The Innovation Festival brings to Kansas City breakout, established, and legendary indie alt-rock artists for a full day of entertainment and discovery. You do NOT need to attend the conferences in order to attend the music festival. Join us at Crown Center to unlock the connection between music and science while enjoying delicious food trucks, refreshing beverages from Boulevard Brewing Company, the Brewery Showcase, and more!



The music of Colony House—an indie rock band made up of brothers Will and Caleb Chapman, as well as Scott Mills and Parke Cottrell—is playfully self-described as “landlocked surf rock.”Their personal genre designation is as much inspired by their hometown of Franklin, Tenn. as their new album The Cannonballers is: “In short, Tennessee was the inspiration for this project,”frontman Caleb Chapman says. “We got to see the seasons change and experience our homeagain for the first time in a long time. I thinkI was falling back in love with Tennessee, and I startedrevisiting some old memories and old relationships in my head that pertained to certaingeographical locations as well as just emotional places I had spent my most formative years.”


Dante Elephante is based out of Santa Barbara, CA. Released German Aquatics in 2013 & Anglo-Saxon Summer (Produced by Jonathan Rado) in 2015 via Lolipop Records. Rare Attractions was released digitally in the summer of 2018. Dante Elephante’s new album,  “Mid-Century Modern Romance” was released on January 8th, 2020 via Born Losers Records. Dante Elephante has toured the entire US from 2016-present, and has supported acts such as
The Orwells, Summer Salt, Hunny, Japanese Breakfast, Awolnation, Cold War Kids, and more.


Mike Mains & The Branches is an indie rock band based in Nashville. The group has built a reputation for their fantastical instrumentation and unforgettable live performances. Mains began writing songs early in his career between shifts at a casino, which is an apt illustration of Mains perspective on life: it’s a comedy, a tragedy, and a fairytale. After releasing an EP and three full-length albums, they are ready to introduce their latest album in Summer 2023. This upcoming record is their most honest and raw release yet. In taking some time of self reflection and confronting the realities of an industry undergoing constant reinvention, Mike Mains & The Branches are here to deliver their own reinvention in the coming months.


Since their formation in 2014, HARBOUR has gone from packing rooms in their native Cincinnati to selling out venues across the United States. With three tours already under their belt and more cross-country shows on the way, the band has no plans of slowing down anytime soon. Members Ryan Green (vocals/guitar), Jarett Lewis (guitar), Ryan Sulken (drums), Walker Atkinson (bass), and Devon Turner (guitar) have curated an infectious indie pop/rock sound that transfers seamlessly into their live shows.
The contemplative, often ruminating lyrical matter of HARBOUR’s music finds juxtaposition against playful melodies that perfectly encapsulate the boundless energy the band brings to all their performances – each of which begin with an enthusiastic shout to the crowd: “Let’s have some fun!”


Steven Fiore’s career reads like a legendary round of two truths and a lie: co-writing with Art Garfunkel, a stint with Jeff Goldblum’s jazz band, more than 17 million Spotify streams. But it’s all true – every word of it. In a way, you could say it’s this unfiltered honesty that ultimately powers Fiore’s YOUNG MISTER to be more than just pretty melodies, but rather profoundly moving pieces of musical storytelling.
Hailed by American Songwriter and Consequence of Sound alike for an adroit balance of folk, Americana, and pop – all unwritten with wistful sentimentality – Young Mister began in 201X after Fiore, a successful songwriter for Universal Music Publishing Group for more than a half-decade in Los Angeles, once again began putting himself first as a writer. “I’d been writing a lot under my name, but for other people,” Fiore says, referencing cuts for acts like Howie Day and Natasha Bedingfield. “I needed to do something different.”


Whether it’s due to their years as touring musicians, gradually honed songwriting and stylistic ambitions from scrappy, garage-y roots, or some combination of all of the above, Social Cinema makes an immediate impression with seasoned beyond their years songwriting chops and a road-hardened work ethic and resolve to match. Since adopting the Social Cinema banner in 2021, the alternative/indie rock quintet has issued three EPs — 2022’s Causing Scenes and Repeat and Get Along in 2023 — and a number of singles highlighting the outfit’s multifaceted songcraft prowess, and has shared bills with the likes of Metric, Saint Motel, Bad Bad Hats and more.


MellowPhobia has a powerful landlocked surf rock sound. Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the band relocated to Kansas City, Kansas and recorded 12 tracks full of energizing and driving alternative elements. MellowPhobia’s debut single “Jackal” showed an evolution of the MellowPhobia sound that blazed them into the Kansas City community, establishing themselves at music festivals and indie venues alike, and opening for national touring acts such as The Greeting Committee, The Regrettes, The Velveteers, and more. Driving their way into 2023, “Jackal” surpassed 30K streams, paving the way for future MellowPhobia releases.


Cory Phillips & the Band of Light is a 5-to-8 piece group of Lawrence/Kansas City’s most exciting and talented players performing original soul/r&b and funk/disco music. Phillips also performs solo with a poetic, classic acoustic soul sound for smaller venues.


Emmaline Twist is Dark and Atmospheric Dance Rock, providing a contemporary take on the moods and rhythms of Post-Punk groups such as New Order and The Cure, and the texture and atmosphere of Shoegaze bands such as Lush and Slowdive.