WINONA, Minn. — The Sandbar Storytelling Festival welcomes the interactive dance party duo Koo Koo Kanga Roo for an evening of moving to the music on Saturday, Oct. 15. The show, sponsored by Todd VonBastiaans and Winona Area Public Schools, will run from 5:30 to 6:15 p.m. (with doors opening at 5 p.m.) in the Winona Middle School auditorium.
Koo Koo Kanga Roo, based in Minneapolis, consists of two Saint Mary’s University alumni, Bryan Atchison and Neil Olstad, who formed a campus rock band back in college. In 2008, the duo began touring and putting on shows at bars, basements, and barbecues.
Meanwhile they released their first few albums and music videos. In 2010, the band was chosen to support Orange County superhero rock band The Aquabats on their east coast tour. This turned into more support slots with Reel Big Fish and Yo Gabba Gabba Live. Meanwhile Koo Koo began creating “dance-a-long” videos to aid in audience participation.
These videos were unexpectedly a hit with elementary school teachers, which led Koo Koo into the world of children’s music. More domestic and international touring followed as the guys hit the road with The Vans Warped Tour, Frank Turner & Sleeping Souls, and MC Lars.
Concept albums about cats, potty humor, self-help, holidays, and Panera Bread added to the band’s discography. Simultaneously, the popularity of their “brain break” dance-a-long videos continued to skyrocket in classrooms around the world. In 2021, the two released, “Slow Clap” — a more hip-hop-centric sound with plenty of grooving bass lines and monstrous drums, while retaining the catchy, weirdo-energy fans expect from the band.
A favorite among school children everywhere, Koo Koo Kanga Roo connects with audiences of all ages who just can’t help but sing and dance along to their delightfully silly lyrics.
Tickets, which will go on sale Aug. 1 at www.sandbarstorytellingfestival.org, are $15 for adults over 16, $5 for kids 5 to 16, and free for children under 5 years old. Pay-as-you-can tickets will be available on-site 20 minutes prior to the performance.