IndieCraft expands: 16 bands, 12 breweries to draw crowds to Springfield

‘Our intent was to create a downtown Springfield experience,’ organizer says.

Consider the first four years of IndieCraft as the opening act. When the fifth edition occurs Friday and Saturday, it will be the headliner-worthy event organizers envisioned.

A celebration combining indie music and craft beers, IndieCraft will bring a mix of 16 bands and 12 breweries, expanding to twice the size at four venues in downtown Springfield. Admission is free and the concerts are open to the public.

Presented by the Greater Springfield Partnership (GSP), IndieCraft was imagined as a Midwest version of the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. It began humbly at Mother Stewart’s, expanded to include COHatch last year and headlined a big-name act in Guided by Voices that attracted around 2,000 for the weekend.

In 2023 on the strength of adding shows to Station 1 and the first public events at the newly-renovated State Theater as well as Mother’s and COHatch, it will present a diverse group of artists from Canada and the U.S., the region and Springfield.

The intent was to cover almost every rock genre. Audiences can see high-profile performers including Lilly Hiatt, a country/roots rocker performer and daughter of legendary performer John Hiatt; folk duo Altmeda; Kelley Deal of The Breeders with her rock duo R. Ring; Texas King; and alt-indie pop performer Loviet.

The emphasis will be on the outdoor stages, weather permitting, with COHatch adding a 30-foot stage on the esplanade facing south so visitors have plenty of space to relax and listen. The State will be the sole indoor venue.

IndieCraft is also a chance to celebrate downtown Springfield according to Chris Schutte, GSP’s vice-president, destination marketing + communications.

“Our intent was to create a downtown Springfield experience. We want to move you through downtown with your DORA cup, going from one venue to another for the music, but to also enjoy the restaurants and retail available and the general downtown environment,” he said.

While the GSP has found several out-of-town attendees came from Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland and even Indianapolis, they hope word travels to expand beyond. Attendees from at least seven states came to see Guided by Voices in 2022.

“If we schedule the right artists, we can expand,” Schutte said. “Our demographic is wide open. We hope to see this mix of people frequenting our bars and restaurants and merchants.”

He credits the interest of sponsors for allowing the event to be admission-free as some of these artists command $25-30 at ticketed venues. Premiere sponsors include Benjamin Steel, McGregor Metal and Link-Hellmuth Insurance.

BeerFest will be 5-10 p.m. Saturday at Mother Stewart’s. Schutte said Mother’s co-owner Kevin Loftis has worked to vary the participants to offer a wide range of beers. Attendees can find options to select the right beers, from tickets for samples of each brewery to pints to 8-ounce glasses.

“BeerFest is its own audience,” said Schutte. “There’s not a lot of festivals that combine these, and this year we have a really good mix.”

Attending breweries will include The Hairless Hare Brewery; Crooked Handle Brewing Co.; Devil’s Wind Brewing; Branch and Bone Artisan Ales; Alematic Artisan Ales; Little Fish Brewing Co.; Warped Wing Brewing Co.; Nine Giant Brewing Co.; High Grain Brewing Co.; Gemut Brewing Co.; Urbana Brewing Co; and Mother Stewart’s.

A variety of food trucks will be available both days also.

Although not everyone can drink or may want to, Schutte hopes people will still come for the music and experience.

“We especially want younger people to come down and see the bands. It’s something for the kids to get excited about, and it fills a gap for us in that way,” he said.

Those in town to attend the Springfield Antique Extravaganza can make it a long weekend here by also attending IndieCraft, which is part of building the brand by attracting people here for multiple experiences.

Schutte called this IndieCraft a map of the future. The hope is to possibly offer a big-name act at National Road Commons Park, and potentially expand beyond just Springfield.

“I would love to see it go regional at places like Yellow Springs and going four to six days,” he said. “For now, we’re excited to have this lineup of top-tier acts in Springfield this year.”

For more information on IndieCraft, go to

Friday’s band lineup: 5 p.m. Joe Waters (COHatch); 6:30 p.m. Tree No Leaves (COHatch); 7 p.m. M. Ross Perkins (Mother Stewart’s); 8 p.m. Altameda (Station 1); 8:30 p.m. The American Landscape (State Theater); 9:00 p.m. R. Ring (Mother Stewart’s); 10:00 p.m. Bomb Bunny (State Theater)

Saturday’s band lineup: 4 p.m. Dave & Friends (COHatch); 5 p.m. Dynamo Fuzz (COHatch); 6 p.m. Carrierstheband (Mother Stewart’s) and The GSMO Band (COHatch); 7 p.m. The Factory Line (Station 1); 7:30 p.m. Loviet (State Theater); 8 p.m. Lilly Hiatt (Mother Stewart’s); 9 p.m. Heather Redman Music + The Reputation (Station 1); 9:30 p.m. Texas King (State Theater)

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