Music festival mixes local, national acts

Chris Rutledge

This weekend, Bowling Green will host Cage the Elephant, Daniel Johnston, Keller Williams and more than 40 other bands in what is being called the biggest music show to ever happen in this town: the Starry Nights Music Festival.

The two-day camping event will be at 6241 Morgantown Road and will feature many local bands as well as popular national touring acts.

Tickets for Starry Nights can be purchased online at the festival’s website or at Tidball’s.

Tickets cost $59 in advance and $70 at the gate but WKU students can get a $15 discount by entering the code: WKU.

ands will begin playing at 11 a.m. Friday.

Brad Shultz, guitarist of Cage the Elephant, has been on campus handing out flyers over the past few weeks and said that he and vocalist Matt Shultz will be on campus at 1 p.m Thursday for a free acoustic show outside of Downing University Center.

“It’s a great way to get involved in Bowling Green and to get to know a lot of people while having a good time,” Shultz said. “It’s a way to experience something that is going to be special and unique and something Bowling Green has never experienced before. Even people my dad’s age have been telling me, ‘Bowling Green has never seen a show this size come to town.'”

Shultz, who is from Bowling Green, said this event is of particular interest to WKU students.

“For a lot of the kids on campus, the way that they get the ropes of Bowling Green is going out and hearing bands,” Shultz said.

Cage the Elephant will be the headlining band Friday night and will mostly be playing material from their forthcoming album, due in early 2011, Shultz said.

 The band will then return Saturday to be indie legend Daniel Johnston’s band.

“I’m giddy – I’m literally like a little kid,” Shultz said. “When we found out that he had requested us as his back-up band, we didn’t believe it at first. I thought the person that told me was playing a prank on me.”

Shultz said he and the rest of the band will attend the festival not only as performers but as fans as well. This sentiment is shared by several other bands, including Morning Teleportation, a band based out of Portland, Ore., but originally formed in Bowling Green.

Their lead singer, Tiger Merritt, said the band will be there the whole time.

“We’re going to hit up as many shows as we can,” he said. “We don’t want to miss a second of it, if we can help it.”

Merritt, a former WKU student, said one of the most exciting things for him is the opportunity to play for all of the friends he made while attending WKU.

Justin “Keyser” Wilson of local band Sleeper Agent said an event of this magnitude has been a long time coming.

“There’s always been an incredibly interesting and diverse music scene in Bowling Green,” Wilson said. “It’s kind of a shame that it took so long. As far as being in the same music scene, there’s always going to be bands at each other’s throats. Starry Nights is really helping everyone see that we’re all a part of the same thing.”

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