Ribs-N-Rock Fest Moves to DeBartolo Commons

BOARDMAN, Ohio – After a two-year hiatus, Ribs-N-Rock will return this weekend and in a new location.

The annual festival, which assembles some of the nation’s top rib cookers and a lineup of national and local rock acts, will take place Thursday through Saturday in the new DeBartolo Commons at the south end of Southern Park Mall. In previous year, the event took place in the mall parking lot near the JCPenney’s entrance.

Corey Ward, who produces the popular event, said he’s glad to be back and pleased with the new location.

DeBartolo Commons opened this year. The site, which abuts Steel Valley Brew Works and The Bunker-Double Bogey’s, includes a spacious festival area, with plenty of parking in the adjacent lots. Ribs-N-Rock will be the first major festival at the site.

Despite the rising costs of doing business, Ward kept admission prices the same and also implemented free admission daily until 3 p.m.

“Spectators can walk in, grab lunch and eat there or take it to go without paying admission,” Ward said.

Rib vendors will include Carolina Rib King, Spartanburg, South Carolina; Off The Bone, Moblie, Alabama; Texas Outlaws, Amarillo, Texas; and Desperado’s Rib and BBQ, Hinckley, Ohio.

After 3 p.m., admission is $7, which includes the concerts.

This year’s musical headliners include a couple of returning favorites, and a new act that Ward had been wanting to book for some time.

The Clarks will take the stage Thursday evening in what is becoming its traditional slot. The Pittsburgh-based rockers with a huge Youngstown falling have made Ribs-N-Rock its Mahoning Valley homecoming show a few times.

Hinder will return to headline Friday evening. The Oklahoma band has played Youngstown several times, including a headlining appearance at the last Ribs-N-Rock, in 2019.

On Saturday, Living Colour will make its Youngstown debut and bring the festival to a close. The New York-based act, led by guitarist Vernon Reid, fuses free jazz and funk into its hard-edged metal attack.

Living Colour first crashed the rock charts in 1988 with the hit “Cult of Personality” from Its debut album, “Vivid.” The band also won the first of its two Grammy Awards that year for Best Hard Rock Performance. “Vivid” spawned a second hit, “Glamour Boys,” and eventually hit the double-platinum sales mark.

The band’s most recent album, 2017’s “Shade,” included the hit “Come On.”

“Living Colour has been on our radar for a while now,” Ward said. “They have never played this market and we felt they would be a good fit.”

Ribs-N-Rock opens at noon each day and closes at 10 p.m. on Thursday and 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Here is the music schedule:


  • 5 p.m.: Relapse
  • 6:30 p.m.: 3 Three Yo
  • 8 p.m.: The Clarks


  • 6 p.m.: No Funk No Justice
  • 7:30 p.m.: Epic
  • 9 p.m.: Hinder


  • 4 p.m.: Super Babes
  • 5 p.m.: 7% Superstar
  • 6:15 p.m.: Huckin’ Fillbillies
  • 7:30 p.m.: Turbo Lovers
  • 9 p.m.: Living Colour

Pictured at top: Living Colour will headline the festival Saturday, with The Clarks and Hinder taking the closing slot the first two days.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.