Local band's first festival shows off young talent

By Beau Ebenezer

July 8, 2013 Updated Jul 8, 2013 at 9:54 AM CDT

PEKIN, Ill. -- A local band attracted thousands to its first-ever music festival at the Pekin Avanti's Dome.

While the band is hoping the festival grows in popularity over the next few years, one special artist is hoping her music will as well.

Tents were scattered around the outside lot of the Avanti's Dome in Pekin, as act after act, tuned their instruments.

"The people that were here were raging. It was awesome," said Brainchild guitarist and vocalist, Roy Ponce. "The vibe was off the charts man. It was just awesome."

Saturday was day two of the local band, Brainchild's, First Annual Midwest Moon Party.

While around 15 bands showed off their talents, a much younger artist took the stage solo.

Thea Roggenbuck, 13, from Algonquin, Illinois, is no rookie.

"A few years ago, when I was eight, I played on open mic night at the Summer Camp Music Festival," said Roggenbuck. "It is the giant one. These guys all saw me and invited me to play in other festivals. We're all kind of friends, so they just invited me to play."

"She sits in with us and all of the other bands and stuff," said Ponce. "She's one of us. There's no age thing there."

Thea's father, Dave Roggenbuck, first introduced her to a guitar when she was 6 years old.

Since then, she has performed in more than a dozen festivals.

"The biggest thing is that she does it on her terms," said Dave Roggenbuck. "We want her to have a long career. I would rather have her be able to travel when she wants to and tour when she wants to when she is 40 or 50 years old. I want her to do it because she loves it and not because she has to."

Bands, like Brainchild, hope the Midwest Moon Party will grow by adding bigger acts in the coming years.

As for Thea, her dream is to be one of those acts.

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