Federal Frenzy Rock Fest to Feature Bully, Dozens of Local Bands

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Federal Frenzy will celebrate its first decade this year by bringing back an act from its inaugural event.

The 2024 edition of the rock festival will feature Bully as its headliner. It will take place April 27, from 2 to 11 p.m. in and around Penguin City Brewing, downtown. Admission is free.

When Bully played the festival in 2015, the band was relatively unknown. The indie-rock act is led by Alicia Bognanno, a Minnesota native now based in Nashville.

The band’s 2023 album, “Lucky for You,” earned critical acclaim and was named to many “best albums of the year” lists.

Federal Frenzy will also feature 26 regional bands, including The Goners and JD Eicher. There will be multiple stages inside and outside so that bands can play simultaneously.

Federal Frenzy is produced every April by Penguin Productions, a student-run event promotion company at Youngstown State University.

Josh Antal, marketing lead for this year’s event, said getting Bully for the fest was one of Penguin Productions’ goals.

“They exemplify everything we look for in a Federal Frenzy headliner,” he said.

The Penguin staff reached out to booking agencies as it searched for a national act for its headliner. “But we had come up with the idea to have Bully play on our own, because they had played for us before,” Antal said.

The Penguin staff sifted through dozens of acts before selecting Bully and the rest of the lineup. 

“It was a grueling process and took a couple of months,” Antal said.

 Many of the bands are composed of YSU students.

“A lot of them are newer and are up-and-coming bands,” Antal said. “One band, The Knockouts, are all high school students. Many of them have said that ours is the first festival they’ve played, and we pride ourselves on being that type of platform.”

Erin Driscoll, executive director of student experience and residence life at YSU, oversees Penguin Productions.

“We are so excited about Bully,” she said. “They played at our first Federal Frenzy, and I love bringing them back for No. 10. I also love that we’ll have a female-fronted headliner for the first time.”

While the festival layout hasn’t been determined yet, it will likely resemble that of last year. There will probably again be four stages, including two inside the brewery, with the main stage on East Federal Street next to the brewery.

Art, food and drink vendors will set up in the brewery parking lot. There will be limited free parking at the site.

Other bands appearing at this year’s Federal Frenzy are Andrew Slater and the Wickies, Angie Haze, Big Pop, Black Wolf and the Thief, Chris Lombardii, Dave Buker, Drake Morris, Easton Union, Franklin, Dead Rose, Hywater, Katy Robinson and the Wanderers, Lauren Brabson, Madame Marlowe, Nick Adduci, Ohayo, Phatz Elliott, Riley Burke Band, The Berrys, The Crxssing, The Knockouts, Wednesday Demonstration, Wine & Spirit and Yacobucci.

Pictured at top: Alicia Bognanno of Bully. (Photo by Bobbi Rich)

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.