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Cars, Art and Music Set for Saturday's Lowbrow High-Octane VII

The creation of local artist Nick Sinclair and presented by Ratrod Magazine, Lowbrow is billed as an American celebration of cars, art and music.

The Lowbrow High-Octane Festival returns to Northfield on Saturday for its seventh year.

The creation of local artist Nick Sinclair and presented by Ratrod Magazine, Lowbrow is billed as an American celebration of cars, art and music. 

“It’s more than just one thing,” says Sinclair. “It’s a car show, it’s a gallery show, there’s great music. It’s a celebration of the community that enjoys all this stuff.“

Starting at 4 p.m., more than 200 hotrods, ratrods, classic cars, muscle cars and other custom jobs—all American made—will be lined up along Northfield’s main drag, Division Street.

“It’s always fun to see these machines come rolling into town and set up right on Division. People are immediately drawn to them,” Sinclair said. While most of the people showing are private collectors, local dealers Apple Chevrolet and Dokmo Ford will be showing the latest muscle cars in the Chevrolet, Ford and Chrysler lines.

This year, Sinclair has a dozen hotrod artists lined up to show their work at the main gallery of the Northfield Arts Guild, 304 Division St. S.

“It’s pretty convenient,” says Sinclair. “The NAG is literally in the middle of the cars. You can walk around looking at the cars for a while, and then the gallery is right there.”

Sinclair is particularly proud of the art in the gallery.

“These are some talented people. We have Corrie Erickson (another local artist), Todd Jones, Chad Lampert,” he says. “Maybe they aren’t household names, but in the hotrod art world, they are very well known and respected. I love that we can give them some exposure that they wouldn’t normally have.”

Using both stages at the Contented Cow, there will be live music throughout the day provided by local, national, and in one case international bands, offering up such disparate genres as indie folk, rockabilly and punk.

“We have six bands this year. We’ve really increased the amount of music we’re offering, and we’ve raised the bar on the quality, too,” Sinclair said.

Headlining the show is a pair of Psychobilly bands touring the Midwest.

“We have The Rocketz from Los Angeles and The Silver Shine who are here from Budapest, Hungary. We got lucky, because those guys are out on tour together. This music is so good. All our bands are just great.” 

The Contented Cow is serving as the music venue for the fourth year in a row.

“It’s one of our most favorite days of the year,” says the Cow’s music coordinator Julie Bixby. “Nick’s just great to work with, and he always brings in a great crowd.”

Sinclair stressed the fact that this is a free show, welcome to all who want to display their cars.

“The gates will open at 4, and usually the street’s full in about 20 minutes. We’re also going to have space in the back alley (behind the 300 and 400 block of Division), but get there early if you want a spot.”

Lowbrow High-Octane VII starts at 4 p.m. Saturday. There will be a reception at the Northfield Arts Guild main gallery from 4-9 p.m. Music at the Contented Cow begins at 5 p.m. and runs until midnight.

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Editor's note: Submitted on behalf of organizers

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