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Whitaker Music Festival returns to Missouri Botanical Garden in 2023

The event is free, and no reservations or tickets are required. You can even bring in your own food and drinks.
Credit: Missouri Botanical Garden

ST. LOUIS — Grab your picnic blanket and lawn chairs, the Whitaker Music Festival is back at the Missouri Botanical Garden this summer.

The free concert event starts next Wednesday, May 31, and runs for 10 weeks. Entry starts at 5 p.m. on concert nights and the music starts at 7.

People are welcome to bring their own food and drink in baskets, bags or coolers, but glass bottles are prohibited. Food and drink will also be available for purchase from vendors. All packages are subject to inspection upon entry.

No tickets or reservations are required. 

MoBOT says more than one million people have come to see the concerts.

The event is sponsored by the Whitaker Foundation, which provides grants to encourage the preservation and use of parks and to enrich lives through the arts.

For more information about the Whitaker Music Festival, click here.

You can find the full lineup for this year's shows below. The descriptions were provided in a press release from the Missouri Botanical Garden.

May 31: Lady J Huston
Lady J Huston is renowned for her captivating vocals, trumpet and mesmerizing stage presence. Lady J toured as the Music Director with Blues legend Albert King, performing on shows with the “greats” such as B.B. King, Etta James, Bobby Blue Bland, Robert Cray and more! A native St. Louisan, she settled in Las Vegas, NV winning multiple Blues Music Awards and reigning as The Las Vegas Queen of Blues.

June 7: Sweetie & the Toothaches
Specializing in 1940s through 1960s R&B, Jump Blues and Blues Ballads, Sweetie & the Toothaches will have you stomping your feet and shaking your hips. Be prepared to sink your teeth into this hot Jump Blues band’s personal brand of fresh smoked rhythms, sweet & salty harmonies and lip smackin’ solos.

June 14: Eldraco + Freenation
Eldraco is a composer and songwriter who uses his direct and eloquent voice to address societal issues and the human condition. He draws inspiration from artists like Nina Simone, Prince, Adele Adkins, Diane Warren, Freddie Mercury, David Foster, Stevie Wonder, Rufus Wainwright, Maurice White, and Quincy Jones to create music that defies genre. By blending elements of Funk, Rock, Jazz, and Pop, Eldraco creates a unique and feel-good sound, using both electronic and live instrumentation to enhance his poignant lyrics and 4-octave voice. His music is truly one-of-a-kind.

June 21: The Mighty Pines
The Mighty Pines continue to grow in stature, creating vast musical landscapes with their layered harmonies and thoughtfully crafted instrumentation. Their new album, Late Last Night stretches out with a sonic spaciousness, sliding effortlessly from roots and folk ballads to rock and soul.

June 28: Charles Glenn Group
Charles Glenn is a talented musician who grew up learning voice and percussion from his opera singing father. He has performed with big names like Smokey Robinson and Huey Lewis and the News, and has collaborated with Grammy winners. Charles currently performs as the Charles Glenn Band or Duo and constantly impresses audiences with his exceptional skills.

July 5: One Way Traffic
One Way Traffic is a five-piece band with a unique sound that originated from an open-mic bluegrass jam in St. Louis, Missouri. The band draws inspiration from a blend of Americana, Blues, and Jazz, and uses their individual influences to create a delightful and unexpected musical experience.

July 12: Kendrick Smith
Kendrick Smith, a talented saxophonist and composer from East St. Louis, studied under renowned musicians like Hamiet Bluiett and Reggie Thomas. He gained residency at St. Louis's Premier Lounge after honing his skills.

July 19: Raquel and the Wildflowers
Fusing the sounds of country and rock, Raquel & The Wildflowers has quickly grabbed the attention of music lovers across the nation. The band’s energetic live performance has landed them on country festival stages featuring artists such as Dierks Bentley, Kane Brown, Thomas Rhett, Florida Georgia Line, Jason Aldean, Granger Smith. They have opened for multi-platinum artist Andy Grammer, award winning bands, and performed at the Big E Fair, summer concerts, theaters and has completed two national tours.

July 26: Grooveliner
The Grooveliner was formed in February 2015 with the idea of keeping all avenues of creativity open by not labeling themselves as a genre-specific group. Instead, The Grooveliner brings everything to the table with one consistent theme, it must groove!

August 2: The Soulard Blues Band
Formed in 1978, the Soulard Blues Band (SBB) has worked steadily at the Blues for more than forty years. The SBB produced ten CDs, including "Live in Stuttgart" which was recorded when the band was invited to play in St. Louis’ sister city, Stuttgart, Germany for their "one hundred years’ celebration.”

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