Legend, Guided By Voices to play downtown

  • What: Downtown Dayton Revival Music Festival: Rock, Roll and Dayton Soul
  • Where: Streets of downtown Dayton
  • When: Noon to 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 8 and 9
  • Tickets: Weekend passes will be $55 to $75. Limited early-bird seats go on sale online at 10 a.m. April 24
  • Info: downtownrevival.com

DAYTON — The first-year Downtown Dayton Revival Music Festival has signed performers including Train, John Legend, Guided by Voices, Guster, Rusted Root, Tony Lucca and Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk for the Sept. 8-9 event.

Matt Luongo, president of Downtown Revival LLC, which is organizing the privately funded street fair, said more than 30 bands will perform on three outdoor stages. There will also be family-friendly events and other activities.

The budget is between $1.4 million and $1.5 million, Luongo said.

Attendance will be limited to 40,000. All tickets will be two-day passes and will be available beginning at 10 a.m. April 24. Early-bird prices will start at $55. The price will go up to $75 later.

VIP packages will include reserved seating, a hospitality tent, invitations to a Friday night preview party and a chance to meet and greet the artists.

Luongo, 36, a Dayton native and University of Dayton graduate who previously worked in the development department for UD and for the Dayton Development Coalition, said the festival has national ambitions.

It was inspired by City Stages, a festival in Birmingham, Ala., where he lived before moving back to Dayton in 2004.

“By 2002 and ‘03, there were 13 stages, 250 acts and 250,000 people attending. Birmingham is like Dayton. It’s an old steel town that hit the skids but is coming back,” he said.

The goal is to put Dayton on the map “with music from Grammy winners to local talent and everything in between.”

Confirmed acts also include Heartless Bastards, Mat Kearney, Andy Grammer, Kristy Lee, Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Motel Beds and Bronze Radio Return.

Others are being signed. Sponsors and vendors are also being sought.

Luongo, who said he is “just a guy with a lot of enthusiasm for music and how it can bring everyone together,” started planning the Dayton Revival Music Festival four years ago.

“We have the official blessing of the city of Dayton, Montgomery County and the Downtown Dayton Partnership,” he said.

Contact this reporter at (937) 225-2377 or terry.morris@coxinc.com.