X Ambassadors Unable to Perform at 500 Festival Race Weekend Events Due to Illness

X Ambassadors Unable to Perform at 500 Festival Race Weekend Events Due to Illness

X Ambassadors Unable to Perform at 500 Festival Race Weekend Events Due to

Josh Kauffman Steps Up to Perform at IPL 500 Festival Parade

INDIANAPOLIS (May 26, 2017) – X Ambassadors, the band originally scheduled to perform at the IPL 500 Festival Parade and KeyBank 500 Festival Snakepit Ball, are unable to make the trip to Indianapolis to perform on this race weekend due to illness. Stepping in to perform in the place of X Ambassadors at the IPL 500 Festival Parade will be Josh Kaufman. Kaufman will pay tribute to Indiana’s most inspirational champions by performing the X Ambassadors’ hit single, ‘Renegades.’ The replacement band for the KeyBank 500 Festival Snakepit Ball will be announced at a later time.

“X Ambassadors inspired us to celebrate real renegades. While they cannot be here to perform we are grateful for their collaboration and excited to once again partner with Indiana’s own Josh Kaufman to help us celebrate these individuals, who have shown a never-give-up spirit and an ability to fight through obstacles that makes them unstoppable,” said Bob Bryant, president and CEO of the 500 Festival. “We can’t wait for Josh’s electric performance to kickoff tomorrow’s IPL 500 Festival Parade.”

The winner of the sixth season of The Voice, Indianapolis-based singer/songwriter, Josh Kauffman, burst onto the national stage. Kaufman’s kept busy since his win, sitting in with The Roots on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, headlining the Indy Jazz Fest, and making his Broadway debut in the Tony Award-winning Pippin (for which he played the lead and title role). Kaufman is no stranger to the fanfare of the Month of May. He was the Grand Marshal of the 2014 IPL 500 Festival Parade and performed Back Home Again in Indiana at the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500.

The following Renegades will be honored during the opening performance of the IPL 500 Festival Parade.

John Andretti: After being diagnosed with Stage 4 colorectal cancer, racing legend John Andretti is working tirelessly to promote the need for timely colonoscopies with his #Checkit4Andretti campaign. There is no doubt that John’s hard work will save countless lives.

Indy Thunder Beep Baseball Team: Beep baseball is a style of baseball for the blind and visually impaired who wish to participate in an organized sport. Their mission is to enlighten and educate the community about the capacity and abilities of blind and visually impaired athletes. In 2016, Indy’s own Indy Thunder Beep Baseball Team became the World Series Champions of Beep Baseball!

Sam Grewe: A native of the small town of Middlebury, Ind., Grewe was an active athlete before he was diagnosed with cancer, which resulted in the amputation of his right leg. After choosing to not let the cancer define him, Grewe went on to make the U.S. Paralympic Track & Field team, where he would upset the field in the IPC Athletics World Championships to win Gold in the high jump. A year later, Grewe went on to win a silver medal in the high jump in the Rio Paralympic Games in 2016.

DeShawn Thompson: DeShawn Thompson, a Speedway High School student, has garnered numerous awards and accolades for his maturity in helping raise his eight brothers and sisters. Once a victim of sexual assault, DeShawn was later adopted by his grandmother. His bravery in the rescue and revival of his younger brother at a family gathering was truly miraculous. After seeing his brother face down in a pool at a family gathering, DeShawn performed CPR to save his brother’s life before help arrived. DeShawn faced numerous other challenges in his 17 years, but he’s on pace to fulfill his dream with a 4.2 GPA and seven advanced placement classes this past school year.

BJ Yoho: Challenged by a lifelong struggle with spina bifida, BJ Yoho is a champion of character and an embodiment of this year’s renegade theme. With a smile that stretches ear to ear, BJ was honored by Riley Children’s Hospital in 2012 and has been the feature of numerous encouraging talks with local children since. He’s spent a large part of his young life inspiring other children and people of all ages.

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 500Festival.com/tickets. 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 www.500festival.com/parade or search #IPL500Parade on social media.


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 www.500festival.com, follow us on Twitter @500festival, or on Facebook.