Jam rock band Gov't Mule, neo soul singer Musiq Soulchild and Washington-based rapper Wale will headline this year's Artscape festival, according to organizers.
The full lineup for the three-day celebration of visual arts and music, which will be announced at a news conference today, also features indie rockers Cold War Kids, soul singer Maysa, singer/songwriter Jackie Greene and reggae group Rebelution, among others.
This year's roster could appeal to a younger audience than festivals from years past, which typically feature several vintage acts. But the lineup still has a broad reach, said the festival's director, Kathy Hornig.
"We went in a different direction this year," Hornig said. "We like to say that everyone we know should be able to find something they want to check out for free at Artscape and expand their musical experience. Ultimately, this year's schedule does just that."
More than 50 bands will perform on four stages as part of this year's Artscape, Hornig said. The new Charm City Stage, at Mount Royal Avenue and St. Paul Street, will showcase local groups such as Sahffi and Breaking Reign. The Urbanite Stage, on Mount Royal Avenue, will be stocked with jazz bands such as the Eric Kennedy Quartet, Jump Street and Michael Raitzyk Trio. And the Festival Stage will have prominent area bands such as Fools & Horses, Higher Hands and Mambo Combo. Also new this year is a comedy showcase called LOL@Artscape, with routines by area comedians.
Hailed as the nation's largest free arts festival, Artscape runs July 16-18 at Mount Royal Avenue and North Charles Street. Last year's headliner, the alt-rock band Cake, drew one of the largest crowds in Artscape's history, Hornig said.