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Indianapolis to host first Black rock festival

I Made Rock n’ Roll recognizing black artistry

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — GANGGANG, the creator of BUTTER: A Fine Art Fair, is partnering with Forty5 for the first-ever I Made Rock ‘N’ Roll Festival on Saturday, May 18.

The event at American Legion Mall is designed to honor the origins of rock music.

“So you think about the OGs — Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Chuck Berry, Little Richard. They all created rock ‘n’ roll, the roots of it. That authorship was never really recognized. For a lot of people we see this association with rock ‘n’ roll as a White form of music and we’re saying the story is more beautiful than that, ” Hayes Barnes, a member of GANGGANG, explained Saturday on Daybreak.

Attendees can expect live performances by Janelle Monáe, Gary Clark Jr., Robert Randolph Band, Joy Oladokun, Meet Me @ The Altar, and Inner Peace.

Festivalgoers will have lots of chances to grab a photo op, learn about Black rock history, and enjoy some of the city’s best food and retail brands.

“We’ve curated the place so that you don’t need to leave, you have everything there. A couple food trucks will be there and we partnered with a couple of businesses for vending opportunities. We’re calling this Rock n Row,” said Barnes.

Attendees will be able to design their own I Made Rock ‘N’ Roll overalls and thrifted denim jackets, and add buttons, patches, and pins to fit their personal aesthetics with the help of artists on site.

General admission tickets are $85; but upgrades are available. A reserved cabana starts at $600 and goes up to $1200. There are also VIP viewing areas that begin at $250 per person.

To purchase a ticket, visit

Indy’s first-ever Black rock festival is May 18