Arts and Culture

The Big Stomp, a music festival focused on mental health and well-being, announced its 2022 lineup Wednesday. 

The event, formerly known as PeteFest, will mark its sixth year, running Oct. 14-15 at Jones Field in southeastern Jefferson County. 

It has highlighted mostly local bands and artists in previous years. But this fall, in addition to the rebrand, it adds national performers to its lineup, including alternative rock group Moon Taxi, electronic dance music duo The Floozies and electronic jam band Lotus

Organizers have also increased the size of the main stage and added a second to accommodate performances by more than 30 musical acts. Other bands and artists performing at The Big Stomp include Anemic Royalty, rock group Mr. Please, the Louisville Folk School and Kiana & the Sun Kings. Kiana Del works for Louisville Public Media, which WFPL is a part of.

The Big Stomp comes courtesy the Pete Foundation, a Louisville-based nonprofit working to destigmatize mental health and advocating for better access to care and crisis intervention. It’s founded by the family of Pete Jones, who died by suicide at 23 after years of struggling with depression. 

Pete’s mother, Molly Jones, is co-founder of the festival. She told WFPL News that after the COVID-19 global pandemic put a spotlight on mental health, it felt like the right time to grow the festival. Research also shows that the pandemic’s impact on mental health will likely be extensive.

“Now that the general public has an increased desire for gaining this knowledge we are completely ready to scale our efforts up to meet the demand for better understanding of mental well and mental illness,” Jones wrote in an email.

According to an April news release, the Pete Foundation worked with Forecastle Festival founder JK McKnight’s Art of Impact firm to help with expansion plans and extend the festival’s reach.

The festival also features activities that focus on themes like mindfulness and self-care practices, including art installation, a “sober tent hangout,” a site for equine therapy, a place to connect with mental health professionals and therapy dogs to help attendees relax.

Jones said, from the start, “a music festival made complete sense” as a means to address mental health. 

“People tend to use music to express their emotions,” she said. “Many turn to music as a refuge when they are suffering… Exploring aspects of mental health and wellness in a relaxing festival environment allows it to create valuable memories and leave a lasting impression.”

Stephanie Wolf is WFPL's Arts & Culture Reporter.