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The future of rock: Youth music festival in Cedar Rapids


Riley Smith Youth Music Festival

NewBo City Market — Friday, July 1 at 10 a.m.

Riley Smith
Courtesy of the performer

Alburnett, Iowa native Riley Smith is returning to his roots to headline a festival filled with some of eastern Iowa’s most exciting rising talent. Smith, known to many for his role as Markus Keene on the TV show Nashville, will be performing with his band the Life of Riley at 6 p.m. on Friday, July 1 — but its his opening acts who are the real focus.

The Eastern Iowa Arts Academy (EIAA) presents the Riley Smith Youth Music Festival, starting at 10 a.m., which brings together young solo performers and rock bands made up of young people from Iowa City to Waterloo, including Cedar Rapids and other surrounding communities. Seventeen different youth artists will be performing over the course of the day (full schedule below). The event will be held at Cedar Rapids’ NewBo City Market (1100 3rd St SE).

The EIAA is a non-profit that was formed in 2007 to offer young people, especially those in low-income communities, the chance to explore and participate in the arts outside of a school setting. They offer after-school enrichments at several Cedar Rapids and Marion elementary and middle schools, as well as summer activities. Their recently-renovated space (at 1841 and 1847 E Ave NE in Cedar Rapids) is home to a music studio and an art studio, where students can hone their craft.

Tickets to the Youth Music Festival (10 a.m.–6 p.m.) are $8; tickets to the Riley Smith and the Life of Riley concert are $10. An all-day pass is available for $15. Tickets are available online, or from the EIAA office (open 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Monday–Thursday at 1841 E Ave NE). All proceeds from the event will go to benefit EIAA’s free and low-cost programming.

Youth Festival Schedule

10:00 a.m. — Pink Slips; EIAA Rock Band
10:25 a.m. — Seandon Hodges, aka Seandon Protege; Cedar Rapids
10:40 a.m. — Royal Flush; Marion
11:25 a.m. — Dejah Simmons; Cedar Rapids
11:45 a.m. — Summer Sing Performing Arts Camp Choir; Cedar Rapids
12:05 p.m. — Big Oak Band; Iowa City
12:50 p.m. — Girls Rock Soloist – Eleanor Lidnhorst; Iowa City, Girls Rock
1:05 p.m. — Flash Memory; EIAA Rock Band
1:35 p.m. — Savannah Brown; Cedar Rapids
1:55 p.m. — Youth Gone Wild; Waterloo & Waukee
2:40 p.m. — Olivia Parsons; Cedar Rapids
2:55 p.m. — Ultra Blue; EIAA Rock Band
3:25 p.m. — Peyton Kach; Cedar Rapids
3:35 p.m. — Ukulele Madness; EIAA Summer Camp
3:55 p.m. — Broken Record; EIAA Rock Band
4:25 p.m. — Jaianna Green; Cedar Rapids
5:05 p.m. — The Unincorporated; Cedar Rapids, Atkins & Coggon


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