Platinum-Selling Rock Band X Ambassadors to Open 2017 IPL 500 Festival Parade

Platinum-Selling Rock Band X Ambassadors to Open 2017 IPL 500 Festival Parade

Tue, 2017-03-07

Chart-topping group will perform their hit, “Renegades” at IPL 500 Festival Parade


INDIANAPOLIS (March 7, 2017) – The 500 Festival, a nonprofit organization providing life-enriching events for Indiana that celebrate the legacy of the Indianapolis 500, today announced that platinum-selling pop group, X Ambassadors are set to perform their hit, “Renegades” as the opening number of the IPL 500 Festival Parade (#IPL500Parade). The event will be held Saturday, May 27 in downtown Indianapolis.


X Ambassadors released their debut album, VHS, in 2015, where it debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard Top 200 chart and has been certified gold by the RIAA. The album features the platinum selling, No. 1 song, “Renegades,” as well as the single, “Unsteady,” which climbed the Billboard Hot 100 and is featured in the feature film and soundtrack for “Me Before You.” Hailing from Ithaca, N.Y., X Ambassadors is a guitar-driven rock band whose music features a unique sampling of soul and hip-hop. The group consists of lead vocalist Sam Harris, keyboardist Casey Harris, lead guitarist Noah Feldshuh, and drummer Adam Levin.


“For 60 years, the IPL 500 Festival Parade has transformed the streets of downtown Indianapolis into a vibrant celebration of the Indianapolis 500 as well as the American spirit. There’s no doubt that X Ambassadors will kick the celebration up a notch with their opening performance,” said Bill Henley, IPL vice president of regulatory affairs and 500 Festival board member.


The group is known for their inspired live performances. In addition to their own sold out headline tour, the group has played shows with Imagine Dragons, The Lumineers, and Panic! At the Disco. The massive success of X Ambassadors didn’t happen overnight. After countless years of hard work and overcoming personal challenges, the group’s popularity skyrocketed with their stomping, syncopated full-length album, VHS, which features songs about movement, speed, and the determination to navigate away from heartbreak and the constraints of small-town status quo.


Beyond their music, the group applies their artistic talent to their music videos to deepen their stories. The music video for “Renegades” depicts several people with physical disabilities working to overcome their challenges and achieve great accomplishments. The song has a personal aspect to it because band member Casey Harris has been blind since birth. The group’s music video for “Unsteady” serves as a tribute to wounded veterans. The band has felt a strong connection to veterans since getting their start in a military town, and they were moved to dedicate their video to these heroes after witnessing a veteran friend suffering from post-traumatic stress.


“X Ambassadors are incredibly talented artists. Highlighting the true ‘Renegades’ in our community who overcome adversities to achieve great things and inspire us all will make the opening number of the IPL 500 Festival Parade a memorable experience. They’ll set the tone for this year’s IPL 500 Festival Parade and will lead the way in Accelerating the American Spirit,” said Bob Bryant, president and CEO of the 500 Festival.


The theme for the 2017 IPL 500 Festival Parade is Accelerating the American Spirit. May 2017 is a chance to refuel and punch the gas. And with this year’s celebration covered in star-spangled spirit, it’s sure to be an inspiring salute to America on Memorial Day Weekend. The 500 Festival’s 2017 theme gives Hoosiers the green light to ignite that red, white and blue passion.


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, all 33 drivers competing in the Indy 500, specialty units, and award-winning bands from across the country.


The 2017 IPL 500 Festival Parade will take place on Saturday, May 27 in downtown Indianapolis. Parade festivities will start at 11:45 am and step off is at noon. Tickets start at $15 and can be purchased at The IPL 500 Festival Parade will be nationally televised on NBC Sports Network and broadcast to the Indianapolis market on WTHR, Channel 13.To learn more about the 2017 IPL 500 Festival Parade, visit or search #IPL500Parade on social media.


Editor’s Note:   To download a photo of X Ambassadors, CLICK HERE.

To check out X Ambassadors’ music video for “Renegades,” CLICK HERE.

To view X Ambassadors’ music video for “Unsteady,” CLICK HERE.


About the 500 Festival

Founded in 1957, the 500 Festival is a not-for-profit organization that produces more than 50 life-enriching events and programs while celebrating the spirit and legacy of the Indianapolis 500 and fostering 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, follow us on Twitter @500festival, or on Facebook. 


Media Contact: Sabrina List, 500 Festival

Office: 317.614.6141 ǀ

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