If Coachella and the Grammys had a baby, it would look like the Indy Music Awards Festival.
Granted, this Thursday's event won't have tuxedos, acceptance speeches, or elaborate rotating stages filled with holograms of dead musicians. But there will be free live performances on four stages by, at last count, 21 Indy Music Award winners, which comes out to one artist for each year of this paper's existence.
If you already know which artists you want to see, you can just map out your evening by consulting the schedule here. If not, you can get up to speed by reading profiles of the first-place IMA winners in last week's cover package, which is online here.
You could also, in theory, sample sets by the half-dozen festival performers who scored the highest number of votes among this year's 15 genre categories. To do that, you'd start with Malakai on the What If Stage at 7:30 p.m., sprint one block up Tejon to see Grant Sabin play the Indy Main Stage at 8, duck inside Cowboys at 8:45 for We Are Not a Glum Lot, stand in the doorway so you can simultaneously hear Grass It Up on the main stage at 9, head back to the What If stage for Jake Loggins at 9:30, and then return to Cowboys for GOYA at 10:15.
Better still, just wander around and stop whenever you hear something you like, which might include hip-hop emcees like Stoney Bertz and Che Bong or Americana artists like Joe Johnson, and Chauncy Crandall. Actually, just show up and you'll figure it out. Music starts at 6:30 and continues until whenever.
Moving further into the week, you'll get two chances to catch prodigal percussionist Dennis Bueno. Now based in Los Angeles, the Latin music artist and his band will play this Saturday at Gold Hill Mesa's Free Concert on the Green. (The weekly series continues through September with performances by Davina & the Vagabonds, Grass It Up, and Atomic Fireballs.) Then, on the following Friday, Sept. 12, he'll perform a second homecoming gig at Soiree on South Tejon.
There are also two special shows coming up at the recently resurrected Kinfolks in Manitou. This Friday, the venue will present Mike Masse, a YouTube phenom — 23 million views and counting — who shows a fondness for acoustic renditions of classic rock songs, when he's not touring internationally with two members of Boston, playing "More Than a Feeling," "Amanda" and a bunch of their other hits.
Then, on the 12th, Kinfolks will play host to a free show from Black Market Research, an indie trio that took home two 2013 Nashville Independent Music Awards for Best Live Rock Performers and Best Pop Rock Band.
And finally, for Blank Tape Records fans with artistic inclinations, Haunted Windchimes co-founder Desirae Garcia and producer Marc Benning will be showing off their visual sides at Ragged Print's reCollection exhibit. Music for this Friday's 6 p.m. opening will be provided by Inaiah Lujan and his Dog Days side project.