Forest Park Stage. LCD Soundsystem play at 8:15 p.m. Sunday on the Bud Light Stage.

When: Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 10 and 11. Gates open each day at 11 and close at 10 p.m.

Where: Central Fields in Forest Park, St. Louis

Cost: $95 for two-day pass; $60 for one-day pass; $350 VIP weekend pass, includes food, drink, parking and more.


Getting there: Attendees are encouraged to cycle or use public transportation. Shuttles will run continuously from the Forest Park–DeBaliviere MetroLink station to the festival site and bicycle parking will be provided. There will also be a designated pickup and drop off point for the Uber taxi service. Directions from east on I-64: Take I-64 West to Kingshighway and enter the park at West Pine. Follow the signs to Central Fields. Avoid St. Louis Zoo traffic by not using the Hampton exit.