Marc Maron, Kurt Vile headline Mission Creek 2016 lineup
Mission Creek Festival announced its lineup for the six-day, Iowa City-based confluence of music, literature, film and food Tuesday afternoon.
Among the bigger names announced for the festival, which runs from April 5 to April 10, include the popular podcast host and comedian Marc Maron, the critically adored indie rocker Kurt Vile, the legendary German krautrock band Faust and cartoonist Alison Bechdel.
"There aren't that many cities that could pull this off," Joe Tiefenthaler, FilmScene executive director and a programming director for Mission Creek, said Tuesday. "I haven't been to a festival that so connects itself to the community experience as much as Mission Creek."
The announcement, made at noon Tuesday, featured 21 artists in total for the 11th annual festival. According to the release, this year's festival will have more of a focus on literature thanks to a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Tiefenthaler said a second wave of festival bookings, events and entertainers will becoming sometime soon.
Tiefenthaler said that next year's festival features three or four different "pivot points" over its five-day run. Though he said the Lit Crawl, which features dozens of writers and publisher hosting a litany of events in downtown Iowa City, was one of his favorites events, names like Bechdel, Maron, Faust and Kurt Vile represented those "pivot points."
Bechdel, a MacArthur Genius Award recipient, will headline the literary part of the festival. Bechdel's graphic memoir "Fun Home" was recently turned into a Broadway musical that won five Tony Awards.
Maron, a stand-up comedian who got his start in the 1990s, has risen to the ranks of stardom thanks to his twice-weekly podcast "WTF with Marc Maron." Regularly one of the most downloaded podcasts, the show has been downloaded over 100 million times according to the podcast's website.
Maron's podcast gained new-found fame when President Barack Obama appeared on the podcast this last June. "Marc Maron is going to be a such a hilarious joy on stage at Englert," Tiefenthaler said.
Kurt Vile & The Violators have recorded six indie rock studio albums since 2008. Vile's music often finds its way near the top of many music publications' "best albums of the year" lists. He's currently touring in support of his critically-acclaimed 2015 album "b'lieve i'm goin down."
Faust, an electronic rock band hailing from Germany, recorded a series of highly praised albums in the 1970s. "Not many people would put Faust on the top of their list of concerts to see, but people are freaking out that we're able to get an act like that," Tiefenthaler said.
In the world of film, Tiefenthaler said the festival has "a lot of irons still in the fire," but that the film events would probably be announced when the festival announces more bookings.
"We're all pretty excited by the spread of personalities we got this year," Tiefenthaler said. "It's an eclectic group you wouldn't find anywhere else."
Festival passes for Mission Creek go on sale starting at 12 noon Friday at The Englert Theatre and online, www.midwestix.com, according to the release.
Reach Zach Berg at 319-887-5412, firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @ZacharyBerg.