St. Louis (KSDK) -- The setup is rolling along in Forest Park.
"Tonight is when we become show ready," said Brian Cohen Friday afternoon.
Even a novice music lover can tell the show should be big. On the field most people know for launching the Great Balloon Races, there are two stages for two days hosting 18 bands.
"It's amazing," says Cohen. "It was a dream not to long ago."
Brian Cohen is the dreamer who came up with the idea for the first ever Loufest.
"I moved here seven years ago. And I thought it was unusual that St. Louis didn't have a major music festival like Chicago, Memphis, New Orleans. It seemed like it was a city that could support it, that would embrace it," says the Washington University professor.
But to stage an event of this scale as a first time promoter, the documentary producer used a formula that's worked for him in the past.
"Surround yourself with the best people you can find, and then use their experience, their talent and their wisdom to help get you to where you need to be," said Cohen.
"It's great to have a promoter come out of nowhere almost with such passion to put on an event like this," says Nick Barnes who is running the show with Ironman Sound Industries. "You have to come out guns blazing if you're going to make it in this music market and I think this is the way to do it."
"In the most simplistic terms, I'm producing the festival that I would want to go to," says Cohen.
Which means some of the bands on the stage may be hard to find on the top forty dial. And that's the idea.
"One of the exciting things about a festival for me is discovering new bands. That's part of the energy and the excitement of a festival is not knowing what you're going to find," Cohen says.
Ticket holders will also find local restaurants and retailers inside the gates. After traveling the country to festivals in other cities, Cohen hopes they will also find an event that draws music lovers to St. Louis for years to come.