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Walk, Portugal headline WonderStruck

Assorted ramblings from the world of entertainment:

• Walk the Moon and Portugal. The Man will headline the first Wonderstruck music festival … or the fifth LaureLive, depending on how one looks at it.

WonderStruck is the new name for the festival started on the grounds of the Laurel School. It now will take place at Lakeland Community College in Kirtland on June 6 and 7.

The lineup was announced Wednesday by The Elevation Group, which founded the event and also stages WonderBus in Columbus.

Joining Walk the Moon on June 6 will be Third Eye Blind, Quinn XCII, Saint Motel, Surfaces, Matt Maeson, Atlas Genius, KIITA, Mo Lowda & the Humble, Julia Thompson, Bonelang and The Empty Pockets.

Playing with Portugal. The Man on June 7 will be Of Monsters and Men, Brittany Howard, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Shaed, MXMTOON, The Regrettes, Charlie Burge, Cousin Simple, The Vindys, The Floorwalkers and Flavia.

It’s an impressive lineup. Walk the Moon is a great live act, and there are several artists that get extensive airplay on adult album alternative radio. Sunday’s schedule is particularly strong, and it’s great to see that Youngstown’s The Vindys will be making a return appearance.

Weekend passes currently are $110 for adults and $30 for children ages 3 to 10. Prices will increase March 2 and April 20 before reaching $140 adults and $55 children for those who wait until the week of the festival to buy tickets.

Single day tickets currently are $70 adults, $42.50 students ages 11 to 21 and $20 children. Those prices increase to $99 adult, $60 student and $45 children by the week of the event. VIP packages also are available.

Unlike at the Laurel School, on-site parking will be available at Lakeland Community College. Reserved lot parking passes are available for $15 per day.

For tickets or more information, go to wonderstruckfest.com.

• Warren musician Damian Knapp is heading back to Memphis next week to compete in the 2020 International Blues Challenge.

Knapp qualified for the main event in the solo / duo challenge by winning a Columbus event sponsored by the Columbus Blues Alliance in October.

Knapp, 45, said he’s a better and smarter musician than he was when he competed in the event in 2006 and ’07.

“I don’t think I was ready back then,” he said. “I’m more mature with my original songs and with my playing and singing. With all the recording I’ve done (in recent years), that’s what made me want to go back.

“I’m going to take advantage of all the networking opportunities — no partying, no staying out late. I wasn’t ready in 2006 and ’07, not musically or professionally … Everyone’s good down there. It’s like all-star week. It’s the Super Bowl of blues challenges.

He will play 25-minute sets on Wednesday and Jan. 30 in Memphis. If he’s selected for the semi-finals, he’ll perform a 30-minute set Jan. 31. Those who make it to the finals will play a 20-minute show at the Orpheum Theatre Feb. 1.

“I’m doing all-original music, including some new material,” Knapp said. “I’ve been writing a lot of songs again. It’s like a huge weight lifted off of me.”

He’s been honing his 25-minute set, trying to play it every night either at his regular gigs or at various open mic nights around town.

He’ll be staying with drummer George Lawrence, who played in Knapp’s band a decade ago and now is a working musician in Memphis, but there still are traveling and other expenses involved in participating in the IBC.

Knapp will play shows from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday at Modern Methods Brewing Company in downtown Warren and Saturday at The Manor in Austintown. He’ll be selling copies of his CDs, raffling off music memorabilia and taking donations to represent Columbus and the Mahoning Valley at the event.

Andy Gray is the entertainment editor for Ticket. Write to him at agray@ tribtoday.com

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