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Fifth annual Middle of the Map Fest rocks Westport

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. --More than 120 bands rocked stages in Westport and Midtown this week for the fifth annual Middle of the Map Fest and cemented Kansas City as an up-and-coming music hub.

The event started in 2011 with just 20-30 bands and has expanded to have bands play at eight different venues during a four-day period, plus a film fest and art, technology and culture forum.

“We have a little bit of everything here,” said Mickayla Mages, festival coordinator. “We’re a great music scene, we have tons of art, we have tons of culture, we are a technology hub and we bring in films that are shown everywhere, and people really seem to respond, and they love it.”

Mages said music genres run the gamut and include national acts, emerging acts and tons of local bands.

“We have folk, we have indie, we have some rap, rock, we have hip hop, we have everything,” she said.

The event is an opportunity to show locals and visitors alike that Kansas City is making a name for itself as a music and destination city.

“It’s all about bringing everyone together and showing off our community and showing how diverse we are,” Mages said.

From the music to the mingling, it’s an experience concert-goers won't soon forget.

“Just meeting the people that love the same things you do,” Bell said. “It’s really nice, especially in Kansas City, everyone’s so nice here, definitely that Midwestern love.”

It’s a growing music festival that’s attracting thousands of people, including Andrea Bell, who came all the way from Chicago to check out the Kansas City music scene.

“I just feel like everyone here has a really good sense of community, and they know a lot of people in the bands, but they also step in on people they don’t know and find new favorites,” Bell said.