Carmelfest: Southern Accents to join CarmelFest performance lineup 


Former CarmelFest chairman Steve Krusie knew the entertainment lineup could use an extra jolt.

“We’re spending a little more money to replicate what The Wright Brothers were able to do,” Krusie said of the Rotary Club of Carmel, which runs the July 3-4 festival.

The Wright Brothers Band played its final show at CarmelFest in 2022. The group had long been a CarmelFest fixture.

Krusie, who is on the entertainment committee, said he believes Southern Accents, a Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers tribute band, will fill that need. Southern Accents will perform at 8:15 p.m. July 3 on the Carter Green stage.

“Hopefully, that will create excitement for all of the Marketplace vendors, all of our food vendors and for families that bring their kids,” Krusie said. “Both nights, we will have classical orchestra music on the Gazebo stage with Indiana Wind Symphony on July 3 and Carmel Symphony Orchestra on the Fourth. That’s a legacy we have locked in and will never change. The part of experimenting is where the stage at Carter Green comes into play, so we’ll see. We hope it brings a lot more people out that wouldn’t ordinarily come.”

CarmelFest entertainment chairman Fred Yde said the entertainment schedule offers variety.

“We have a nice mixture of new bands and new headliners,” Yde said. “We have a nice lineup. The committee did a nice job selecting bands.” 

Yde said having children lead off both days at the Gazebo stage helps, too.

CarmelFest Has Talent starts at 1 p.m. July 3 and the Carmel Music Academy starts the July 4 schedule at noon, followed by School of Rock.

“There are always a lot of parents,” Yde said.

Yde said there are some returning favorites, such as Nauti Yachtys, Phone Club and My Yellow Rickshaw.

Krusie calls those groups stalwarts because “they are so good and so talented.”

Krusie said Kara Cole and Sadie Johnson were both first-time CarmelFest performers in 2023 and were loved by the audience.

“We have some new ones like Kickitlester and That’s What She Said!, that people said we should check out,” Krusie said. 

Soul Street will be the featured evening group July 4 at Carter Green.

“There’s some local, regional and even bigger groups coming to CarmelFest this year,” Krusie said. 

Entertainment schedule

July 3

Gazebo stage

  • 1 p.m.: CarmelFest Has Talent
  • 3 p.m.: Odd Man In
  • 4:30 p.m.: That’s What She Said!
  • 6 p.m.: Kara Cole
  • 8 p.m.: Indiana Wind Symphony

Carter Green stage

  • 1 p.m.: Nauti Yachtys
  • 3 p.m.:  Kickitlester
  • 4:45 p.m.: Phone Club
  • 6:30 p.m. Henle and the Loops
  • 8:15 p.m.: Southern Accents — Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers tribute.

July 4

Gazebo stage

  • Noon: Carmel Music Academy
  • 1 p.m.: School of Rock
  • 4 p.m.: Stone
  • 5:30 p.m.: Touch of Grass
  • 8 p.m.: Carmel Symphony Orchestra

Carter Green stage

  • Noon: My Yellow Rickshaw
  • 2:15 p.m.: Sadie Johnson
  • 4:15 p.m.: Dude!
  • 6:15 p.m.: Six Foot Blonde
  • 8 p.m.: Soul Street