Macy Gray / Photo by Fally Afani

One of the announcers said it best: Juneteenth felt less like a festival, and more like a family reunion.

This is perhaps the absolute chillest and most laid-back event we’ve covered in recent memory. The soothing pace and modest crowd still provided a jovial atmosphere when Macy Gray took the stage. Maybe it was the early set times, but the crowd was all in on this one.

Krizz Kaliko / Photo by Fally Afani

Just prior to her set, Krizz Kaliko exploded onto the stage with his signature high-intensity vibes. The master of merriment is no stranger to Lawrence, as he often comes to town with Tech N9ne. On this pleasant afternoon, he made it a family affair by bringing his wife and son onstage to perform with him. There is nothing more fun than a Krizz Kaliko set, and he’s not to be missed. If we had it our way, he’d play every street festival.

VCMN / Photo by Fally Afani

They were joined by VCMN, who have earned the title of Lawrence’s sweethearts at this point. Who doesn’t just absolutely adore VCMN. The duo are not only highly likable onstage, but their music is just so good. It’s fun, even when they dabble in country, which Kaliko would later on do as well (is this a trend? Hip-hop leaning towards country and showing how it’s done??).

Under Rated Society / Photo by Fally Afani

They were joined by a host of other local performers, such as Under Rated Society (don’t sleep on them like we accidentally did, they’re fun as hell) and Bella, who appeared in short bursts, performing one or two songs at a time.

Photos from the Juneteenth festival below:



Fally Afani is an award-winning journalist with a career spanning more than 20 years in media. She has worked extensively in radio, television, newspapers, magazines, and more.

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