Rib festival finds recipe for success

Thursday, June 27, 2019

The Ribs-N-Rock Festival will be meatier and tastier this year.

And that’s just the music lineup.

Now in its second year, the festival in the Southern Park Mall parking lot has expanded to four days – it begins tonight and runs through Sunday – and is filling every day with national, regional and local bands.

Hinder and Scott Stapp (Creed) – each of whom rose to fame in the aughts – will headline Friday and Saturday evening, respectively.

Hinder will get a head start on rekindling its local love affair with Youngstown at a meet and greet from 4 to 5 p.m. Friday inside the mall.

Two of the top regional bands in the East Coast and Midwest – Pittsburgh’s The Clarks and Ohio-born Red Wanting Blue – will headline Thursday and Sunday, respectively, and both have huge and mature fan bases in Youngstown.

Gates open at noon each day. Admission is $7 per person.

THURSDAY

6 p.m.: Leanne Binder and Generation Rock

8 p.m.: The Clarks

FRIDAY

4-5 p.m.: Hinder meet and greet inside Southern Park Mall

5 p.m.: 7% Superstar

6:30 p.m. Radio Pulse

8 p.m.: Hinder

SATURDAY

4 p.m.: Messer

5:15 p.m.: Turbo Lovers

6:30 p.m.: Huckin Fillbillies

8 p.m.: Scott Stapp of Creed

SUNDAY

2 p.m.: Davis and Henner

3 p.m.: Goes Like This

4 p.m.: The Super Babes

6 p.m.: The Vindys

8 p.m.: Red Wanting Blue

The Vindys, who are on the cusp of being a regional-level band, will open for RWB on Sunday.

The Clarks, who also played opening night of the festival last year, will be preceded by Leanne Binder’s high-voltage project Generation Rock.

Local acts rounding out the bill are the Huckin Fillbillies, Radio Pulse, Turbo Lovers, 7% Superstar, Messer, Goes Like This, the Superbabes and Davis and Henner.

Corey Ward, the long-time local promoter who stages Ribs-N-Rock, said cooking up a festival with staying power is a simple recipe.

“There are four main ingredients that go into making this event a successful one,” said Ward. “The bands, the rib vendors, the party-type atmosphere and the admission price. We strive to exceed expectations with each ingredient.”

Having numerous sponsors allows Ward to keep the admission price at $7.

The number of rib vendors is also expanding by four for this year’s festival.

The rib lineup includes:

Fine Smoke BBQ, Columbus

Desperado’s BBQ and Rib Co., Hinckley, Ohio

After Hours BBQ, Orrville, Ohio

Porky-N-Beans, Palm City, Fla.

Chicago BBQ Co., Burr Ridge, Ill.

Texas Lightning BBQ, Austin, Texas

Off the Bone BBQ, Columbus

BG’s Main Event, Rittman, Ohio