Article Contributed by Elevate | Published on Monday, August 28, 2023

With the vision of evolving the festival experience in St. Louis, live music producers Contemporary Presentations and The Just Listen Company introduced the first-ever EVOLUTION FESTIVAL this weekend at Forest Park with over 25,000 fans in attendance.  The festival was met with rave reviews from attendees and artists alike and was inspired by the love for the organizers’ hometown and the belief that festivals are a catalyst for building a stronger community.

Both Steve Schankman and partner and longtime festival producer, Joe Litvag, collaborated on EVOLUTION FESTIVAL to develop a modern festival concept that celebrates the soul of the city in a forward-thinking way.

“The most important goal in our first year was to build a sense of community that our entire city and state could rally around,” commented Co-Executive Producer Steve Schankman.  “I know we accomplished that, but we’ve only just begun.  There will be even more to look forward to when EVOLUTION FESTIVAL returns in 2024!”

This year’s line-up included more than 18 national and local performers that took the stage in beautiful Forest Park.  With the tagline of ‘This is our town. This is our time. This is our EVOLUTION,’ fans enjoyed unforgettable performances by many artists including Brandi Carlile, The Black Keys, Ice Cube, and Sugarhill Gang.

“Building an event like this took years of planning and a tremendous amount of effort by an army of dedicated people, and we are grateful for every single one of them,” commented Co-Executive Producer Joe Litvag.  “We all had one vision in mind, which was to create an atmosphere that had a great vibe to make people feel welcome and part of a family.  Walking around the site both days and talking to fans, the positivity was really palpable.”

With the help of so many organizations like the State of Missouri, the City of St. Louis, Forest Park Forever,  and Explore St. Louis combined with the support of countless brand partners and institutional organizations, EVOLUTION FESTIVAL immediately established itself as something the entire State of Missouri can be proud of, just as it set out to do.

A portion of all EVOLUTION FESTIVAL ticket proceeds will be donated to Forest Park Forever, a non-profit conservancy that works to restore, maintain, and sustain Forest Park as one of America’s great urban public parks. In addition, the EVOLUTION FESTIVAL also worked closely with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital through its Music Gives campaign to raise money and awareness for the fight against childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

This is our town. This is our time.  This is our EVOLUTION!