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CONCERT NEWS | Melissa Etheridge to Join Stray Cats Opening Night of Ribfest 2018

Ribfest 2018, Melissa Ethridge, Naperville


The Exchange Club of Naperville, host to Naperville’s Ribfest, is proud to announce that Melissa Etheridge will perform on the Navistar Main Stage at Ribfest on July 4th. According to Joel Carlsen, 2018 Ribfest Chair, “The 2018 Entertainment Committee’s music selections have surpassed every expectation we established for 2018 headliners. Knoch Park will be rocking and rolling like never before.”

Ribfest 2018 opens Wednesday July 4th with Melissa Etheridge, the Stray Cats AND fireworks sponsored by Meijer®. The event, which continues though the 7th also boasts a July 5th act to be announced shortly, and country stars Jake Owen, Chris Janson and Jordan Davis on July 6th. Powerhouse rocker Steven Tyler and the Loving Mary Band close out the annual music festival on Saturday, July 7th.


Melissa Etheridge stormed onto the American rock scene in 1988 with the release of her critically acclaimed self-titled debut album, which led to an appearance on the 1989 Grammy Awards show. For several years, her popularity grew around such memorable originals as "Bring Me Some Water," "No Souvenirs" and "Ain't It Heavy," for which she won a Grammy® in 1992. Etheridge hit her commercial and artistic stride with her fourth album, Yes I Am (1993). The collection featured the massive hits, "I'm the Only One" and "Come to My Window," a searing song of longing that brought Etheridge her second Grammy® Award for Best Female Rock Performance. In 1995, Etheridge issued her highest charting album, Your Little Secret, which was distinguished by the hit single, "I Want to Come Over." Her astounding success that year led to Etheridge receiving the Songwriter of the Year honor at the ASCAP Pop Awards in 1996.

Known for her confessional lyrics and raspy, smoky vocals, Etheridge has remained one of America’s favorite female singer-songwriters for more than two decades. In February 2007, Melissa Etheridge celebrated a career milestone with a victory in the “Best Song” category at the Academy® Awards for “I Need to Wake Up,” written for the Al Gore documentary on global warming, An Inconvenient Truth. As a performer and songwriter, Etheridge has shown herself to be an artist who has never allowed “inconvenient truths” to keep her down. Earlier in her recording career, Etheridge acknowledged her sexual orientation when it was considered less than prudent to do so. In October 2004, Etheridge was diagnosed with breast cancer, a health battle that, with her typical tenacity, she won. Despite losing her hair from chemotherapy, Etheridge appeared on the 2005 Grammy® telecast to sing “Piece of My Heart” in tribute to Janis Joplin. By doing so she gave hope to many women afflicted with the disease.

On October 7, 2016 Melissa Etheridge released Memphis Rock & Soul, her first album since 2014’s critically lauded This Is M.E. Recorded at Royal Studios in Memphis, the album has received stellar reviews from the likes of Entertainment Weekly, Parade, Rolling Stone, American Songwriter and more. Guitar World raved “the album is a triumphant application of Etheridge’s signature rasp and substantial guitar chops to this classic genre,” while Edge Media Network declared Melissa “is a singer who can fire it up like Janis Joplin, touch the heart like Elvis Presley and steam up the windows like her musical hero, Otis Redding.”

Tickets for Melissa Etheridge and Stray Cats are on sale now via Tickets for Jake Owen / Chris Janson / Jordan Davis, and Steven Tyler and the Loving Mary Band, are available also through

There are a variety of ticket choices for Ribfest 2018. For the concert lover, options include all Park General Access (which includes the Navistar Main Stage concerts and South Park), Standing Room Only, Skybox, VIP and various combination ticket packs......


The South Park ticket option does not include access to the Navistar Main Stage music venue. South Park will feature local talent on the South Stage, and host the carnival, family area, and rib vendors, and offers a daily admission fee of $5 for ages 12 and older. Children 11 and under are free South Park General Admission every day. On July 4th, South Park admission is free after 5 pm. Veterans are admitted to the South Park for free all day on July 4th.

Current Ribfest 2018 Grand Sponsors are ABC7, Navistar, Meijer, Jewel-Osco, Naperville Bank & Trust, a Wintrust Community Bank,

Great Lakes Coca – Cola, Sunbelt Rentals, Medical Risk Services, Inc.,

InnoDATAve Solutions, Nathan’s Famous Beef Franks, Coldwell Banker The Real Estate Group and Guaranteed Rate, D & J Amusements, Miller Lite, and Euclid Beverage.

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Mission-driven and volunteer run, the Exchange of Naperville’s Ribfest is a premier midwestern 4th of July concert series and celebration. In cooperation with its partners, the City of Naperville and the Naperville Park District, Ribfest, in its 31th year, now draws more than 200,000 visitors annually. Net proceeds from Ribfest directly support 50+ agencies that work tirelessly to eliminate child abuse and domestic violence in all forms. To date, Exchange has donated over $16 million.

Agencies the Exchange Club supports include those who address daily challenges in the community: hunger, families in crisis, homelessness, sexual assault, advocacy, housing, addiction, respite care for families of special need children, adult daycare, teen pregnancy support, to name just a few. The Edward Care Center, Loaves and Fishes, Families Helping Families, Little Friends, Inc., and Project HELP, a nonprofit organization established by the Club in 1992 that supports whole family and parenting health, are among those receiving allocations from Ribfest 2017 proceeds.

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