Lineup set for Ribfest's 'last night' at Naperville's Knoch Park
Bad Company already is set as the headliner for Naperville Ribfest's "Last Night at Knoch" before the long-running festival moves to a new venue, and now organizers have announced who will set the stage for the 1970s rockers.
ZZ Ward, Grand Funk Railroad and The Empty Pockets are scheduled to precede Bad Company in performing Saturday, July 6, for crowds at the final night of this year's festival at Knoch Park, 724 S. West St.
Organizers with the Exchange Club of Naperville are finalizing a deal to move the event, likely to Romeoville, because of planned construction at Knoch Park. So this year's festival is likely to be the last at the central Naperville space where Ribfest has taken place for 31 of its 32 years.
The Empty Pockets, a Chicago-based rock band, is scheduled to kick off the main-stage performances on the final day of the four-day event celebrating the Fourth of July.
Up next is Grand Funk Railroad, a band Ribfest organizers say is best described by David Fricke of "Rolling Stone," who once said, "you cannot talk about rock in the 1970s without talking about Grand Funk Railroad."
Then comes ZZ Ward, a Los Angeles-based songwriter, vocalist and instrumentalist whose albums include 2012's "Til the Casket Drops" and 2017's "The Storm." She's scheduled to open for Bad Company.
"We've literally loaded the lineup for our last night in Knoch with hours of amazing and diverse vocal and instrumental artists," Pete Paulsen, co-chairman of this year's Ribfest, said in a news release. "There is something for everyone on Saturday."
The Exchange Club plans to announce performance times as the event draws closer. Tickets start at $5 at ribfest.net, but prices increase by $10 beginning June 17.
Also set to perform at Ribfest this summer are Billy Idol and Living Colour on Wednesday, July 3; Flo Rida and KC & the Sunshine Band on Thursday, July 4; and country singer-songwriter Brantley Gilbert as well as Randy Houser and Naperville native Joe Hanson on Friday, July 5.