Rockford, IL – The Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau announced today it will sunset and celebrate the CRE8IV mural program, after five seasons and the creation of more than 50 murals, by throwing a three-day music and arts festival. CRE8IV’s Music & Arts Fest is scheduled for Friday, May 31 – Sunday, June 2, 2024. The event is free and open to the public. 

CRE8IV Music & Arts Fest will take place in downtown Rockford near the intersection of First Street and E. State Street and will include live music and creative performances on two stages, mural painting, local food trucks, creative interactive activities, mural tours and more. Artists and bands from around the country, as well as local favorites, are set to create new murals and perform on stage.

“In 2019 when we launched CRE8IV, we envisioned Rockford as an art gallery full of large, impressive and impactful works of art – the city was the canvas. At the conclusion of this year’s festival, more than 50 murals will have been created by local and visiting artists. Their work has transformed our community into a vibrant outdoor museum,” said John Groh, RACVB president/CEO. “Through the creation of impactful public art, we have created a more compelling, creative and exciting community for our residents and destination for visitors.”

New Murals: this summer local and visiting artists will create at least five new large-scale, vibrant murals. In addition to large-scale murals, planned projects include the creation of mini pop-up murals in an additional five locations.

The festival will include a variety of fun activities including free take-home art activities available for all ages and abilities. Attendees can also expect a Craft Beer & Distillery Tent, food trucks, street performers (including magicians, balloon artist, face painting, glitter tattoos) and more.

Art vendors will be on-site and downtown stores will offer specials discounts and an “Art of____” series featuring what they do best. This will include pizza making demos, beer tastings, book readings, print screening and more! Visitors and residents can add to the community with chalk art taking place on in alleyways and sidewalks. To cap off Saturday night’s festivities, Rockford’s first drone show will take place with 150 drones performing in synch to music.

State Grant Makes Festival Possible

The festival is produced and presented by RACVB and made possible by a matching grant from the Illinois Office of Tourism. To fully match the grant and hire all artists, RACVB is working to secure match funding through sponsorship of the festival and each mural.

Event Schedule

• Friday, 5 - 10 p.m.

• Saturday, 12 - 10 p.m.

• Sunday, 12 - 5 p.m.

CRE8IV Music 2024 Lineup

Over the three days of CRE8IV Mural & Arts Fest, Rockford will witness a wide array of music genres as national touring bands from across the US mix with our favorite locals bands. Genres include New Orleans style jazz and hip hop, Rock, pop, funk, soul, country and bluegrass music.

Smoking Popes: legendary Chicago rock band Smoking Popes bring their high energy mixture of melodic vocals and driving guitars to Rockford on Friday May 31. They burst on the scene in the mid 90’s with song “Need You Around” featured in major motion picture Clueless.

One More Time: A Tribute to Daft Punk: experience a love letter to the music of renowned French Electronic/Pop music duo Daft Punk and their innovative, iconic, futuristic sound come to life through California based duo One More Time.

Kelly Steward: Rockford favorite Kelly Steward brings her exciting, passionate blend of classic country music, Rock and Pop


• One More Time: A Tribute to Daft Punk

• Smoking Popes

• Kelly Steward

• Grand Groove Hotel

• Hannah Rose & The Sweet Nothings

• Emily Hurd

• Tom Daily Band

• The Vince Chiarelli Band

• Noah Brooks Coalition

• Shamarr Allen

• Derek Luttrell

• Nannette

• Jon Rozman

• Danielle Juhre

• Cash Box Kings

• Clementine

• The Claudettes


• Teien No Taiko

• Rock & Roll Institute

• Them Coulee Boys

• Top Deep

• Lone Canary

• Cielito Lindo Family

Confirmed Mural Locations

1. Jefferson St. Bridge abutment (westside): Sponsored by John D. Brubaker Family Foundation

2. 308 E. State St.: Sponsored by Collins Aerospace

3. 1104 Elm St.: Sponsored by Platform Group Healthy Housing Solutions

4. 3502 E. State St.: Sponsored by United Way

5. E. State & First St. intersection street mural: Sponsored by RACVB Foundation Board of Directors

Additional murals will be added as funding is confirmed.

Mini Mural Locations

1. 401 E. State St., parking lot, three sides of electrical box

2. 111 N. 1st St. – south facing wall on Noah’s Ark

3. 330 E. State - alley behind SRM Prints

4. 324 E. State St - alley behind Juju Rey’s

5. 111 W. State St. – utility shed

The mural designs and artists will be revealed in the coming weeks. The new additions are set to be completed by the end of the festival. Sculptures are also a part of the CRE8IV Initiative. Some sculptures will be leaving the region, and three new sculptures will be installed by June. Artists are selected through an open Call for Artists process and a local committee-led selection process. A curatorial review committee comprised of partner organization representatives, neighborhood representatives and residents will review the proposals and concepts, consider the artists’ experiences with similar projects, and then select the artists for this year’s CRE8IV festival. The selected artists represent a diverse group of local and visiting artists with varied backgrounds and artistic approaches.

To date, 44 museum-quality CRE8IV murals have been created in Rockford, Roscoe, Loves Park, Rockton, and Pecatonica. For a complete list, visit

“I love seeing people take selfies at our CRE8IV murals and then post them on social media. They are a huge attraction and truly help beautify our city,” said City of Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara. “CRE8IV has been a wonderful initiative for our community, and I cannot wait to see our neighbors, residents and out-of-towners alike celebrate art in downtown Rockford this year.”

Partnerships Key to Success

CRE8IV is made possible because of the support, help and funding of the partners who recognize the longterm impact of this community-building, arts-infused collaboration. RACVB would like to thank the John D. Brubaker Family Foundation for being the first sponsor of CRE8IV and a annual supporter. Collins Aerospace has also sponsored CRE8IV for four seasons. For the fifth year, Painters Union District 30, Local 607 has joined together with RACVB to make CRE8IV possible with their efforts to prep and prime all walls prior to artists arriving. The sponsorship from these organizations and support of numerous other sponsors over the years have been key to the success of the program. RACVB also extends its appreciation to all artists, local and visiting, for their creativity and days of hard work to help elevate and beautify our region.

2024 Sponsors & Supporters (to Date) Include

Painters Union District 30, Local 607

John D. Brubaker Family Foundation

Collins Aerospace

RACVB Board members

RACVB Foundation Board members

United Way of Rock River Valley

Platform Group Healthy Housing Solutions

Urban Equity Properties

City of Rockford

Enjoy Illinois

Businesses, organizations, and individuals interested in sponsoring CRE8IV, the festival or a specific mural, are invited to contact Kristen Paul, RACVB Executive Vice President, at 815.489.1661 or

“While part of me is a little sad that this is the last year we will welcome a large group of artists to paint in Rockford, we are honored to have had over 400 artists submit applications from around the county these past five years. Many of our CRE8IV artists apply each year because of the warm community welcome and neighborhood support they receive," said Kristen Paul, RACVB Executive Vice President. “The artists truly enjoy the sense of belonging, overwhelming support and genuine hospitality they receive from residents and business owners. They have said time and time again that Rockford is like no place they’ve worked because everyone they meet is truly amazing. This year we are looking forward to extending that same hospitality to musicians, street performers and artists of all types!”

For more information about CRE8IV including announcements, a public art map and other resources visit or follow @GoRockford on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and X.

About RACVB: RACVB is responsible for promoting the Rockford region as an attractive travel destination and enhancing its public image as a dynamic place to live and work. Through the impact of travel, RACVB strengthens the economic position of the region and provides opportunities for people in our communities.


Kristen Paul, RACVB Executive Vice President: 815.489.1661,