“Amaranth Apple” Music & Food Fest 2018

Gates Open on Friday, July 13 at 5 p.m.
Gates Open on Saturday, July 14 at 3 p.m.
Say you’ll be there on Facebook>

It’s a great way to support downtown Springfield! All volunteers receive a concert T-shirt, free admission and 10 food and drink tickets as thanks for their shift of several hours. If you can help, please sign up today. And let your friends know so they can also join in the fun!  The open spots are listed here.

Click to View Volunteer Opportunities on SignUp.com

Thanks to Our Generous Sponsors

Chick Fritz Distributing | Signature Rental | President Abraham Lincoln a Doubletree by Hilton | US Bank | Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau |  Vachel Lindsay Association |  Evan Lloyd Architects | Cooper’s Hawk Winery | Xfinity |Heartland Coca-Cola | Felicia Olin | RSM | Ald. Kristin DiCenso | Crawford Murphy and Tilly, Inc. | Haxel Law | Kerber Eck and Braeckel, LLP |  Ald. Andrew Proctor | Horace Mann | Ald. Herman Senor  | Lincoln Square Apartments | Garrison Group | Illinois Center for the Book | Innovate Springfield | Springfield Youth Performance Group


Music Lineup on the Main Stage

Friday, July 13

Saturday, July 14

Experience Food

Another Day…Another Doughnut

  • Mini Doughnuts ~ TBD
  • Lemon Shakeups ~ TBD

Augie’s Front Burner

  • Augie’s Fish Tacos ~ 4 tickets
  • Pork Belly & Kimchi ~ 5 tickets
  • Elk Burger with Wild Mushroom & Gouda Burger ~ 5 tickets
  • Watermelon ~ 1 tickets
  • Peach Sangria ~ 5 tickets

AZTCA Mexican Grill

  • Pulled Pork Tacos ~ 5 tickets
  • Corn/Black Beam Chimichanga ~ 4 tickets
  • Chicken Tacos ~ 4 tickets
  • Steak Loaded Fries ~ 5 tickets
  • Margarita (12 oz) ~ 3 tickets

Frankies Brewhaus

  • BBQ Shrimp on a stick ~ 6 tickets
  • Marinated Steak on a stick ~ 7 tickets
  • BBQ Marinated Chicken on a stick ~ 6 tickets

Gyros Stop

  • Gyros ~ 4 tickets
  • Greek Nachos ~ 5 tickets
  • Falafel ~ 5 tickets
  • Pork Kabobs ~ 5 tickets
  • Baklava ~ 2 ticket
  • Greece Lightening ~ 5 tickets

JoJo’s Streat Quisine

  • Menu TBA

Long Nine Junction

  • Triple S Pork Shoulder w/ local pickles, buzzbomb beer cheese, and h.m. bread ~5 tickets
  • Apple BBQ Pulled Pork with Mac n’ cheese ~4 tickets
  • Spicy Triple S Meatball w/ avocado crema and pico de gallo ~ 3 tickets
  • Foccacia herb cheese bread w/ local tomato dipping sauce ~ 2 tickets
  • Cookies and cream buttercake bar ~ 1 ticket
  • Non Alcoholic Arnold Palmer ~ 2 tickets

Robert’s Seafood

  • Bison Burger Slider ~ 5 tickets
  • Fried Clam Strips ~ 5 tickets
  • New England Crab Roll (mini) ~ 5 tickets
  • Robert’s Shrimp Cocktail & Sauce ~ 5 tickets
  • Apple Cider Martini ~ 5 tickets


  • Shaved Ice ~ 3 tickets
  • Ice Blended Lemonade ~ 4 tickets
  • Ice Blended Coffee ~ 5 tickets
  • Real Fruit Smoothies ~ 5 tickets

Z Bistro

  • Ribeye Sandwich ~ 5 tickets
  • BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger ~ 5 tickets
  • Cheeseburger ~ 4 tickets
  • Loaded Fries ~ 5 tickets
  • Fries/Cheese Fries ~ 3/4 tickets

Lindsay Lounge Performances

On the northeast lawn of the Old State Capitol | Access with General Admission

Sponsored by: US Bank
Programmed by: The Vachel Lindsay Association

Friday, July 13

6:00—Emily Hope

7:10—Steve Duchrow as Vachel Lindsay + Poetry Burst

7:15—Expressions in the Dark poetry reading

8:30— Brian Steinhauer

9:25—Steve Duchrow as Vachel Lindsay + Poetry Burst

9:30— Epsom

Saturday, July 14

3:30—Lindsay’s Moon Poems with interpreter Steve Duchrow

4:00—Muni performers from “Annie”

5:15—Cowboy Randy Erwin

6:35— Steve Duchrow as Vachel Lindsay + Poetry Burst

6:45— Open mic hosted by Expressions in the Dark

9:00— Tom Irwin


General Information

Gates Open on Friday, July 13 at 5 p.m.
Gates Open on Saturday, July 14 at 3 p.m.

Parking & Transportation

The underground parking garage underneath the Old State Capitol (entrance on 6th Street) is open late especially for our festival until midnight. We also encourage you to enjoy yourself and stay safe by calling a taxi or an Uber at the end of the night.

Beer by Chick Fritz Distributing

A fine selection of Coors and Miller Lite products are available for purchase for 5 tickets each thanks to our sponsor Chick Fritz Distributing, your friendly beer distributor since 1947. The beer trucks are parked at multiple locations throughout the Festival. You’ll find a fine selection including Sam Adams, Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy, Blue Moon, Revolution, Fat Tire, Strongbow, Corona Premiere.

Wine by Coopers Hawk Winery

We are excited to partner with Coopers Hawk Winery this year as they showcase their selection and support downtown revitalization! For 5 tickets a glass or 1 ticket a sample, they will offer their Red Sangria, White Sangria, Blanc De Blanc, Cooper’s Hawk White, Sweet Red, Cabernet Zinfandel, and Pinot Noir. You can find them on the lawn near the Main Stage.

Soda and Water thanks to Heartland Coca-Cola

Soda and water may be purchased from the DSI Stand at the corner of Washington and 5th for 3 tickets each thanks to our partnership with Heartland.


Tickets at the Door

You can purchase premium tickets with collector’s items and bundles online>

Admission is $5 at the gate for everyone 13 and up. Free for 12 and under. Gates are located at 5th and Washington, 6th and Washington, and 5th and Adams.

Food and drink tickets may be purchased for $1/ticket at the Central Ticket Booth after entering the festival.

All proceeds go toward downtown revitalization. Downtown Springfield Inc. is a 501©6 non-profit organization.

Early Bird/VIP Packages

This year’s VIPs enjoy:

  • private parking lot less than a block from the action (lot at 4th and Washington)
  • private air-conditioned bathroom
  • access to an express line at beer and wine stations
  • special front-of-stage area to be up close and personal with the bands on the Main Stage or with best line-of-sight in the grass

Get your tickets today!

Online ticket sales will end at noon on Thursday, July 12. There may be a limited number of VIP Passes still available for purchase at the Entrance Gate located at 5th and Adams on either night. ($45 – Single)

VIP Pass-holders should check in at the parking lot located at 4th and Washington (behind Augie’s Front Burner and the Myer’s Building)


Overnight Stays

Stay safe! Make it a weekend! Downtown hotels are offering special Festival Packages.

A block from the festivities

President Abraham Lincoln A Doubletree by Hilton

Get one VIP ticket along with a room at the Doubletree for $150 per night.  

Wyndham City Centre

Great savings for the Amaranth Apple Festival!

Free Fallin A Tom Petty Tribute Band

– Friday July 13 at 9pm-

This year’s Friday music headliner is Free Fallin, whose successfully toured the country together for more than 10 years.  Their show, featuring all the best hits of Tom Petty, includes instruments and costumes that create the authentic experience of a live Tom Petty concert.   They play his music, but most of all they resurrect his spirit, paying homage to his place in rock history!

Read the review by Brook Walsh in Thisweeks Newspapers

John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band

– Saturday July 14 at 7:45pm-

Saturday night, July 14, DSI welcomes legendary “East Coast Rock ‘n Roll” group John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band, whose songs include the hit single “On the Dark Side,” which held the number one position on the Billboard Rock charts and the MTV video charts for five consecutive weeks and “Tender Years,” which peaked at #31 on the Billboard charts. Both songs were from the 1984 film, “Eddie & The Cruisers – Motion Picture Soundtrack.John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band began their career in 1972 and achieved mainstream success in the 1980s with the “Eddie & The Cruisers – Motion Picture Soundtrack”. The hit single “On the Dark Side” held the “Number-One” position on the Billboard Rock charts and the MTV video charts for five consecutive weeks. The album sold over 3 million copies and was certified triple Platinum by the RIAA.The title track from the group’s 1985 follow-up album Tough All Over became their second “Number-One” single on the Billboard Rock charts and the song C-I-T-Y reached the Billboard Top 20. John Cafferty’s solo track “Hearts on Fire” was featured in the Sylvester Stallone film “Rocky IV and he received his second double Platinum soundtrack award. Over the years John has placed 35 songs in major motion pictures. Today John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band continue to tour and bring their exciting live shows to fans around the world. In 2012 they were inducted into the Rhode Island Music Hall Of Fame.



DSI Announces Details for Summer Festival July 14-15

VIP Tickets and Online Deals are Available Now>

Last year after Downtown Springfield Inc.’s successful-but-sizzling Bacon Throwdown festival, the organization polled restaurants to find out which ingredient or style of food they wanted to compete over in 2017. The resounding response was, ‘Let us do our own style and showcase our signature dishes.’ So this summer, DSI is moving its long-time food and music festival back to a “Taste” format.

However, downtown has added a lot of new, creative entrepreneurs to the scene since the last time DSI hosted the “Taste,” and going back to that same concept didn’t feel quite right to the committee.

“We’ve been actively looking to sprinkle the weird and wonderful in downtown,” said Lisa Clemmons Stott, DSI’s Executive Director. “We’ve also been on a mission to remind Springfield why it has always loved its downtown. One of our committee members remembered that Springfield’s own Vachel Lindsay had written one novel, a utopian story of Springfield set in 2018, and the idea flew from there.”

The Amaranth Apple is a mystical fruit in Lindsay’s 1920 novel, “The Golden Book of Springfield,” which grew from seeds planted by Johnny Appleseed in the deceased (or was he?) skull/body of the fictional founder of Springfield, Hunter Kelly. Lindsay’s future Springfield shows socially and religiously awakened residents who have transformed his hometown into a utopian paradise that could serve as a guide to all of America.

And “he who eats of the Amaranth Apple” is filled with love for the eternal beauty of Springfield.


Isringhausen Imports returns as premier sponsor of the summer festival. The money raised at the event funds DSI’s non-profit mission to champion and revitalize the downtown district. “We love downtown and we appreciate the work that DSI is doing to revitalize the neighborhood. We couldn’t be more pleased to support this festival which brings thousands of people to the district,” said Geoff Isringhausen, President and CEO.

Vachel Lindsay was born in a home at 5th and Edwards, which is still maintained by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency as a historic site. Lindsay became famous in his day as a traveling bard whose dramatic delivery in public readings helped keep appreciation for poetry as a spoken art alive in the American Midwest. Today he is not only considered a precursor of modern spoken word and hip hop but also of film critique.

“We’re excited to partner with DSI to raise the profile of native son Vachel Lindsay, who impacted the world of art and culture significantly,” said Lisa Higgs, board president of the Vachel Lindsay Association. The Association is programming the new Lindsay Lounge and a second stage to feature the arts and culture of Springfield.

DSI is also seeking sponsors for a Whiskey Lounge and a Wine Lounge, in addition to Coors and craft beer products provided by Beverage Sponsor Chick Fritz Distributing. Contact us for the Festival Sponsor Deck.

Organizers expect at least 25 restaurants to take part this year, with a “hint” of the mystical fruit in each bite. The registration materials are going out soon.


This year’s Saturday music headliner is Matthew Sweet, whose 1991 album “Girlfriend” is heralded as one of the decade’s most critically acclaimed albums and is known for such hits as “Girlfriend,” “Ugly Truth,” “Sick of Myself,” and “Time Capsule.”

After spending the ’80s as a jangle pop guitarist with Oh-OK and Lloyd Cole, as well as a solo artist, Matthew Sweet emerged in 1991 as the leading figure of the American power pop revival. Like his British counterparts Teenage Fanclub, Sweet adhered to traditional song craft, yet subverted the form by adding noisy post-punk guitar and flourishes of country-rock, resulting in an amalgam of the Beatles, Big Star, R.E.M., and Neil Young. Recorded with guitarists Richard Lloyd and Robert Quine, Sweet’s third album, Girlfriend (1991), became a word-of-mouth critical and commercial hit over the course of 1992, with its title track reaching the Top Five on the Modern Rock charts. For the next five years, as alternative rock was the dominant commercial force in rock & roll, Sweet became a very popular concert attraction and solidified his reputation as the premiere alternative pop singer/songwriter. His next two records, Altered Beast (1993) and 100% Fun (1995) were both critically acclaimed and successful albums, reaching platinum status and making many year-end best-of lists.

Sweet recently completed his new album Forever Tomorrow, recorded at his new studio – Black Squirrel Submarine – in Omaha where he now lives. Matthew engineered, performed on guitars, keyboards, bass and god knows what else, sang lead and background vocals and mixed the recordings. The record was mastered for CD, vinyl and download at the famed Abbey Road Studios in London by Sean Magee, a long time veteran at the studio. Sean won a Grammy for his Beatles reissues, and has recently won accolades for his remastering of the John Lennon solo catalog reissues. The record will be released on June 16, 2017 on Sweet’s label – Honeycomb Hideout – with label support and distribution provided by Sony/ RED Distribution, LLC.

He also backed Mike Myers as Austin Powers (along with Susanna Hoffs) in the faux band Ming Tea in two Austin Powers movies. The Lincoln, Nebraska native also was hired as a consultant on the 2014 Tim Burton film “Big Eyes,” with many of the Margaret Keane paintings in the film coming from Sweet’s extensive collection.


Friday, July 14
Josh Reilly (Springfield native)
Amy Benton (Springfield)
Miles Nielsen and the Rusted Hearts (Rockford)
Chuck Mead (Nashville)

Saturday, July 15
Bruiser Queen (St. Louis)
The Starter Jackets (Springfield)
Captain Ivory (Detroit)
The Handcuffs (Chicago)
Matthew Sweet (Omaha)
The Cold Stares (Nashville)

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