Indie Rock invades Southcentral Kentucky again!  And all eyes in the rock world will be on us! The 2012 Starry Nights Music + Arts Festival (video- will be happening at Ballance Farms on U.S. 31-W several miles outside of Bowling Green, Sept. 28 & 29. 

I was able to attend two years ago when it was out on Morgantown Road, northwest of Bowling Green to see indie rock bands Sleeper Agent and Cage The Elephant perform because a friend gave me a press pass from a local political party at the last minute.  Actually, I went to see my son, Tony Smith perform, who is a member of Sleeper Agent.

But I was really impressed too when I saw Cage The Elephant (watch here- perform for the first time. I had a chance to talk with Bryan Graves, founder of the music festival about a week ago and he said tickets sales are going great and they have festival goers from 32 states so far who plan to attend and as far as away as Australia.

This hometown music festival is Cage The Elephant‘s baby and they will curate Starry Nights again this year. CTE band members which include brothers Matt and Brad Shultz, Lincoln Paris, Daniel Tichenor and Jared Champion, are known to give back to the Bowling Green music scene by curating Starry Nights and helping other local bands get their start in the industry.  They are responsible for helping Bowling Green’s Sleeper Agent get their first recording contract and are currently helping other bands with the same process too.

However, 15 local band who are not currently on the line-up, have a chance to be voted on by fans to perform at Starry Nights this year.  Starry Nights officials have held five slots for Bowling Green’s favorite local acts, but the final decision is up to the fans.  Go to the Starry Nights’ website to vote and fans can vote up to five times per band.  Voting will close on Friday, Sept. 7th at 11:59 p.m. CST.  Here’s a list of local bands that you can vote for: Billy Swayze, The Black Shades, Buffalo Rodeo, Canago, DroBot, Fair-Weather Kings, Heavy Chase, The Japanese School Girls,  Mahtulu, Opossum Holler, Patson, Rainbow Kitty Kitty, Schools, The Sex Bombs and Technology vs. Horse.

And here is the line-up of the of international and nationally known bands that are already scheduled to perform during the two day event:  Cage The Elephant (of course!), Sleeper Agent, Portugal The Man, Manchester Orchestra, Mimosa, Justin Townes Earle, The Whigs, Moon Taxi, Jeff The Brotherhood, Margot and The Nuclear So and So’s, Morning Teleportation, Wild Belle, Space Capone, Pujol, The Kingston Springs, Five Knives, Bad Cop and more. 

Tickets are $45 and camping is included. For more information, go to their website at

Galen A. Smith Sr. is a native of Memphis, Tenn. He is a former reporter and book reviewer for The Bowling Green (Ky) Daily News from 1990-1995 and has lived in Bowling Green with his wife, Patty and son, Galen Jr. “Tony,” since 1988. You can read more from Galen’s blog, A Critic From the South, at