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Firecracker 500 Fest rolls on with Memphis rockers Ex-Cult

Ex-Cult perform at Gonerfest

Memphis punk rockers Ex-Cult are set to headline a full lineup at The Mill tonight as part of the Firecracker 500 Festival. Joined by Iowa City’s Good Habits, Detroit’s Mexican Knives and Omaha’s The Lupines, Ex-Cult will be closing out a night filled with the kind of aggressive, post-punk thrashing they have become known for in their short history. If you can make it to only one night of the Firecracker 500 Festival, this is definitely the one to see. […]

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Firecracker 500 Festival explodes The Mill this weekend

Ex-Cult at Firecracker 500

Get your earplugs ready because the now (consistently) annual Firecracker 500 Festival is happening a month early this year, kicking off what will undoubtedly be a great summer of music listening and day-drinking. Firecracker brings together a bunch of primarily Midwest garage, psychedelic and punk bands. […]

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Live music and festival preview for July

Iowa Jazz Festival -- photo by Alan Light

The Iowa City Jazz Festival and Firecracker 500 take over Iowa City this weekend, but late July also promises some legendary performances. Read about the shows and sample the bands after the jump. […]

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Your guide to the Firecracker 500 Festival

Firecracker 500

The Fourth of July is right around the corner, and that not only means grilling out, day drinking and illegally setting off fireworks in your yard, but also the return of the Firecracker 500 Festival. For the third consecutive year, Firecracker 500 will feature some of the coolest garage, psych and soul bands both from the midwest and beyond, including a ton of local favorites like The Ills, Lipstick Homicide, Good Habits and Autodramatics. Spanning four nights, the festival’s first half will take place at The Mill ($10 cover each night), but will move to Blue Moose Tap House for both Friday ($12) and Saturday ($15) evenings. Below are a few highlights that attempt to capture the diversity and awesomeness of this year’s line-up. […]

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Show Photos – Firecracker 500 Festival @ Gabe’s – June 28th-30th

Even though firecrackers are technically illegal in Iowa, the Firecracker 500 Festival had no problem festively blowing up Gabe’s, uh, with music, that is.  Twenty-three bands stomped and sweated across the stage over three days, and the audience stomped and sweated right along with them. It’s clear that the music scene in this town is hardcore […]

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Iowa City Weekender: June 28-30

This is about to be a fantastic summer weekend. There’s a bike in movie, a mini music festival, a farewell show and more. But let’s go back to the festival before we discuss anything else. Firecracker 500 Festival // Gabe’s // Thursday – Saturday, 6:00 PM – 2:00 AM // $10/Day, $25/Three Day Pass I’m […]

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Preview: Firecracker 500 Festival 2012 – June 28-30 at Gabe’s

This weekend at Gabe’s, the Firecracker 500 Festival is back! Twenty-five bands from Iowa City, Chicago, Tennessee, Alabama and other primarily midwestern spots will be creating enough noise to make your ears bleed for weeks. Beginning in 1997, the original Firecracker 500 featured The Exotics, The Delstars and Iowa City’s own The Bent Scepters (who […]

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Show Photos: Firecracker 500 Garage Rock Fest: Day 3 – 7/3/11

The final night of the Firecracker 500 was just as intense as the first two. This three-day event stands as another testament to the beauty of the music scene in this great little town of ours. We are lucky to be in a spot that draws in (and keeps) so many talented, passionate musicians. But you already know that. […]

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Show Photos: Firecracker 500 Garage Rock Festival, Day Two – 7/2/11

The second night of the Firecracker 500 was way less suffocating in terms of heat and the crowd, which made it significantly easier to get into the serious ear-pounding musical delights pouring from the speakers. I was able to make it to the Blue Moose for a few bands, wishing I had the energy and ability to stay for the whole damn shebang. For those of you who have been present for the entire festival, you have my respect. There has been a lot going on upstairs at the Moose, and all of it has been smooth as silk. The musicians, organizers and Blue Moose employees deserve a pat on the back for quick set changes, great sound and ice cold beverages all around. […]

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Show Photos: Firecracker 500 Festival, Day One – 7/1/11

Well folks, tonight is the third and final night of the resurrected Firecracker 500 Festival at the Blue Moose Tap House. To entice you to check out the last day of Iowa City garage rock greatness, here are some photos from the first day. Included you will find shots of the last four bands of Friday evening: The Bent Scepters, Half Rats, HOTT and The Coathangers. This was a seriously good night of music. […]

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