Since its inception in 2004, Wichita’s own 2-day music festival, ICT Fest, has been taking the local music scene by storm. This event began as one of a very few all-ages music events in the city, and it is intentionally curated with very young, local bands. This allows the local under-21 crowd an opportunity to experience live music in Wichita, and it allows the younger bands a rare opportunity to perform in a festival.
“Over the last twenty years and more, Wichita has been on a roller coaster of musical creativity. Things will get really great for a while, only to crash for years in between with few places to play, and few bands to play with. This happens when no one under 21 is being exposed to excellent live music due to lack of venues and events,” said Matt Clagg, ICT Fest Organizer.
“Venues like the Donut Whole, Walnut St. Gallery and others have been bringing in all ages music and doing a great job with it,” Clagg added.
According to Clagg, these young artists are the ones who will keep Wichita’s music community going in the years to come, and that facilitating events that they can attend and participate plays a significant role in their musical development.
“I believe it to be vital to put on events that young people can experience and young musicians can participate in so that they have a vision for what is possible with music. That way they keep playing, they keep getting better, they play more shows, and the community builds. If you wait until you are 21 to start seeing a lot of shows, it just isn't as likely that you'll pick up an instrument and stick with it than if you saw a set that blew your mind when you were twelve and you started playing and performing right away. They are the lifers, the ones who will pick up where we leave off,” Clagg said.
Wichita’s young bands are the only ones to participate in the event. ICT Fest, which will take place on Sept. 2 and 3 at District Marketplace on Commerce Street, will feature bands from all over the Midwest and beyond. The event spans the spectrum of music, featuring genres like hip-hop, punk, doom, experimental, indie, shoegaze, and everything in between.
Bringing together over 24 diverse artists from all over the Midwest, ICT Fest captures the unique nature of Wichita’s music community.
“ICT FEST has always been about music, our community, and having as much fun as possible. Great music exists both inside Wichita and in the Midwest. ICT FEST brings as many local musicians as possible together to share crowds, share ideas, and have fun. We also bring in as many regionally and nationally traveling acts as possible, to again bring in new ideas and at the same time to show those outside of Wichita what’s going on in our town.”
ICT Fest Tickets are priced at $20 for the weekend, or $12 per day. Children ages 12 and under are admitted for free.
“We want to help build a thriving creative community and music scene in Wichita, and exposing a younger all ages crowd to a big range of new ideas as 40 diverse bands play over a two day span is one of the best ways to do it. Lets get the whole music community together and share what rules in ICT!” Clagg said.
To see the festival lineup, click here.