Rock the District: Epic Music Festival in Carmel

For music fans in Carmel, Indiana, a prosperous and growing suburb of Indiana state capital Indianapolis, there’s no better time of year than the summer. That’s when one of the biggest music festivals in the region invades downtown Carmel for a weekend full of art, music, good food, and fun. Summer in Carmel is the time for Rock the District, a showcase of some of the best in Carmel music.

Video of Aimee Allen performing at Rock the District in Carmel, Indiana

Taking place in the relatively new Carmel Arts and Design District, Rock the District is a massive Indianapolis festival that takes place over a weekend in July. Rock the District has been around for several years, and each year the festival gets larger and larger, taking up more and more blocks in the Arts and Design District. The 2009 edition of Rock the District was spread out over three stages: the Budweiser sponsored Main Stage, the Ivy Tech Community College Stage, and the CSO Architects Stage. These three stages were filled with popular Indianapolis bands and artists, and also some musicians from other areas of the United States. Past performers at Rock the District include Indianapolis superstar singer Jon McLaughlin, Red Umbrella, David Barnes, Aimee Allen, and Tax Brandywine.  It’s a fantastic event for Indianapolis music, almost on a par with the Indy Jazz Fest and other Indianapolis events.

Video of Jon McLaughlin performing live at Rock the District in Carmel, Indiana

But Rock the District isn’t all about music. Sure, the three stages and the artists performing on them are a large part of the spectacle, but to get the whole experience, you have to dip into the visual portion of this Carmel event. Tons of vendors are set up all along the streets of the Arts and Design District, representing some of the best in Carmel shopping. At these Carmel businesses, you can buy original works of art, souvenirs, knick knacks, brick-a-brac, and all types of great gifts. In addition, the 2009 festival sported a display of fourteen full-sized wooden guitars designed and painted by artists around the region specifically for the event. Guitar designers include Shelly O’Dell, Katie Norman, Laura Tosach, and others. These beautiful guitars were displayed at the Carmel Clay Public Library and around the Arts and Design District before and during Rock the District.

Promotional video for Rock the District, an event in Carmel, Indiana

So what’s the best thing about Carmel’s Rock the District? With over eight hours of live music, a boatload of unique vendors, some fun activities for Carmel children and adults alike, and a vibrant, carnival atmosphere, Rock the District is comprised completely of good parts. But maybe the best part is this: Rock the District is absolutely free for anyone who wants to attend. This Carmel event is just another sign that the booming suburb of Carmel, Indiana is on its way to becoming a thriving destination, both for day trips from Indianapolis and for full-fledged vacations.

For more information on Rock the District, please visit the festival’s homepage.