A return to featured entertainment will be part of this year’s HerrinFesta Italiana presented by Peoples National Bank, May 23-30 in Herrin, Illinois.
HerrinFesta Vice President Joey Helleny. “We’ve booked some of the very best entertainment in the Midwest, all Illinois natives. This year we wanted to reintroduce Festa music to the community by providing free admission to the music tent.”
The music will be in the enlarged Farmers State Bank Free Entertainment Tent on the north side of the Herrin Civic Center. Friday, May 27, the entertainment tent will feature Hairbanger’s Ball with opener Jungle Dogs. Both bands are past Festa favorites.
The 80’s cover band Hairbanger’s Ball appeared 8 times at Festa between 2005 and 2013. HB has entrenched itself as one of the most sought-after “80’s Hair Rock Tribute Bands” in the United States after years of performing sold-out shows from coast to coast, all while exuding the same expert musicianship and flair for the theatrical as their idols.
The Jungle Dogs is one of Carbondale’s most legendary party bands. They brought their mix of reggae, calypso, ska, and rock to HerrinFesta in 1995 and 1996. Those two performances are still considered among the most epic in Festa history, with spectators literally hanging off tree limbs to get a better view. The Dogs are perhaps best associated with their original tune, “Cold Beer.” The Jungle Dogs rarely perform these days, but they’ve been coaxed out of semi-retirement to reprise their Festa experiences.
Saturday, May 28, the music tent will feature John Spicer featuring Blacktop Boulevard with opener Lewis Creek.
Blacktop Boulevard is well known around metro St. Louis as a country and rock cover band. They say, “Whether the Fireball is whispering in your ear, or you’re a Brand New Man, Black Top Boulevard’s amazing vocals and driving beat will be sure to bring it to you every time they step on stage… or any area designated as a stage.” Patoka native John Spicer is well known to Festa audiences, having opened for Lee Brice and Gary Allen on the Festa stage.
Lewis Creek says they are committed to the old style of country, both with their own compositions and their covers of Waylon, Willie, Merle, and Johnny. The band has its origins in nearby Grand Tower but now is in demand in honkytonks throughout the region. Sunday, May 29, the tent will feature national recording artist Drew Baldridge with opener Dylan Wolfe.
Patoka native Drew Baldridge is also a Festa veteran, but since his last appearances here he has really made a name for himself in Music City. Baldridge first debuted on the country music charts with his R&B-infused single “Dance With Ya” in 2016. But his sophomore single “Middle of Nowhere Kids” was really the tune that led Baldridge back to his traditional roots. Written by Tony Lane, Randy Montana, and John Pierce, “Middle of Nowhere Kids” conjures up those images of growing up in Patoka, population 550.
Baldridge’s newest single is “Senior Year,” which is out now via his own Patoka Sounds banner. Written alongside Tim Nichols (Hall of Fame songwriter) and Jordan Walker (Luke Combs), “Senior Year” has captured the attention of country radio as it connects with fans whose school years have been “canceled” due to COVID-19.
Clay City, Illinois native Dylan Wolfe recently signed a management deal with Nashville’s Black Label Nash Entertainment. On April 15 he’ll release “Remember That Song.”
The Farmers State Bank Entertainment Tent and beverage garden will open at 4 pm daily with live music at 7 pm Friday through Sunday.
Relocating our music venue will allow Festa’s Midway to add even more amusement rides this year. Information about carnival armbands will be released soon via social media.
HerrinFesta Italiana is a week-long annual festival presented by the Herrin Chamber of Commerce. The Festa won the 2014 Governor’s Award for Best Festival in Illinois. Check out our website and follow us on Facebook for updates on all the events happening at this year’s Festa. We’ll “See You at the Festa”