The Van Wert County Courthouse

Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023

2023 Feel Good Fridays announced

VW independent staff/submitted information

Van Wert Live has announced the long-anticipated Feel Good Friday featured artists for 2023. Completely underwritten by The Van Wert County Foundation, this power-packed roster features diverse musical talents that span generations of hits as well as some unexpected mash-ups. There are ten free Friday night concerts from June 2 to August 4 in downtown Fountain Park, inside Van Wert’s DORA District.

Food concessions, coordinated by The Van Wert Parks & Rec. to benefit Van Wert’s nonprofit organizations as well as the festivities of Main Street Van Wert’s Fourth Fridays make downtown the perfect summer destination for family fun. The music begins at 7:30 p.m. each Friday night. Fountain Park memories await with Feel Good Friday swag sponsored by Laudick’s Jewelry and plenty of feel-good times with friends in the sunshine.

Crush Bon Jovi will take the Fountain Park stage July 7. Photos submitted

Before the touring artists begin to arrive, the Van Wert Area Community Concert Band directed by Mr. Richard Sherrick will warm up the stage on Friday, May 26 with a kick-off to the sounds of Summer with Van Wert’s own hometown musical heroes.

June 2: Van Wert turns up the volume to summer on Peony Festival Friday with jukebox heroes, Head Games: A Tribute To Foreigner. This Atlanta-based band perfectly recreates the music of one of the best-known musical groups in history. Head Games plays all of the top songs that bring back the 70s, 80s, and 90s hits that blared from hot cars cruising down Main Street Van Wert. This First Friday of June may “Feel Like the First Time” at Fountain Park.

June 9: The Michael Weber Show is an explosive rock group fronted by guitar phenom and Akron-native, Michael Weber. He was the winner of MTV’s “Amazingness” television talent/variety show hosted by Rob Dyrdek and has performed on stage with numerous Grammy winners and Rock Hall inductees, including Counting Crows, Nils Lofgren (E-Street Band), Jim Peterik (Survivor), and regularly with garage rock legends, The Shadows of Knight (“Gloria”). Michael and his band are an explosive musical group that defies genre definition. The band is a powerful unit of rock n’ roll action merging influences from different genres of music, including but not limited to rock-a-billy, jazz, post-punk, folk, Afro-Latin, and the blues. The band leader and namesake is a musical ingenue who is a composer, musician, and producer and so much more. Like an Elvis of a new era, you will be blown away by this eccentric and charismatic performer who may be responsible for the start of a distinct genre of their own.

June 16: Attaboy bursts on the scene with alternative music that is uplifting and lasting with a catchy rock sound. This wildly popular indie-pop band with faith-infused music will have Fountain Park praising the warmth of summer and free live entertainment. Attaboy has performed for more than two thousand audiences across North America and Europe and has the talent to put their music on the top of just about any charts list. Attaboy songs have a mixture of somber and power that is not only memorable but incredibly uplifting.

June 23: Ya Mon! Summer is not complete without Reggae. For more than twenty years now, The Ark Band, previously known as the Saint Lucian reggae band, has been spreading the joy of roots rock reggae all over the United States. Terry and Eustace Bobb, are revered as the Saint Lucian rhythm twins because of their distinctive drum and bass sound. After playing in nearly every state in the country, they have received the accolade of America’s Best Reggae Band. Combining heavenly harmonies with tight, crisp, performances with a honed setlist that combines originals with classic/current hits designed to entertain, educate and enlighten all people. The Ark Band continues to be a force expressing the love, peace, togetherness, and spirituality needed in our world today.

The always Popular Little Mermen will return July 14.

June 30: Adam Calvert is a country music star on the rise who brings the sound of Nashville to Van Wert. Adam is known for his role on MTV’s hit musical reality show, “Taking The Stage” which was nominated for a Teen Choice Award. After winning ‘Single of the Year’ at the Josie Music Awards and sharing the stage with three of the most talked about country artists today; HARDY, Cooper Alan, and Jon Langston; Calvert’s rise took flight. He has performed over 200 concerts across 30 different states this past year and will make his mark in the heart of Van Wert this Summer.

July 7: Bringing the best of the American rock anthems is America’s No. 1 Bon Jovi Experience, the Crush Bon Jovi Tribute band has been wowing audiences with their live stage show and authentic musical renditions of Bon Jovi’s greatest hits for the better part of a decade. At this concert, the audience will witness a 100 percent full-on, no-holds-barred, electrifying musical experience that has to be lived to tell. All the big hits including Living on a Prayer, It’s My Life, You Give Love a Bad Name, Wanted Dead or Alive, and much more will light up the Fountain Park night. This arena-sized production with plenty of moving lights, smoke, and pyrotechnics play a respective tribute to one of the greatest bands in the world. Note: The bigger the hair the better when attending this Feel Good Friday. Van Wert Live collaborates with the Van Wert Chamber on this first Friday of festive fun in downtown Van Wert.

July 14: Back by popular demand – yhe family concert of the Feel Good Friday Series in 2022 makes a triumphant return. Get out the Disney costumes and head to Fountain Park for family fun with the ultimate Disney cover band The Little Mermen. The band’s repertoire covers all 82 years of the Disney canon, including favorites from The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Mary Poppins, and Frozen. The group performs in full costume with band members dressing up as characters from the films. This Friday night will be jam-packed with nostalgic fun and sing-alongs. They are hailed by BuzzFeed and Time Out New York as the premiere Disney cover experience. Come join the fun as the Fountain Park stage opens up the window to a whole new world. In case it needs reminding, Disney music is enjoyable for all ages.

July 21: Just named one of Rolling Stone’s “Bands to Watch”, Willow Hill, has cemented themselves as one of Nashville’s newest and most unique country sensations. Led by the charismatic husband and wife duo of Alexandra Fields and CT Fields, Willow Hill‘s distinct modern twist on the classic country sound (often described as Lady Gaga & Kenny Chesney forming a supergroup) has helped them develop a groundswell fanbase that spans the entire globe. The duo and their full Nashville band, tours up to 200 dates per year both internationally and nationally from the US to the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Germany, South America, Virgin Islands, Ireland, and many more. Infusing quirky fun-loving energy and heartfelt storytelling into their bombastic live show, Willow Hill has performed at Sturgis, Rocklahoma, Warped Tour, Summerfest (World’s Largest Music Festival), and have shared stages with national artists including Miranda Lambert, Pat Benatar, Zac Brown, Aaron Lewis, and Brett Eldredge, amongst many others.

July 28: Sweet Diezel Jenkins will give Feel Good Friday an extra dose of funk. This group mashes up hits of yesterday and today, adding a heavy hand of backyard feel-good party vibe with a dash of gritty juke joint smoky goodness. Think of your favorite place that has that awesome jukebox: Everything from old-school hip-hop and MTV 90’s R&B classics… All mixed & mashed. There is no song genre off-limits for these mash-up marvels. From Classic Rock to Pop hits and beyond, Sweet Diezel Jenkins puts them on vinyl and lets your favorite DJ cut, scratch, and create live mashups that take the party to the next level. This is Sweet Diezel Jenkins.

August 4: Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band delivers a Blues party while playing substantive music that honors its roots. Their performance is gritty, authentic music with, as the good Reverend declared, “human hands playing real instruments.” This band is American roots music at its finest, steeped in traditions brought forward with a modern sensibility, performed with skill and passion. It has been referred to as the tent revival, with punk energy that is a refreshing splash of cold water to the face. The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band is like a twenty-year-old bourbon in a room of vodka Red Bulls and PBRs; vintage yet timeless, exciting and still welcoming. With his wife, Breezy, serving as a one-woman amen corner, and Max laying down the floppy-boot-stomp drums behind Peyton’s National steel slide guitar, the result is a peculiarly infectious blues crusade. This band is certain to put an exclamation mark finish to the Feel Good Fridays of Summer.

The Van Wert Area Performing Arts Foundation presenting VWLive events is powered by the Van Wert County Foundation. Annual sponsors making live entertainment happen in Van Wert are Central Insurance, First Federal Bank of Van Wert, and Statewide Ford-Lincoln. The box office is located within the Niswonger Performing Arts Center, 10700 Ohio S., Van Wert.

More information on Feel Good Fridays ’23 and the artists can be found at

POSTED: 03/16/23 at 3:40 am. FILED UNDER: News