Saturday’s brilliant weather offered an ideal backdrop for diverse festivals: country’s B93 Bash at LMCU Ballpark, GR Pride Festival downtown and the second day of music at Circle Pines Center. Photos.
SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTO GALLERIES
Support our coverage of
West Michigan's music scene
The long-awaited return of Grand Rapids radio station B93’s Birthday Bash at LMCU Ballpark in Comstock Park couldn’t have unfurled amid better weather on Saturday, with thousands of country music fans celebrating sets by Chris Janson, Clay Walker, Joe Nichols, Ryan Hurd, Frank Ray, Jackson Dean and Nate Barnes.
Toby Keith initially was scheduled to headline the 2022 event — forced on hiatus due to COVID — but was forced to cancel after he revealed that he’s being treated for stomach cancer.
The show proceeded with Janson (“Buy Me a Boat”) and Walker (“Live Until I Die”) filling in, and West Michigan country fans finally getting to bask in the country-hued sun for the first time since 2019.
Seven miles to the south, the Grand Rapids Pride Festival reveled in similar sun-splashed conditions.
With temperatures dropping from the previous week’s soaring high 90s and stifling humidity, Saturday’s festival at Calder Plaza was a breath of fresh air in more ways than one. Headlining performers included The Hacky Turtles and Jax Anderson, who gave uplifting and hopeful musical spectacles from the stage for a high-vibrating audience.
“I would say that was one of the most engaging, involved and loving crowds we have played in front of,” said Marc Kanitz, lead vocalist of The Hacky Turtles.
“The love in the air was palpable. We continue to learn and grow in our ability to be allies for the LGBTQ+ community. We hope the messages in our music can resonate in a positive way. We value love and joy and mental health. It was an honor to be there. All smiles during Turtle time.”
Jax Anderson’s performance was emotionally charged and her commanding yet fiercely loving stage presence wildly tangible. “It feels amazing to be playing for you beautiful people,” Anderson said from stage mid-set.
Finally, Day 2 of the Buttermilk Jamboree at Delton’s Circle Pines Center kept live music rolling on several stages with performances by Jive at Five, Fay Burns & The Embers, Deerfield Run, Carrie McFerrin and Brian Koenigsknecht, BenJammin, a Big Bill Broonzy tribute and more. (View a Day 1 recap here.)
Scroll down for photo galleries from all three events.
PHOTO GALLERY: B93 Birthday Bash at LMCU Ballpark
Photos by Eric Stoike
PHOTO GALLERY: Grand Rapids Pride Festival at Calder Plaza
Photos by Kristina Bird
PHOTO GALLERY: Buttermilk Jamboree, Day 2
Photos by Jamie Geysbeeek