What is there to say about Middle Waves Music Festival? A two-day festival right here in Fort Wayne, Indiana filled with glitter, balloons, llamas, happiness, music, love, and life.
Back in 2016, I won tickets to Middle Waves through an Instagram contest and was ultimately able to photograph the music festival as a part of a photographer team called IGersFortWayne on Instagram. Last year, I volunteered as a freelance photographer because the first year of Middle Waves was such a phenomenal experience and I wanted to be a part of it again. And finally this year, I was invited to be a part of the Middle Waves marketing team and I am so grateful—being involved with the festival from the beginning and to end has been an overwhelming, crazy, wonderful, and humbling experience.
Middle Waves Music Festival is all volunteer based and not-for-profit, which makes it even more amazing—everything you see while walking the festival grounds has been put together by people who believe in the event and our city so much that they give up sleep, time, sweat, and tears to make the festival the greatest it can be.
Let’s do a little rundown of some of the festival highlights, shall we? There are a lot, so bear with me.
- IDLES came down into the crowd, laid on the grass and played the guitar, and then invited a fan on stage to perform with them. The band also hung out with fans and fellow Middle Waves artists in VVIP after their set and we’re pretty sure IDLES, The Bergamot, Stephen Malkmus, and David Wax Museum are all BFFS now.
- Tunde Olaniran split the crowd and challenged us to a dance off. We were all blown away by his impressive choreographed routine and truthfully were no match. After his set, he came into the crowd to meet fans, take photos, and sign autographs. What a treat of a human.
- Joywave walked around downtown Fort Wayne and found our infamous Harry Baals plaque.
- Smino may or may not have, passed a joint into the crowd.
- Lizzo looked out into the crowd and said, “Now I don’t care if you’re waiting for Dr. Dog or waiting in line for a hot dog…” and immediately blew our collective minds. Eric Slick, the drummer for Dr. Dog tweeted, “how the hell am i supposed to go on after @lizzo this is the best show I have ever seen.”
- Flint Eastwood reminded us again that it’s about being loud, not pretty.
Let’s be real here, Middle Waves is bringing something new and exciting and needed to our city — Dr. Dog was right in our backyard. You could hear Joywave all through downtown Fort Wayne. Flint Eastwood hung out with fans after her set. I hugged Tunde Olaniran and told him how much we appreciated him being here with us–he told me to let it all hang loose with Lizzo. IDLES hung out in VVIP and I shook their hands and told them how excited we were to have them here in Fort Wayne and also congratulated them on their success in the United States. I finally got to experience the beauty and talent that is Lizzo and scream along to every lyric, and then drive just 10 minutes to get home.
If you’ve yet to experience Middle Waves, I genuinely hope you find the time to experience it in years to come, because it is truly one of the coolest things to every happen to Fort Wayne.
Full 2018 Middle Waves Lineup: Dr. Dog, Lizzo, Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, IDLES, Flint Eastwood, Smino, Joywave, The Bergamot, Hatchie, David Wax Museum, Tunde Olaniran, Lalo Cura, Slug Love, Fort Wayne Funk Orchestra, Bodega, Sad Gravity, Lightlow, Best Sleep, Unlikely Alibi, T-Zank, The Snarks, Anna Faye, Chives, and Streetlamps for Spotlights.
Middle Waves Experiences: The Poem Market, Rebel Yoga, Llamas, Unicorn HQ, Flower Crowns, Glitter Bar, Hair Braiding, Dunk Tank, Mini Waves, and DeafLink Interpreters.
2018 Middle Waves Music Festival – Events – September 15 & 16, 2018
Location: Headwaters Park – Fort Wayne, IN