By Mark Ambrogi
The name of the CarmelFest guitar entertainment program’s name has changed again, but the acts are much the same.
Guitars and Stars, which was known as Guitar-mel Fest prior to 2016, will be rebranded as the Hoosier Crossroads Music Festival July 3 on the North Zone Stage. The entertainment begins at 3 p.m. From 7:30 to 10:30 p.m., CarmelFest will present featured performances by Indy Music legends Benito DiBartoli, Doug Henthorn, Paul Holdman, Gordon Bonham and Tad Robinson.
“We have basically all the same headliners back on July 3 and 4 that are fan-favorites,” said Brian Carriger, CarmelFest entertainment chairman. “Moving forward, this will be elite area talent. We hope to add other people from around the area but also add a variety of people that are lesser known. It’s really just a showcase of Indiana talent, which is what the festival has always promoted. This new brand will hopefully bring awareness to the show.”
This is Carriger’s 13th and final year directing the festival’s entertainment.
“I’ll still be involved in an advisory role and help the transition to 2018 and beyond if needed,” Carriger said. “But it will be my last year holding the reins.”
Up until the 2016 CarmelFest, Carriger was the co-chair with Sue Westermeier. Carriger said Westermeier was instrumental in the development of the program.
“It’s really become a very desirable place for musicians to come to and want to play,” Carriger said. “We get bombarded all year with people wanting to play our event. There’s been a lot of great years, but in my opinion, it’s probably time for some new blood to bring in some fresh ideas and a new perspective.”
Carriger also wants to devote more time to his entertainment company, PBJ Pro DJs, and his family.
New acts on the Gazebo Stage will be The Spoon Man Jim Cruise and The Amy Duke Band. New on the North Stage will be Airstream Betty, Top Shelf and Station to Station.
The entertainment will be from 3 to 10:30 p.m. July 3 and noon to 9:45 p.m. July 4.