Nestled in the hills of far southern Indiana just off the shores of the Ohio River separating Indiana and Kentucky is Madison, Indiana. A small town full of beautiful scenery made up of hills and the mighty river, Madison is one of the most desirable tourist and travel destination in the state on Indiana. (It’s even where my wife and I took our honeymoon some years back.)
But the little all-American small town isn’t just a quiet, sleepy little town in the hills. Come July 4th weekend the town of Madison becomes a world-renowned destination on the back of of the world famous Madison Regatta. Thousands of people from around the world pour into town to see the fastest boats in the world take to the Ohio river for the 2 and a half mile race of races for marine craft. Boat racing has been a tradition in Madison for over 100 years, and in the last few years a new tradition has began right alongside the exciting action on the water:
The Roostertail Music Festival.
In only it’s third year, the festival has already earned a reputation for bringing in some of the top talent in country, Americana, and rock music today. Speaking to the Madison Courier event organizer Brent Turner says “We’re all in. Fully committed. We are stretching our music budget to bring in the best bands and the biggest names we can. Our fearless Regatta Director Matt True has given us a lot of freedom and support to make this a great music festival.”
The all-ages, family friendly festival, taking place in the city’s Bicentennial Park just a couple hundred yards from the river’s shore, takes place over 3 days, kicking off Thursday, July 4th with free music from Amy Noel, Steamship, long-time friends of the Armadillo Nick Dittmeier and The Sawdusters, and finishes with The Highdivers. The music begins at 4PM, and as mentioned is free for all.
Day 2 begins at 6PM Friday evening featuring performances by The Pass, Frederick The Younger, Little Stranger, and headliner Moon Taxi in what is easily the most diverse sounding night of the event.
Saturday is the Main Event of the musical part of the weekend, however, kicking off starting at 2PM with Brent Mathis. 16 Bones from nearby Louisville, Kentucky is up next, and Edgar Red follows them. As the sun starts to set the heat on the stage only intensifies as Justin Wells takes the stage. Following the man with a heart you cannot break at 7:30 will be the first of the three 2019 headliners: American Aquarium. On the heels of their wildly popular 2018 album “Things Change” they will fill the river valley with their raw and real sound.
Up next is the immensely talented and popular Brent Cobb, also credited with one of the highlight albums of 2018 in “Providence Canyon”. Brent is established as one of the best and most genuine songwriters in this movement today, and no doubt his set will turn heads all along the riverbank as people await the spectacular world-class fireworks display later in the evening. Immediately following Brent’s set will be a world-class fireworks display celebrating the the whole weekend with the birth of our nation.
After the fireworks in the sky concludes, the fireworks on the stage go off as top bill of the weekend Whiskey Myers closes out the 2019 Roostertail Music Festival making waves in the crowd and on the water. The band have been touring relentlessly over the past 12 months, and Roostertail will mark another feather in their festival cap to go along with other events like Cody Jinks’ Loud and Heavy Fest, and Tumbleweed.
The Madison Regatta and Roostertail Music Festival weekend offer one of the most affordable and unique vacation experiences of the summer. The event will feature vendors, food trucks, racing, fireworks and great times for all. Tickets for the Music festival or Racing action start at just $25, or you can buy a combo ticket with access to both starting at $40. (Though between now and March 1st they are on sale for just $34!) Click HERE to head on over to the official Madison Regatta website to see all the ticket options available!
Friends, I highly encourage you not to miss out on this great big time small town experience along the shores of the Ohio River during the 4th of July weekend! There is something for everyone as a part of the weekend! I attended last year’s Saturday event (Headlined by Turnpike Troubadours) and it was a wonderfully executed event that I can’t wait to bring coverage of this year right here to the Armadillo! The park is spacious and naturally set up to host a fantastic music show. Bring your lawn chairs, and your picnic blankets and experience a great weekend of food, racing, and music in one of the most scenic locations in the Midwest and Ohio River Valley when the 2019 Madison Regatta and Roostertail Music Festival kicks off July 4th!