Vexfest revived but with changes

Vexfest will return this summer after skipping a year — but with changes in size and possibly location.

The not-quite-annual rock-music festival in downtown Youngstown will be Aug. 11.

But unlike past Vexfests, which had around 50 bands, this year’s event probably will have about 15, according to Youngstown Local Music, the group that’s organizing the event.

No bands have been selected yet, and the lineup won’t be solidified until mid-July.

It’s also possible that Vexfest will move across Central Square to East Federal Street, which has been the site of a number of festivals lately, including Simply Slavic, the Hispanic festival and Pride Youngstown.

In past years, it was on West Federal between Wick Avenue and Phelps Street, but that block has become busier in recent years because of new businesses.

Vexfest has always had two outdoor stages plus two indoor stages inside bars for smaller acts. But this year’s event will have only the two outdoor stages.

As in the past, Vexfest will be free, open to all ages and feature a variety of food and merchandise vendors. Past fests drew more than 8,000 people.

Acts interested in performing can submit an electronic press kit to


The AfterSchool Players, a theater group for younger kids that opened in September, will present its biggest effort in its short history.

AfterSchool’s summer camp, a group of 17 kids age 6 to 14, will stage Disney’s “A Little Mermaid Jr.” at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at its facility, the 75-seat Garage Theater, 7206 Market St., Boardman (behind Odyssey Center, which is across from Cocca’s Pizza). Tickets are $15 at the door ($10 for students and seniors and $5 for 8 and under).

Director Jennifer Kuczek, who is also the librarian at St. Charles School in Boardman, said the cast members have been rehearsing between 21/2 and 5 hours a day for the past few weeks.

The children also were involved in all of the technical aspects, including sets, sound and lighting.

The young cast includes Johnny George, Brady Bizon, Paige Brockway, Lauren Steinoff, Hudson Hartley, Ella George, Annabelle Himes, Allie Sayhoun, Sumara Myers, Aubriana Ezzo, Grace Scheck, Chloe Housteau, Ethan Clark, Megan Brockway, Carina Caruso, Cecilia George and Makenna Darby.

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