Krista Meadows performs at Lindberg’s during Queen City Shout 2019. The festival returns in person this year, for the first time since that event. More than 100 artists will be performing on eight stages March 24-27, with special events scheduled March 21-23. Queen City Shout raises money to fight poverty in the Ozarks. (Photo: Queen City Shout)

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For the first time since 2019, Springfield’s mega music festival Queen City Shout is back in person — and Eddie Gumucio says it feels great.

“After two years it’s just been a real blessing to finally get to do this again,” Gumucio, the founder and organizer of Queen City Shout, said. “Our expression this year is ‘groove safe.’ We’re just trying to let people know that even though we’re kind of out of the woods from a few months ago, be smart in their choices and whatever they feel comfortable doing.”

And there will be plenty of things for festivalgoers to do. The 11th Queen City Shout Festival runs March 21-27 and it promises to be bigger than ever. That starts from a geographical perspective. The festival started in the now-closed Borders Bookstore in south Springfield before moving to several venues on Historic Commercial Street.

Full details are available on the Queen City Shout website.

What's happening at Queen City Shout?

Primitive Physick plays during Queen City Shout 2019. The event returns in person this year and raises money to fight poverty in the Ozarks. (Photo: Queen City Shout)

This year there are eight stages across C-Street, Downtown and Rountree. Queen City Shout will also host special events at the Creamery Arts Center, Moxie Cinema and Springfield Brewing Company.

“I think it was always my long-term goal,” Gumucio said of the expanded footprint. “We’ve touted it as our own South by Southwest, so the idea was always to play to the Queen City and try to get into as many neighborhoods as possible — as long as it made sense. Rountree, C-Street and Downtown make kind of a nice little triangle.”

Within that triangle will be more than 100 local and regional bands and songwriters playing on those eight stages March 24-27. A single-day ticket costs $15, while a seven-day pass is $40. Venues include Lindberg’s, Springfield Brewing Company’s The Cellar, Mother’s Brewing Company, Tie & Timber Beer Company, White River Brewing Company, Hold Fast Brewing, The Royal and Ruthie’s.

“I think it runs the gamut, from storied, veteran acts to up-and-comers newbies, and genres from country to rap. There’s something for everybody,” Gumucio said.

This year, there's more than music

But this year is more than music. Attendees will have the opportunity to witness and participate in visual arts and film at sites including Moxie Cinema and the Creamery Arts Center. It starts Monday, March 21, with two events. From 5-7 p.m. at the Creamery Arts Center is the closing reception for the “With Every Fiber” art show, which focuses on “fiber arts” such as fashion and costume design. The reception includes an activity from media school Plotline and a musical performance by Lyal Strickland. Another launch-day event, The QCS Soiree, starts at 6 p.m. at The Cellar and includes live music, SATO 48 short films and a panel discussion.

More film events are scheduled for March 22-23 before the music portion of the festival officially kicks off Thursday, March 24. Garrett Melby and three other artists will be creating live art The Cellar, Mother’s Brewing Company, Hold Fast Brewing and Tie & Timber Beer Company over the weekend.

“At the heart of it it’s always going to be a music festival, but we have some specialty programming,” Gumucio said. “There are all sorts of neat things to do.”

Proceeds from Queen City Shout go to nonprofit organizations that support poverty relief efforts in the Ozarks. They are:

  • Harmony House
  • Community Partnership of the Ozarks
  • The Kitchen
  • Great Circle
  • Isabel’s House

“Since we started on C-Street we saw about a $2,500 increase each year,” Gumucio said. “The last one that we did in person I believe we split just under $12,000 between seven charities.”

The full schedule for the festival and tickets are available on the Queen City Shout website. Gumucio’s advice? Just come check it out.

“I always talk about it as kind of a sampler, one of those appetizer samplers where you get a little bit of everything and that’s the whole intent,” Gumucio said. “It’s the kind of thing where we want people to check out an artist, get up and move on to another artist. The way we have the schedule staggered, even between different zones, you could technically catch three, maybe four acts within a one-hour rotation.”

Jeff Kessinger

Jeff Kessinger is the Reader Engagement Editor for the Hauxeda, and the voice of its daily newsletter SGF A.M. He covered sports in southwest Missouri for the better part of 20 years, from young athletes to the pros. The Springfield native and Missouri State University alumnus is thrilled to be doing journalism in the Queen City, helping connect the community with important information. He and wife Jamie daily try to keep a tent on the circus that is a blended family of five kids and three cats. More by Jeff Kessinger