Thursday, 15 September 2016 17:20

The LouFest Experience

Written by 

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LouFest has been growing as a music festival every year since its inception in 2010. Their partnership with C3 brought bigger, more sought-after acts, but the local feel and culture of LouFest never disappeared and has actually strengthened as it has grown. While music is a main focus of music festivals, the experience of the festival extends beyond the music. At LouFest especially, local businesses and organizations flaunt their fares and display what makes St. Louis such an outstanding place! The experience of the music festival, beyond the music, is one of the essential elements of the festival and this year, I entered the gates of LouFest to find the experiences the festival fosters and creates, as well as the experiences the festivalgoers generate within the grounds of St. Louis's best music festival. From music therapy to life-sized chess, LouFest was packed with fun, unique experiences! 


The first new experience festivalgoers saw once entering LouFest this year -- and the biggest -- was the Lou Fusz Ferris Wheel!

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Apart from offering a fun ride above the festivities, the ferris wheel was a pleasant addition to the LouFest horizon.

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And offered spectacular views of the festival from above!

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Ferris wheels are one of those things that are made for kids, but enjoyed by all ages. As I headed to the LouKidz area, I found the same thing -- the area created for the younger visitors of LouFest was being enjoyed by all ages at the festival. And I didn't see anybody playing Pokémon Go!

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The Humane Society offered stuffed animal adoption services and a mock vet, teaching kids about the important parts of adopting a new pet and how to care for its wellbeing. Each pet had a personality characteristic typical of young animals, like Chewy, who chews everything he can find!

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Families could also create cat toys for the cats in the shelter!

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Paul Mitchell The School was on-site creating beautiful braids and unique up-dos, along with fun conversation and spunk!

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The Science Center brought their Arch blocks for families to play with!

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 Creating a lasting masterpiece for LouFest...
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Even simple games fostered bonding between parents and kids!

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And helped kids learn some new skills!

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How can you go wrong with a Lego table? 

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 The adults were having as much fun as the kids with the World Chess Hall of Fame and the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis activities!

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At the School of Rock tent, kids could create their own bands! Maybe they'll be on those LouFest stages themselves one day! 

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Soundgirls.org was on-site teaching young women and girls about the professional audio and music production industry and inspiring them to follow their passions!

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The Robot + Bike tent offered a multitutde of media -- paintings, poetry and music! Robot + Bike is a rock band for the young and young-at-heart. It all started with a poetry book by Joe Mohr named Robot + Bike = Kitten. Kemp Wisland created rock songs out of Joe's poems -- without Joe's knowledge! When they met up one day, they joined into a band and LouFest was their first gig! 

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Kemp performed for the LouKidz area!

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 This family brought their own experience to LouFest--their kids had a blanket of crafts and activites to enjoy while their parents listened to the music!

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For the Adult Kids, Start Bar set up a free arcade!

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And right next to the Arcade... the BrewFest Beer Garden and Wild Turkey tastings!

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The Wild Turkey Bourbon Bus offered a fun way for adults to learn about bourbon and try some new products--all for free!

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Wild Turkey wasn't the only alcohol tasting experience available. Fireball has a new tequila product -- Tijuana Sweet Heat. Music fans could taste the new (delicious) alcohol, and make a custom gif!

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 Once the tastings were done, festivalgoers could head over to the Farmland Foods tent, for a free bacon tasting,

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shirts silk-screened on the spot,

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and color changing cups!

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LouFest created a multitude of enriching experiences and the fans themselves created even more! Morgan, Madelyn and Kylie created their own glitter face art and glitter-dos!

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Many festivalgoers enhanced their time at LouFest by creating their own sitting and music-watching experiences!

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Lisa from TEDxGatewayArch roamed the festival, teaching people about TEDx, sharing stories and capturing photos with the "x"!

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The Pearl Vodka Frame helped lots of people create fun, memorable photos!

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KDHX brough one of the most unique experiences at LouFest... music therapy! "Patients" could take a break on the therapy couch, discuss their musical preferences, and get suggestions for some new tunes to check out!

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And Euclid Records had tons of records for sale so you could explore even more new music!

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To the right of Euclid Records was the VIP Experience. This was the place to be at LouFest. Local and national businesses offered tons of interactive experiences, like the Marquis Photo Booth, printing with Firecracker Press, and free massages from The Healing Arts Center!

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And there were lots of food and drinks to go around!

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Time to buy some goodies! Market Square was full of fun vendors with everything from band posters to tuba lamps! There were lots of local vendors, like the artists from Create Space,

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Ruby Francis (on Cherokee Street),

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Living Collective (in the Central West End), with an awesomely decorated tent,

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and STL Stylehouse (on Cherokee)!

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And lots more!

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The LouFest experience was especially sweet with sustainable measures, like water bottle refill stations and the Rock n Recycle Program!

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Thank you to everyone who made LouFest an exciting and memorable experience! It is so wonderful to have such an outstanding, local music festival with such a grand, magnificent experience, right here in St. Louis.

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