Slamology Automotive and Music Festival Turns 20 This June
Writer / Melissa Gibson
Center Grove resident Rob Snodgrass has been working behind the scenes at one of the world’s top lifestyle events for the past 20 years.
Snodgrass has booked Indiana bands for various venues since college, and has developed relationships with hip-hop, country, singer-songwriters and rock-and-roll artists, as well as DJs, specific to Indiana. He’s also a local graduate of Indiana University – Kelley School of Business.
“I was doing a car event at German Park with another car show promotion team and met Donnie and Ginger Babb,” Snodgrass says. “They’ve owned Gauge Magazine, an online car culture and automotive industry monthly magazine, for over 24 years. I booked the bands for the German Park event and Donnie asked me if I could do the same for their upcoming show, Slamology.”
That first year, Snodgrass and his partner at the time brought in nearly 30 acts to the main stage at the Marion County Fairgrounds with just under 45 days to plan. The event was a massive success.
The only problem? Snodgrass lost money as a subcontractor for that first show.
The Babbs had a solution.
They brought Snodgrass on as a staff member, and together they’ve watched Slamology grow into an event like no other.
“Since then,” Snodgrass says, “Donnie and Ginger have become family to me, my wife, and my three daughters.”
“We’ve grown from 120 cars that first year to over 2,000 custom vehicles last year,” says Snodgrass. “We have vehicles register for the event from all over the world and spectators who travel from all over, too, just to be at the event to witness history.”
This June, they’ll celebrate Slamology’s 20th anniversary at the Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park on June 10 and 11.
In the past, well over 15,000 attendees have come out to enjoy the massive car show and live music event. They’ve welcomed visitors from 42 states and seven countries. They also present more than 60 Class awards at the end of the weekend.
Slamology has become one of the world’s largest car audio contests which brings representation from some of the largest audio organizations in the country for their car audio sound-offs.
Other attractions include a tattoo contest, a car/truck/contraption limbo contest, hydraulic hopper demonstrations, a big rig roundup semi show, a family fun zone and more than 100 vendors offering items ranging from apparel to customized car accessories.
Snodgrass emcees a variety of the contests and produces radio commercials with local music producer, Seany D. Team members call him the voice of Slamology and Snodgrass enjoys every minute of it, particularly the music pumping through the massive crowd.
“We’ve always tried to bring in bands from Indiana,” he says. “We want to present an Indiana vibe for our global audience and promote our own music industry culture. We have amazing artists that live in Indiana.”
Each year, more than 100 performer applications pour in.
Snodgrass and the team listen to music, lyrics and content to select 13 to 20 bands to perform. It’s important to them to limit foul language to ensure the event remains family friendly.
“We try to have the guy in the ‘now’ as a headliner and fill in with a variety of artists for a very eclectic stage,” he says. “We want to give everyone a chance to be heard. No matter what genre the audience likes, there’s probably someone on stage that you’ll enjoy.”
Snodgrass has worked with American Bombshell, Indianapolis-based rapper Trajik, national recording artist Hosier, and Center Grove’s own UG Skywalkin, a performer on NBC’s ‘American Song Contest’.
While the lineup is still being formed for the 2023 stage, they know for sure is that this anniversary year will be the biggest and best lineup ever.
Snodgrass, like many on the Slamology staff, still holds a full-time job as President of AquaFinesse, a pool and spa chemical manufacturing company. He works alongside his father, Bob Snodgrass, who is a 40 year veteran of the pool and spa industry.
“When I was promoted to president, the owners in the Netherlands said, ‘We love the passion you have for Slamology. Keep doing what you do there.’ Having their support and being able to continue to pursue and provide music and entertainment at the event has been a blessing and I am truly humbled. It’s a labor of love. There’s an entire team at Slamology that has been with us through thick and thin and we couldn’t do it without them and our sponsors. We all absolutely love getting together every year for it.”
When the event began, the majority of the team were just starting to have kids, prompting the desire to make Slamology an event that all families could enjoy.
Kids 10 and under are admitted free. The Family Fun Zone includes cornhole and other games, coloring, crafts and family activities.
Tickets are available at the gate. The staff has worked to maintain affordability for everyone with tickets at $15 per person for one day or $20 per person for both days.
Visit Slamology.com for additional information, an entire event lineup, and a coupon for free spectator parking.
Participants can register a vehicle online or stop by the 64th annual World of Wheels inside the Gauge Magazine Lifestyle Hall to see a mini version of Slamology at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, March 24 through 26 and register at the Slamology booth.