It turns out there is actually more than corn in Indiana. Northern Indiana holds its own festival full of pride, fun, and inclusivity. Middle Waves Festival is a two day event held in Fort Wayne. Their motto is “Live Your Life Alive” and they definitely bring out the best in people. One of my favorite features of the festival is that even if you don’t buy a ticket, you can enjoy the free stage that highlights artists in the community. This included bands such as Atomic Sharks, Tofu, and Mic Strong. The headliners for the festival this year were Big Boi and Young The Giant. I was only able to attend the Saturday date, but there was so much to do it could’ve kept me entertained for days.
This festival is made to celebrate all. With a wide variety of photo opps, a petting zoo and toys for children, and rainbow colors all over, it made the environment welcoming and beautiful. This festival is a non-profit organization that is put on by sponsors and volunteers. The festival itself was presented by Sweetwater Sound, the main stage was sponsored by Parkview Health, and the free stage was sponsored by Humane Fort Wayne. During the beginning of the day, Humane had multiple puppies that were up for adoption at the festival available and ready to take home. They sat and enjoyed the music and all the cuddles from the spectators. On top of the endless photo opportunities, there were many local vendors and food options to shop and support.
Middle Waves had every genre from all over the world. Atomic Sharks from Fort Wayne opened the St. Joseph Stage on Saturday morning providing all of the tropical vibes to set the mood for the day. Kiwi Jr. opened up the St. Marys Stage all the way from Ontario, Canada. They brought such a feel-good vibe to everyone that showed up bright and early in the warm Indiana weather. They will be releasing their newest album in August titled Chop that is self-described as “anti-patio-sunscreen-Beach Boys bachelor cruise sing-a-long.” As the day went on and bands brought out all different types of crowd, one thing I can say from the bottom of my heart, was how kind everyone is. I’ve been to my fair share of festivals from alternative pop to punk rock, and this festival definitely stood out to me. I want to give a big shout out to Danielle and Sean for welcoming me into the festival with open arms. Even though they were insanely busy, they made sure to introduce themselves and make sure that all photographers as well as artists were taken care of and comfortable.
When Young The Giants came out to close the festival they brought out quite the crowd. This venue definitely isn’t built for photographers but the crowd was very kind in working around my camera. I was second row, packed in, and ready to go when the lights went low. I kindly asked the fans around me to please be mindful of my camera as I would be shooting at the beginning of the performance. They all were very self-aware of their surroundings and made sure I was able to get all the angles.
Overall, I’m so impressed with this festival and I’m super happy to see them return. I’ll be waiting patiently for next year’s lineup and you can bet I will be returning. Below are some of the photos I took of Atomic Sharks, Kiwi Jr., Timeshares, Los Galaxy, *repeat repeat, Rosie, The Ike Reilly Assassination, and Young The Giant.