500 Festival Announces Headline Entertainment for 2018 IPL 500 Festival Parade and KeyBank 500 Festival Snakepit Ball

500 Festival Announces Headline Entertainment for 2018 IPL 500 Festival Parade and KeyBank 500 Festival Snakepit Ball

Grammy Award-Winning Violinist and Producer Miri Ben-Ari and Entertainment Technology Dance Group iLuminate to Perform at the IPL 500 Festival Parade and KeyBank 500 Festival Snakepit Ball

INDIANAPOLIS (April 4, 2018) – The 500 Festival, a nonprofit organization providing life-enriching events and programs that celebrate the spirit and legacy of the Indianapolis 500®, today announces that Grammy Award-winning violinist and producer, Miri Ben-Ari, and entertainment technology dance group, iLuminate, will perform live at the 2018 IPL 500 Festival Parade and KeyBank 500 Festival Snakepit Ball. Both events are scheduled for Saturday, May 26.

The opening production of the IPL 500 Festival Parade will include an electrifying, high-energy performance from Miri Ben-Ari and iLuminate will lead group of dancers, led by the Indianapolis Colts cheerleaders. The IPL 500 Festival Parade’s opening production will be performed in the VIP Zone, located on Pennsylvania Street, between Michigan Street and Vermont Street in downtown Indianapolis. Later that day, both groups will take to the stage, headlining the KeyBank 500 Festival Snakepit Ball.

“We’re really excited about the unique entertainment lineup for this year’s IPL 500 Festival Parade and KeyBank 500 Festival Snakepit Ball,” said Bob Bryant, president and CEO of the 500 Festival. “Both Miri Ben-Ari and iLuminate are the perfect artists to highlight the theme for this year’s Parade; Illuminate. Innovate. Indianapolis. Their signature musical styles and high-energy choreography will bring the IPL 500 Festival Parade to life, and make for an exciting evening at the KeyBank 500 Festival Snakepit Ball. We can’t wait to see them perform together and create something special.”

Miri Ben-Ari is a Grammy Award-Winning violinist, producer, and humanitarian, a “UN Goodwill Ambassador of Music” to the United Nations, a featured blogger, and CEO of the not-for-profit organization, Gedenk. Originally from Israel, she has created her own unique music; a revolutionary fusion of classical, Hip-Hop, soul and dance.

A classically trained violinist who once studied under the late classical master Isaac Stern, Ben-Ari has helped sell millions of records by collaborating with other Grammy award-winning artists such as Kanye West, Jay Z, Wyclef Jean, Alicia Keys, Wynton Marsalis, Britney Spears, Maroon 5, Akon, Patti Labelle, Brandy, Donna Summer, Janet Jackson, John Legend, Aventura, and Armin Van Buuren. Her album “The Hip Hop Violinist” on Universal Records features many of these collaborations.

Ben-Ari has been the face of many promotional campaigns, including Reebok, Vodafone, Pepsi, Coca-Cola and Harman Kardon.

Among Ben-Ari’s accolades are the “Grammy Award” for “Best Rap Song”, an “Apollo Legend” by the Apollo theater in New York City, “International Jewish Woman To Watch”, the “Martin Luther King Award” from Israeli President, Shimon Peres, “Remarkable Woman” by First Lady, Michelle Obama, “Girl Up Advocate Award” from the United Nations Foundation, and the “Ellis Island Medal of Honor” by Neco.

iLuminate is an entertainment technology dance group that combines state-of-the-art technology with electrifying entertainers who perform in the dark to create the ultimate performing arts experience. Founded by dancer and software engineer Miral Kotb, the group’s lighting effects and choreographed performances take viewers on an exhilarating ride. Once called “the best new act in America” during their run on America’s Got Talent in 2011, they’ve also performed alongside Grammy-winning superstars like Christina Aguilera, The Black Eyed Peas, David Guetta, and more. In 2012, iLuminate debuted, Artist of Light – their first theatrical production off-Broadway, in the heart of New York City and it continues to tour throughout the country today. On top of America’s Got Talent, they’ve been featured on Dancing with the Stars, X Factor, American Music Awards, MTV, BET, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and more.

“This year’s KeyBank 500 Festival Snakepit Ball is sure to be inspiring,” said Aaron Reitz, president of KeyBank, Central Indiana, and chairman of the KeyBank 500 Festival Snakepit Ball committee. “These performances now accompany some exciting themes and amazing storylines for this year’s red carpet event. Both KeyBank and the 500 Festival are excited to see this year’s guests embrace the theme of Fast & Fabulous, The Future of Speed.”

“The IPL 500 Festival Parade is a race weekend tradition that’s sure to illuminate the city in an unforgettable way on May 26,” said Craig Jackson, president and CEO, Indianapolis Power & Light Company. “It’s Indy’s grandest welcome party to the most notable weekend in Indiana, and we’re thrilled to see this year’s talented artists bring to life what the celebration is all about.”

 

About the IPL 500 Festival Parade

One of the original 500 Festival events, the IPL 500 Festival Parade is one of the nation’s largest, most respected parades, consistently earning national acclaim alongside the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Each year, more than 300,000 people line the streets of downtown Indianapolis to experience the larger-than-life floats, giant helium balloons, celebrities, bands and all 33 drivers competing in the Indy 500.

Every May, the world turns its focus on Indianapolis. The theme for the 2018 IPL 500 Festival Parade, Illuminate. Innovate. Indianapolis, will showcase a city beaming with civic pride and at the forefront of a cutting edge world. 2018 is about illuminating the history, tradition, and sacrifices of our heroes on Memorial Day Weekend, while looking forward and saluting Indy’s commitment to innovation.

The 2018 IPL 500 Festival Parade will take place on Saturday, May 26. Parade festivities will start at 11:45 am ET in downtown Indianapolis. IPL 500 Festival Parade tickets start at $10 and can be purchased at 500festival.com/tickets, by calling (317) 614-6400, or at the 500 Festival Ticket Office, located at 21 Virginia Ave. in Downtown Indianapolis. The 62nd IPL 500 Festival Parade will be nationally televised on NBC Sports Network and broadcast to the Indianapolis market on WTHR, Channel 13.

For more information about the IPL 500 Festival Parade, please visit 500festival.com/parade or search #IPL500Parade on social media.

 

About the KeyBank 500 Festival Snakepit Ball

The Keybank 500 Festival Snakepit Ball is the hottest ticket in town on Indy 500 race weekend. With an eclectic mix of celebrities, civic and business leaders and VIPs walking the televised red carpet, the Snakepit Ball experience is unmatched. The entertainment of Miri Ben-Ari and iLuminate will complement the theme for this year’s KeyBank 500 Festival Snakepit Ball, Fast & Fabulous, The Future of Speed.

The future of speed will be incorporated into all facets of the event – from sleek, futuristic décor to gourmet food stations to truly unique signature cocktails presented in innovative ways. With high energy and entertainment that will dazzle attendees, the 2018 KeyBank 500 Festival Snakepit Ball is sure to be an unforgettable evening.

Tickets for the 2018 KeyBank 500 Festival Snakepit Ball are $325 and proceeds benefit the 500 Festival’s free programs and events. To learn more visit 500Festival.com/SnakepitBall or search #SnakepitBall on social media.

The KeyBank 500 Festival Snakepit Ball is sponsored by KeyBank, Business Furniture and BC Forward. The KeyBank 500 Festival Snakepit Ball’s red carpet arrival will broadcast live on WISH-TV from 6:30 – 7:00 p.m.

 

About the 500 Festival

Founded in 1957, the 500 Festival is a not-for-profit organization that produces life-enriching events and programs that celebrate the spirit and legacy of the Indianapolis 500® and foster positive impact on the city of Indianapolis and state of Indiana. One of the largest festivals in the nation, each year more than half a million people attend an event or program produced by the 500 Festival. Since its founding, the 500 Festival has contributed more than $400 million in economic value to Indianapolis. To learn more about the 500 Festival, please visit www.500festival.com or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Editor’s Note:  To download a photo of Miri Ben-Ari, CLICK HERE.

To view a video of Mir Ben-Ari, CLICK HERE.

To download a photo of iLuminate, CLICK HERE.

To view a video of iLuminate, CLICK HERE.

 

Media Contact: Sabrina List, 500 Festival

Office: 317.614.6141 ǀ slist@500festival.com