RiverFest rolls out rock-filled 2019 lineup



FORT MADISON – It’ll be four days of rock spanning four decades of chart topping hits from the 80s to contemporary headliners.

RiverFest organizer Charles Craft unveiled RiverFest 2019’s music lineup Saturday at a reveal party at Kinnick South. Craft and the RiverFest committee are in their fourth year bringing the annual summer music festival to Fort Madison’s riverfront.

This year’s festival runs Aug. 1-Aug. 4 in Riverview Park.


The festival committee will once again be holding a Battle of the Bands at Vinnie’s Longbranch with the winner opening the rock fest on Thursday evening. Bloomington, Illinois’ Burden of the Sky will take the stage before Puddle of Mudd brings their world-renowned sound to the stage with hit songs “Blurry”, “She Hates Me”, and “Psycho” certain to be on the playlist.

Local travel band Ghost of Judas will entertain in the beer tent following Puddle of Mudd.

Ghost was delighting fans at Kinnick South Saturday doing reveal songs, at times with Craft lending a hand with vocals.

RiverFest organizer Charles Craft, right on stage, belts out a Puddle of Mudd reveal song “She Hates Me” with Burlington band Ghosts of Judas at the 2019 Riverfest Reveal party at Kinnick South. Photo by Chuck Vandenberg/PCC

On Friday, Burlington’s own Stars in Toledo will open the music on the Main Stage and then a double-dip of 80s rockers will play to the hair-band generation. BulletBoys, the LA band that formed in 1986 and busted the charts in 1988 with “Smooth Up in Ya” and “Hard as a Rock” that followed mid-chart offerings like “For the Love of Money”, is first.

Then Warrant will follow up on the Main Stage. Warrant rose to top-shelf rock heights with the success of the 1989 release “Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinkin’ Rich” that went double platinum with frontman Jani Lane. Three songs off the album, “Heaven”, “Sometimes She Cries”, and “Down Boys” all popped in the top 20 rock chart. “Cherry Pie” hit in 1990 and catapulted the band to one of the top rock draws in the country. After a falling out, Lane left the band, and aside from a brief original band reunion, the band has worked through frontmen with ex Lynch Mob vocalist Robert Mason now leading the group. Lane died in 2011 of acute alcohol poisoning.

Decade of Decadence will keep the 80s-90s theme going in the beer tent following the Main Stage action on Friday night.


Rochester, Minnesota-based The 9th Planet Out, will open the the main entertainment Saturday, followed by post-grunge, hard rockin’ Shaman’s Harvest. The band released three albums from 1999 to 2006, but it wasn’t until “Dragonfly” broke into the top 20 active rock songs in 2009, that the band really drew national attention. The band also wrote a half dozen entrance songs for WWE wrestlers. In 2017 they released Red Hands Black Deeds, a sociopolitical offering that was a break from the bands roots.

“If people don’t come out to see this band, they will regret it,” Craft said Saturday. “This is a quality rock band and you won’t want to miss this one.”

National recording artists Sevendust will follow Shaman’s Harvest on Saturday. The Atlanta-based band formed in 1994 but didn’t hit the top of Billboard charts until the “Black Out the Sun” album in 2013 featuring “Decay” and “Picture Perfect”.

X-Crush is back for another year to wrap up the music on Saturday night in the tent.


Craft and the committee stepped away from the traditional country rock Sunday offerings and will stick with the rock genre. Local favorites Chaz and the Channel Cats will open music late Sunday afternoon, followed by Burlington’s Caught in the Crypt.

Then RiverFest will feature two national rock acts in Trapt and Saliva in back-to-back Main Stage events. Trapt became a household rock name with the release of “Headstrong” in 2002, seven years after the band formed in Los Gatos, California. Trapt has released seven albums over the year with the most recent being the 2016 “DNA”. “Still Frame” and “Echo” also climbed the charts off the “Headstrong” disc.

Saliva was formed in 1996 in Memphis as a hard rock, alternative rock group. The group’s debut album “Every Six Seconds” produced hit singles “Your Disease” and “Click Click Boom” and helped bring the band to mainstream listeners. “Boom” and “Superstar”, another release from the album, made the cut for “The Fast and the Furious” soundtrack.

Cedar Rapids traveling band New Trick will clean things up in the beer tent and round out the music lineup for 2019.

Tickets for the event can be purchased by clicking on the following link:


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