What's it All About?

Indiana Rock History

The
Project

The Indiana Rock History Project is a central platform that is specifically dedicated to collecting and preserving a comprehensive history of rock’s journey in Indiana and Indianapolis. The legal entity, Indiana Rock History Ltd, is a  501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. The platform currently includes the website, indianarockhistory.com, the Facebook Group, “Indiana Rock History”.  

There is a vast amount of scattered information, facts, and data that will be consolidated in one place where it can be easily accessed and referenced.  There are also untold stories to be shared.

We hope it will become an important resource for the Indiana and Indianapolis history of rock, created now to capture the first-hand stories, photos, videos, and audio that would otherwise remain scattered or lost forever, an electronic account of the golden and developing years of rock in Indiana.

Murat Theater & Egyptian Room

est. 1912 – renovated 1995

The Indiana Album: Joan Hostetler Collection

The Rivoli Theater

est. 1927

Indiana Fairgrounds Coliseum

est. 1939

From the founder

Steve
Sybesma

I was born in Indiana and grew up in Indianapolis. I got my start as an independent concert promoter in 1972 by booking a variety of local and national rock bands in a few different venues throughout the state. I was the first to use and cultivate Melody Skateland and The Rivoli Theater as legitimate rock concert venues.
 
Prior to my start, Dave Lucas and Joe Halderman founded Indianapolis based Sunshine Promotions in 1971. I joined Sunshine as a partner in 1974.
 
The three of us we grew Sunshine into one of the biggest concert companies in America, eventually producing more than 10,000 concerts and events in Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Virginia, Georgia, Mississippi, Nevada, and Puerto Rico. More than 3,000 of those events were in Indiana.
 
Joe Halderman led Sunshine’s efforts in artist management in a partnership with Terry Barnes, forming Center Stage Management to manage artists including the Faith Band and Roadmaster. Joe and Terry also founded Broadripple based Village Records.  Joe left Sunshine for other interests in 1980.
 
Later, Dave and I founded Deer Creek Music Center in 1989 and renovated the Murat Centre in 1996.  We also renovated the Louisville Palace Theater in 1994 with Louisville businessman John Siegel, and founded Polaris Amphitheater (Columbus, OH, 1995) with legendary Cleveland promoter Belkin Productions and Columbus based Promo West Productions.
 
All of the Sunshine companies were sold to SFX Entertainment in 1997. This was part of the rollup by Robert FX Sillerman, who purchased almost every major independent concert promoter in the US, a move that changed the live music business forever.  SFX was sold to Clear Channel in 2000, which became Live Nation in 2005. 
 
After Dave and I sold Sunshine to SFX in 1997, Dave later became Co-CEO/President – North America, Clear Channel Entertainment until 2005. During his tenure, among his many achievements, he also opened The Lawn at White River State Park in 2004. 
 
I stayed on as COO of SFX / Sunshine Promotions until my resignation in late 2000. After a 2-year sabbatical, I moved to Shanghai in 2003 to promote Western artists in China.
 
I co-founded China West Entertainment with Adam Wilkes and Robb Spitzer, two young New Yorkers living in Shanghai who were already doing some small events there. We produced a variety of great shows together, but went our separate ways after a few years. I merged China West with Shanghai based A2Live in 2009. During my 11 years in China, I produced several hundred concerts, festivals, and other amazing projects.
 
I moved back to the US in 2014 and co-founded The Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival (Florida) with Paul Peck. Since then, Paul and I have worked on other live music projects together.
 
Though uncertain of how this project would evolve, my work on ”Indiana Rock History” began more than a decade ago.  Indiana will always be my ”home” and I have a deep emotional connection to its live music history. Now, with the help and support of my friends, I have initiated this project to collect and memorialize a vital part of Indiana’s rock history.

The Indiana Album: Evan Finch Collection

Market Square Arena

est. 1975

Deer Creek Music Center

est. 1989

Conseco Fieldhouse

est. 1999

With appreciation

Board
Members

Andy Wilson

An award-winning marketing and public relations executive with over 20 years of combined multi-level entertainment industry experience. He helps tailor projects to fit client’s needs and complement their efforts to move people into action.  Andy has the global connections, resources and reach to help destinations, attractions, venues, festivals, artists, promoters, automotive events, sports teams and national touring theatrical shows and concerts achieve and surpass their goals. Sample event work includes a wide range of some of the biggest names in entertainment such as Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift, Anderson Cooper & Andy Cohen, Kenny Chesney and The Rolling Stones to lifestyle clients such as Cirque du Soleil, HOT ROD, Broadway Across America, the Indy 500 and Motor Trend among others. Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/andywilsonindy/

Additional members of the working team will be announced in the coming months

Our VIP's

Founding
Members

Founding Members are listed and recognized for their participation and support 

Welcome and Thank You

Lisa Sauce, Blonde Entertainment

We Want you to Participate

be a part of the history

make it fun

How
You Can Help

This platform, including the website, facebook page, Instagram, and twitter, offer a number of ways to participate. Whether you’re rock star or rock fan, you can help. You can view, read, learn, and reminisce, and you can also share and contribute.  You can submit overlooked events and concerts, share photos, videos, or tell your stories.  The more information we receive, the more interesting and fun this platform will become.

5 ways you can Participate

choose one or more – your participation is very much appreciated

01

Casual

Just enjoy, have some fun, and share this with family and friends.

Subscribe for Updates

02

Engaged

Submit program suggestions, missing concerts and events, or share your own personal stories

03

Content Contributor

Submit historical photos, images, or videos to the project for catalogue and display

04

Membership

Join us and become an important member and supporter.

$3 monthly or $29 Annual

05

Founding Member

Become a Founding Member.  Your participation will go a long way in the establishment of this important historical platform.

Your monetary contribution provides the means required
to Improve, sustain, and maintain this program.
We thank you for your support.

important things you should know

Questions And Answers

Yes, you can send your comments, share stories, and submit photos and videos for the website and archives. It is not necessary to join or contribute, but it would be very helpful and very much appreciated.

No.  The listing may never include every concert, but hopefully will eventually include a majority of major events from the mid 1950s through the early 2000s as the history is continuously updated.

Yes, please submit any unlisted concert with as much information as possible on the Connect Page > Your Comments.

Every day is a new day in history.  We hope to grow this Indiana historical program in the future, but at this time we are focused on what we are calling the “golden and developing years of rock” in Indiana, from the late 1950s to the early 2000s.

You can blog about any concert.  There is a blog for every concert in the “More Info” section of each listed concert.  We hope you’ll provide revenant and interesting comments in the concert blog.  You can submit general comments on the Connect Page > Your Comments.

All comments and blogs are vetted and may be blocked or censored for a variety of reasons. In any case, please keep it clean.

We encourage you to contribute photos and videos for use on the site and for the historical archives.  They may be posted on the Images Page or on the “More Info” section of the corresponding listed concert.  Please submit on the Connect Page > Share Your Photos & Videos.

If you have an interest to get involved as a volunteer on the team, please submit your request on the Connect Page > Comment Form.  Thank you.

Indiana Music Friends & Partners

Special recognition to the

INDIANA ENTERTAINMENT

FOUNDATION

“a friend” organization working

to achieve similar goals in

the preservation of Indiana’s

music history