Some are calling it the the Lollapalooza of tribute bands.
Happenings magazine is hosting the first Tribute Island music festival at Simmons Island Saturday and Sunday, featuring 36 tribute bands on four different stages.
The festival brings replicas of Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan and more to Kenosha.
One-day passes range from $15 to $59, and two-day passes are $20 to $79. The more expensive prices grant attendees access to the VIP section of the festival.
Tickets can be purchased at tributeisland.com, where discount prices are also available.
The VIP upgrade includes admission, access to the Shaded Oasis, where food will be provided, the ability to avoid lines, a dedicated wash station and bathroom, plus meet-and-greets with Richard Hatch.
In 2000, Hatch won the first season of the reality TV show “Survivor” and said he looks forward to being on Tribute Island and meeting “Survivor” fans who are also tribute band fans.
“They like to touch base and talk about the show,” he said. “It’s always fun to feel the enthusiasm.”
Engaging with his supporters and learning how the show affected them is a bonus, he said.
A music festival like this doesn’t happen very often, Gary Schneeberger, president of ROAR public relations firm, said.
“It’s a unique and exciting concept on the best tribute bands in the Midwest playing the music everyone loves across genres for the last 50 years over two days,” Schneeberger said.
Tribute Island is the same weekend as Country Thunder, a country music festival which has been staged in Twin Lakes for the past 20 years.
Schneeberger isn’t worried about the competition.
“If you put on a good enough show, there’s always room for folks to come out,” he said.
The headliner for one of the stages Saturday night, Infinity, is a tribute to the 1980s band, Journey.
“We’re not about wanting to be watched,” lead singer Bob Biagi said. “I’m out in the crowd finding people to sing with.”
Biagi and his other five band members from the western suburbs of Chicago started performing tribute covers in the late 1980s and then decided to specialize in Journey covers.
He added that they love getting more people out to see them perform.
“It’s always a great time,” he said. “Especially in Kenosha.”
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