You’ll be able to get Mo music, Mo art, and Mo fun for free at a new festival in Mo line Centre Thursday, Aug. 24 through Saturday, Aug. 26.
Mo.Live! grew out of the popularity of last year’s Moline 150th Sesquicentennial Celebration. A lot of Mo liners were commenting on the city’s social media about how much they enjoyed the gig and suggesting that it become an annual thing, so the city did their best to oblige.
“Since that event was so popular, drawing more than 30,000 people over the weekend, City Council and Mayor Rayapati expressed interest in it becoming an annual event celebrating art and music in downtown Moline,” said Tory Brecht, Communications Coordinator for Moline. “Mayor Rayapati, in particular, wants Moline to be a center for arts and culture going forward and Mo.Live! – along with our Bass Street Concert series, our several theaters downtown, the shows at The Vibrant – show that Moline is one of THE places to be for live music and theater in the region.”
From rock to blues to country to Latino dance music, Mo.Live! has a little something for everyone. But it’s more than just music, it’s about food, art, and more. Starting Aug. 24, Moline Centre merchants, restaurants and night spots will be hosting the work of local artists, much of which will be for sale throughout the entirety of the festival.
“Of course, the music festival is the highlight – and that will kick off Thursday evening with our presenting sponsor, John Deere, hosting a kickoff concert at the pavilion at 6 p.m. featuring Logan Springer & the Wonderfully Wild and William Eliot Whitmore,” Brecht said. “Then Friday is – like last year – a Mercado on Fifth ‘takeover’ featuring Latino music from Crooked Cactus Band, Grupo Estilo Versatil De Sterling and Banda Arperena. The city is so thankful that Mercado has become a huge regional hit that we wanted to make sure we weren’t taking away from their Friday night event, so we invited them to be a major part of Mo.Live! It’s also a great way for folks who have never experienced a Mercado night to get a little feel for what it’s all about.
“Then Saturday morning, at 7 a.m. is the Crimestoppers 5K followed by our super-popular Touch-A-Truck event, which allows kids and families to get up close and personal with fire trucks, snowplows, police cruisers and other vehicles and equipment used by the city,” Brecht added. “Then music starts at noon on both the main stage and community stage at the Vibrant festival grounds. Big headliners Saturday night are Duane Betts and Palmetto Hotel, The Main Squeeze and Eric Gales. We are proud that we have music from multiple genres, so there should be something for any music lover.
“The MoArts Walk is new this year, so that’s fun,” Brecht added. “This is the first time we’ve had the 5k race as part, too, so it shows the growth of the event.”
With such an eclectic mix of attractions, what is the organizing theme behind Mo Live?
“I’d say positivity and good vibes,” Brecht said. “One reason we continued with Hive as our partner is their reputation for finding diverse musical acts that – despite being from disparate genres – all seem to have a positive message and a ‘feel good’ element to their music and shows. Mo.Live! is about celebrating community and finding common cause with our neighbors, regardless of their background, beliefs or personal preferences.”
With the city looking at making this an annual event, what can we expect for future years?
“We really would like to see the event encompass more of downtown in the future – and really ramp up the ‘art’ part to be as big as the music part,” Brecht said. “The Council and Mayor have said they want this to remain a free event, so anyone can enjoy it, that is why we are so thankful both for our sponsors and Council for helping fund it.
“And did I mention it’s FREE? Also, while these bands may not be household names, they are extremely high quality, fun and engaging,” Brecht said. “I’d really encourage people to go to Youtube or Spotify or wherever they listen to the artists’ music and pick out a few shows they want to attend. They will not be disappointed. Last year’s Sesquicentennial really helped us shake off some of the post-pandemic doldrums and get back to celebrating in Moline, and we are hopeful this can become an annual late summer event of fun and festivity not only for Moliners, but for people from across the Quad-Cities and even beyond.”
Check out the Mo.Live! Facebook page for more info.