’XPN fest features surf rock to blues

For three days this summer, music lovers can see live performances from surf rockers, blues artists, indie-pop songsters and folk musicians—all in one place.

The XPoNential Music Festival is back for its 15th year, and runs from July 24 through 26 at Wiggins Park, on the Camden Riverfront.

The three-day event features two stages filled with locally and nationally known acts, a Kids Corner stage for the little ones and an area known as the Village Green that will feature information from the Festival’s eco-friendly sponsors.

The Festival kicks off on Friday evening with performances by indie rockers Annual, surf rock instrumentalists Los Straightjackets and blues singer Shemekia Copeland on the Camden County River Stage. Reggae and hip-hop artist John Fortè takes the Marina Stage with the Brazilian band, Minas, and rockers Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles.

The Might Be Giants

The Might Be Giants

On Saturday, the lineup includes New Jersey native John Gorka, Bucks County-based indie rockers Illinois and classical-folk musicians The Low Anthem on the Marina Stage. A slew of big-name acts occupy the River Stage, including singer-songwriter Pete Yorn, alt-country rockers The Bacon Brothers (featuring Kevin Bacon) and quirky, two-time Grammy-winning band, The Might Be Giants (pictured).

The English UK

The English UK

On Sunday, singer Aimee Mann, roots rockers Donna the Buffalo, and pensive troubador John Wesley Harding and The English UK (pictured) perform on the River Stage. The Marina Stage features performances from psychedelic folk musicians Gandalf Murphy and the Slambovian Circus of Dreams, Aussie songwriter Guy Sebastian and Lancaster folk-vaudevillians Perkasie.

There’s plenty for the kids to do on Saturday and Sunday, including music performances by The Swingset Mamas, Lunch Money and Miss Amy, among others. Young ones can also explore three indoor exhibits at the Camden Children’s Garden—a butterfly house, Ben Franklin's Secret Garden and the tropical exhibit, Plaza de Aibonito. The Garden also has amusement rides, five different Storybook Gardens and interactive nature shows from author Jane Kirkland.

Gates for the entire Festival open at 4 p.m. on Friday and noon on the weekend. Patrons are welcome to bring low-backed chairs, blankets, umbrellas and coolers full of food and non-alcoholic beverages, but should leave pets, beach umbrellas and alcoholic drinks from outside vendors at home.

Festival-goers can take advantage of early-bird prices through July 10: A three-day pass runs $30 for members and $40 for the general public; and daily tickets cost $12 for WXPN members and $20 for the general public. After July 10, a three-day pass runs $40 for members and $60 for the general public; daily passes cost $17 for members and $25 for non-members. Kids’ tickets cost $5 per day, anytime.

For more information, including details on the Festival’s full lineup, go to: www.xpn.org/music-artist/festival-2009.

Originally published on July 2, 2009