Twenty is an awkward age.
You’re not a teenager. You’re barely an adult. You’re old enough to vote and enlist, but not old enough to buy alcohol. You can’t even go into bars in Indiana—unless you’re there, with your parents, expressly to eat.
All of which means that sometimes you just don’t know where you belong. Adults think you’re a kid. Kids think you’re an adult. You might as well just stay home.
Well, this year, Tonic Ball turns 20. And for the second year in a row, the show’s going to be virtual. And while that’s certainly kind of a bummer, the last thing we want to do is pack five rooms on the cusp of winter with the coronavirus still putting thousands of Hoosiers in the hospital.
So instead of behaving like children, let’s take the high road. Here are 19 good things about Tonic Ball 20:
- No standing in line. I truly believe that the lines at Tonic Ball venues are a feature, not a defect. The anticipation of getting into the room to see the set you’ve been waiting for makes the whole thing just a bit more special. But that’s easy to say for someone with an all-access pass. If you don’t love standing in line in the late November weather, virtual Tonic is a good thing.
- Food! Someday, someone will figure out a perfect way to feed Tonic Ball attendees—not just before the show, for which they can rely on a host of great Fountain Square-area restaurants, but throughout the evening. Until that time, it’s great that you can sit on your sofa and enjoy the show with whatever dinner/snacks you prefer.
- No FOMO. The worst thing about Tonic Ball is that, while you’re watching something amazing on one stage, you’re missing amazing stuff on four other stages. Virtual Tonic Ball is a one-stage show featuring songs that all went to Number One in the U.S.A. You don’t have to miss a thing.
- The production quality. There’s a reason nearly everyone who watched last year’s virtual said, “Wow! You should have a virtual option every year!” The production is that good. Thank you, Matt Mays and crew too numerous to name but appreciated bigly.
- The Leisure Kings in your living room. They’re hosting. They’re performing. It’s like a dream come true.
- It’s free. Go here and register for a link to the event. And if you can afford it, please make a donation to Second Helpings. All our musicians, all our volunteers, are donating thousands of hours of their time to put on this show. It’s a lot of work. The cause is the reason we do it.
7 – 19. The Lineup. Are you kidding? Here’s who’s playing the show this year:
- Vess Ruhtenberg
- Kit Malone
- Bashiri Asad
- 60% Uncommon (a majority of The Common)
- J. Elliot
- Caleb McCoach
- Andy D
- Mr. Kinetik
- Sarah Grain
- Public Universal Friend
- Matt Boyer
- Bomb Dylan feat. the Eastern Star Choir
We reiterate: Tonic Ball supports the ongoing work of Second Helpings to eliminate food waste, train people for meaningful culinary careers, and feed thousands of your hungriest neighbors every day. In fact, Tonic Ball has become so big that it’s Second Helpings’ second-biggest source of income, which is nothing we ever imagined even in our most adolescent fantasies.
And the cause needs you more than ever. Which is why you should buy your ticket to the virtual show right here.
It’s good to be 20. Amazing, really. Tonic Ball has grown up. We’ve made it through those awkward teenage years.
And we really hope you’ll see the show this year. But we really want to see you, too. And come this time next year, when Tonic turns 21, trust us: It’s gonna be a party.