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Hinder, who played the Ribs-N-Rock Festival in 2019, returns to headline Friday’s musical lineup.

The Ribs-N-Rock Festival is making a small move for its return this weekend.

The food and music festival, previously held in the parking lot of the Southern Park Mall, will move to the mall’s DeBartolo Commons, a four-acre outdoor green space that opened last fall.

“Moving to the Commons and being the first major event there is huge for us,” said festival promoter Corey Ward. “The added benefit for us is that they have running water and electricity. We are not dependent on generators. It gives us a nice area where you can make a nice festival.”

While they will still be supplemented with portable toilets, the commons also has bathrooms, he said.

For the “rib” component of the festival, Ward brings in four pit masters: Carolina Rib King of Spartanburg, S.C.; Off the Bone BBQ from Mobile, Ala.; Texas Outlaws from Amarillo, Texas; and Desperados BBQ & rib co. from Hinckley.

“By doing this event, I have relationships with the rib sellers,” Ward said. “I made four calls and got the four I wanted.”

In addition to slow-cooked smoked meats, there will also be other food vendors offering side dishes, sweets, and other treats.

For the “rock” portion of the event, tonight kicks off with The Clarks of Pittsburgh, who have been performing on opening night since Ward started the event.

“A lot of promoters shy away from Thursday, but people go out on Thursday nights,” Ward said. “Why not get the best regional act you can get and put them in the spotlight on a good night? Our history shows that people will come out.”

The Clarks — Scott Blasey, vocals and acoustic guitar; Rob James, electric guitar and vocals; Greg Joseph, bass and vocals; and David Minarik, drums and vocals — have been together for over 35 years. The music has been released by major labels (MCA Records), independent labels (Razor & Tie) and self-distributed. The band appeared on “Late Show with David Letterman” and has filled many of Pittsburgh’s largest venues.

The band has released three singles in 2022 – “Sugarcane”, “Stay” and “Crush” – with plans for an EP later this year.

Friday’s headliner is Hinder, who played the event in 2019.

“Hinder did more than 12,000 (people),” Ward said. “It was phenomenal. One of the reasons we returned them was because of the rain. It rained in the middle of their set, and it felt like the right move to bring them back.”

Hinder sold over 3 million copies of its major label debut, “Extreme Behavior”, released in 2005. The single “Lips of an Angel” was a hit in multiple formats, a top 10 single on the Hot 100, alternative , adult contemporary and mainstream rock charts.

“Get Stoned”, “How Long”, “Better Than Me” and “Homecoming Queen” were also mainstream rock hits from that debut release, and that format continued to embrace the band’s music throughout the decade.

The former Rock 104 FM in Sharon, Pennsylvania was one of those stations, and Ward has booked acts like Hinder and former Creed vocalist Scott Stapp to appeal to the target audience that station attracted.

“I thought the older rock acts had had their day,” Ward said. “Dominic Baragona, when he did the one (Mahoning Valley Rib Burn-Off) in Niles, was always doing classic rock. I thought newer rock would hold up just as well, if not better, and attract a whole new audience, and it worked out well.”

The festival will conclude on Saturday with Living Colour, making its first appearance in the Youngstown area.

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