For quite some time, Wichita members of the Kansas Craft Brewer’s Guild have been trying to plan a big beer festival for Wichita, something in the vein of the big Kansas Craft Brewers Expo that is such a big draw in Lawrence in the spring.
But Emily Boyd, one of the owners of Central Standard Brewing in Wichita, just never could find quite the right venue.
Then, a few local entrepreneurs announced their plans to open the new Wave indoor-outdoor concert venue at Second and St. Francis, and the search was over.
“We thought, ‘This is the venue we’ve been looking for,’” Boyd said.
The result is the new Prairieland Beer & Music Festival, which was announced on Monday.
The festival is scheduled for 3 to midnight on Saturday, Oct. 20, at the new Wave venue, which is set to officially open on Sept. 1 with a concert by Toadies.
The new festival will feature a beer tasting from 3 to 6 p.m., and Boyd said she expects every craft brewery from Kansas to be there, including places like her Central Standard, Hopping Gnome, Wichita Brewing Company, Tallgrass out of Manhattan and Free State out of Lawrence. Organizers also have invited a few breweries from neighboring states.
It’ll operate like most beer festivals, where those who buy tickets get a tasting glass then are permitted to roam from booth-to-booth sampling beers.
Wave’s music promoter Adam Hartke partnered with the group to recruit a big musical lineup for the event as well. The headliner will be The Budos Band, a nine-piece horn and rhythm group with a funk/jazz sound from Brooklyn who have a following locally but haven’t been through town.
Also on the bill: Wichita’s Bad Mother Hubbard and Mensaje Norteno as well as Marcus Lewis Big Band’s “Brass and Boujee.”
Tickets for the event are on sale now at www.eventbrite.com. People who want to attend just the beer festival from 3 to 6 p.m. can get $45 tickets. Those interested just in seeing Marcus Lewis Big Band and Budos Band can buy $25 tickets. A full-festival pass is $60. And a VIP festival pass, which includes early entry to the beer festival and front-row concert access, is $85.
Boyd and Hartke both said that they hope the new festival becomes an annual event.