The Innovation Festival brings to Kansas City breakout, established, and legendary indie alt-rock artists for a full day of entertainment and discovery. You do NOT need to attend the conferences in order to attend the music festival. Individual tickets for the music festival on Saturday, August 6 are available now and going fast! Join us at Crown Center to unlock the connection between music and science while enjoying delicious food trucks, refreshing beverages from Boulevard Brewing Company, a Brewery Showcase, and cutting-edge innovators! Get your tickets today!



A 6x-time Grammy Nominee, Black Pumas is an American psychedelic soul band led by singer/songwriter Eric Burton and Grammy Award-winning guitarist/producer Adrian Quesada. The two met after Burton settled in Austin, TX and Quesada was looking to collaborate with someone new. The results of that inauspicious beginning can be heard on the acclaimed self-titled debut album from Black Pumas. In just a couple of years’ time, Burton and Quesada turned their unplanned meeting into a Grammy-nominated act with songs that have racked up millions of streams, won overwhelming critical praise and sold-out multiple tours across North America and Europe. Their anthemic single “Colors” — nominated for Record of the Year at the 2021 Grammys — hit #1 at AAA Radio and haas been streamed over 176 million times across all platforms.


Comprised of Addie Sartino, Brandon Yangmi, & Pierce Turcotte, the spirit of purposeful sharing has served as something of a lifeline for Kansas City band The Greeting Committee. The band self-released their debut EP It’s Not All That Bad in 2015, with “Hands Down” quickly becoming a breakout hit. 

After releasing their second EP & debut album, the band spent much of the next few years on the road, with sold-out headline shows in major markets. To date, they’ve toured with the likes of Bombay Bicycle Club & Hippo Campus, and taken the stage at leading festivals like Lollapalooza & SXSW, in addition to delivering the I’m Afraid I’m Not Angry EP in late 2019 and appearing in Netflix’s To All the Boys: Always and Forever in 2021. The band’s sophomore album ‘Dandelion’ is out now via Harvest/Capitol Records with a deluxe edition to follow soon.


The Regrettes, consisting of singer and songwriter, Lydia Night, as well as Genessa Gariano (guitar), Brooke Dickson (bass) & Drew Thomsen (drums), have written a manual for living in these times with the release of their third studio album, Further Joy, replete with highly personalized songs about things we’re all going through. Channeling the tumultuous times we’ve all experienced these last few years, the band calls it their “poppiest and danciest” album ever. With confirmed appearances at Lollapalooza, Shaky Knees, Mad Cool, and Bonnaroo 2022, The Regrettes will be “dancing the pain away” in 2022 in a step into the band’s next era.


We formed over a love for house/dance music while living in Burlington, VT among a thriving jam scene, of which we never really fit in. Since moving to Brooklyn in 2015, we have been finding inspiration from the city itself and the different vibrant scenes within it. Our sound has developed into an amalgamation of the rhythm and energy from house music, cues from the jam/funk scene, and our love for the “leave everything on the table” attitude of NYC.


Emerging from the vibrant Kansas City music scene, Dreamgirl formed in 2012 as a creative collaboration between Lacey Hopkins, Ian Dobyns and Skylar Smith, and Joe Gronniger. Dreamgirl’s early sound immediately got the attention of the local music scene. Drawing inspiration from Tennis, Cyndi Lauper and The Beach Boys – Lacey Hopkins’ breezy vocals play against a backdrop of shimmering guitars creating a dreamy nostalgic midwest sonic soundscape. Proudly and fiercely independent, their DIY approach resonates throughout their prolific back catalogue of EP’s and singles. In 2018 their self titled debut was released on their own imprint and in 2020 Dreamgirl returned to the studio and began recording new music set to release new music throughout 2021 and 2022.


The Freedom Affair is a 9-piece soul juggernaut from Kansas City, MO led by three powerhouse vocalists, Paula Saunders, Shon Ruffin, and Seyko Groves. The Freedom Affair’s live shows have proven to be soul-stirring, transformative events moving audiences both physically and emotionally to joy, tears, and elation. Crowds rave about the fireworks these folks bring to the stage.


MellowPhobia has a powerful landlocked surf rock sound with a strong British influence. Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the band relocated to Kansas City, Kansas during the Covid-19 pandemic and recorded 12 tracks full of energizing and driving alternative elements. Since their formation in 2017, they have opened for numerous national touring and regional acts, earning a reputation for bringing out loyal fans and unique merch.


Comprised of Sophie Emerson on vocals, Matt Bennett, Troy Toon and Jackson Relph, The Cavves are landlocked indie surf rock that hails out of Wichita, KS.


Whitehall is an indie rock four-piece from Charleston, SC. They merge a dancey demeanor with an insatiable desire for more out of life, making for an incredibly energetic and heart opening live experience. When they aren’t shotgunning La Croix, Whitehall tours the east coast.