6/20: Big Cool Cats Music Festival

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Three local entrepreneurs have joined forces to present the first annual Big Cool Cats Music Festival, happening today from noon-11 p.m. at Cain Park (14591 Superior Rd., 216.371.3000). The event is the brainchild of Steve Presser (owner of the Big Fun toy store) and Denis Devito (founder of roots-rockers Cats of Holiday, video below), who then put in a call to Tom Mulready of coolcleveland.com, an experienced festival promoter who was involved in founding the Cleveland Performance Art Festival and the Ingenuity Festival. Each lent the festival part of its name: Big (Fun), Cool (Cleveland), Cats (on Holiday). The trio flirted with the idea of booking some national acts but decided to focus on an eclectic roster of old and new local acts the first year — probably a wise choice given the number of events that sink from an excess of unrealistic ambition. It’s an eclectic lineup of mostly Americana and world-music-oriented acts. Popular ’70s-’80s reggae band I-Tal will reunite for one more go-around to headline the show. Electronic Afrobeat ensemble Mifuné, folk-rockers the Magpies, zydeco-Cajun-blues ensemble Mo’ Mojo, Cats on Holiday (who will be joined by Mifuné’s horn section) and progressive pop-rock quartet 70 Lewis round out the bill. There will also be an acoustic side stage programmed by the nonprofit education group Roots of American Music. Tickets: $40. — Anastasia Pantsios

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