Welcome the beginning of fall with a festival alive with music and games, celebrating the thriving local music scene as well as local artists and vendors, including live spray paint art and southern Minnesota’s favorite … food trucks.
The third annual MoonFest is Saturday, Sept. 21 in Kasota. This multi-genre music festival was an all-ages event in previous years, but this year it is 21-plus. The festival runs from 2 p.m. to midnight with free shuttle service and “life-sized” drinking games which are included with your $15 ticket.
When Andy Beltz and Ryan Rutjes, co-founders of Modest Music LLC, were approached to do a hip hop show at the Blue Moon Bar and Grill in Kasota in 2017, they wanted do something more. Rather than just playing a single show, the Mankato based hip hop artists, who preform together as the group act RxB (Revi and BELTZ) , set out to put on an entire festival that celebrated the local art and music of Minnesota, all while raising funds for the community.
Beltz expressed his gratitude for being welcomed into the music scene with open arms.
“It’s been a big blessing,” he said. “I mean there have been so many of the elders in the community that have brought us into it. You know, they never turn a hand on anybody.”
The Modest Music LLC record label was officially founded by Beltz and Rutjes in 2018 with an emphasis on creating a support for local artists committed to giving back to the community.
“Money we raise from things, we always try to give back with” said Beltz, also known by his stage name, BELTZ.
This means everything from investing in local arts to any charitable organization that they can donate to. While the label consists of mainly hip hop acts, it is not just hip hop that you are going to find at MoonFest. Since the first year of the festival, it has been about bringing together a variety of genres.
“The thing about Mankato,” Beltz said, “is all genres work together very well. They support each other. It is more about the art than it is even the style of music.”
Last year, the festival gained a bit of name recognition when they booked widely recognized Minneapolis rapper, P.O.S., as the headliner. The crowd had doubled from their inaugural year despite it being 87 degrees and 100% humidity. Unpredictable weather is part of why they decided to move the festival back a week further into September.
Making it 21 plus allows them to go later into the evening as well. Even though the headliner was a hip hop artist, they stuck with the tradition of having multiple genres, including Satori Violet belly dancers.
“As much as we can involve different arts that are in our community, that’s the way to do it” Betz said.
This year features live spray paint art from local artist Michael Cimino and Look At This Artist.
MoonFest 2019 starts at 2 p.m . with free shuttle service from Miller Motors in downtown Mankato at 104 Minnesota St. every hour, on the hour, going to and from The Blue Moon Bar and Grill. There will also be parking a block away from the venue.
Music starts at 2:30 p.m. The lineup features folk singer/songwriter Tanner Peterson, Alec John and the Sky Surfers which is an indie surf rock band with a reggae vibe, indie punk rockers and Mankato natives, Goodnight Gold Dust, synth band Beige Interior, Mankato’s Nirvana cover band Nearvana, guitar driven rock singer/songwriter Dave Sandersfeld who has performed all over the state, including the Minnesota State Fair, Mankato rapper Rellium Prime, Denham and the Brick House Boys, and Kashy with DJ Shawn Who.
All of the artists on the Modest Music LLC record label are collaborating as headliners. The set will include Revi , BELTZ, Beertè, Hazrdos, Nigel T, and Yuwish bringing the festival to an exciting close.
From wardrobe to stage antics, the guys of Modest Music LLC know how to go a little “extra” for a show, but they are stepping it up a notch for MoonFest.
“This year,” says Beltz, “with having us as the headliner, we knew we had to create something special. We have created a complete theatrical performance, so it’s like you are coming to a musical play. We are taking it levels above anything we have ever done before.”
Grab tickets by heading to their website modestmusicmn.com or find MoonFest on Facebook to be linked to their EventBrite page. Physical tickets can also be purchased at Blue Moon Bar & Grill in Kasota, Miller Motors and Rush Liquor in Mankato or at the door the day of the show.