The 2019 edition of the festival staged on an island in northern Lake Michigan unfurls Thursday for three days of live music by national and regional acts. See and save the main stage schedule.
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The Beaver Island Music Festival website proudly flaunts a quote from an attendee who proclaims it’s the “best place on planet earth.”
Some musicians who’ve played the unique celebration on the island in the middle of northern Lake Michigan might even go one better.
“First off, the level of production brought to a festival that far off the grid is beyond impressive,” said guitarist and singer Jesse Ray Cahue of Grand Rapids’ Jesse Ray & The Carolina Catfish, an “old-school rock” duo which returns to the festival this weekend.
Cahue raved about chief festival organizer Carol Burton who “has all of her ducks in a row and knows how to keep them there. She is organized and you can tell her primary goal is comfort and positivity for the campers and artists.”
He added: “I think the best part in my eyes is how magical it is. You’ve just got to go there.”
Several hundred will, indeed, go there – via ferry – for a growing music festival that features national touring artists such as Falling Through April, Hymn for Her, ClusterPluck and Moonbeau as well as Michigan acts The Bootstrap Boys, Escaping Pavement, Bigfoot Buffalo, The Hacky Turtles and more. (Check out the main stage schedule at right and save it on your smartphone to take to the island.)
It’s the 17th year for the music festival. Weekend tickets are $95 for adults and $85 seniors and teens; day passes cost $35-$40. Ticket details are available online at bimf.net. Attendees also must purchase ferry or flight tickets for transportation to the island, which is located 32 miles offshore from Charlevoix.
Jesse Ray & The Carolina Catfish will play a few times over the weekend, including sets at 10 p.m. Thursday and 11:15 p.m. Friday.
For Cahue and drummer Brando “Dingo” Hopp, it’s just part of a hectic summer of touring behind a brand new studio album, “Love & Luck,” that’s already getting lots of attention: The record debuted at No. 1 on the Local Spins Hot Top 5 chart of regional albums getting the most airplay on Grand Rapids radio station WYCE-FM in June, and ranked No. 2 in airplay among all albums, local or national.
In addition to playing Beaver Island this summer, the rockabilly and raw blues duo will play Lake Orion’s Tommystock Festival, Wisconsin’s Mile of Music Festival, Caledonia’s Cowpie Music Festival and Brooklyn’s Holler Fest, as well as the Red Dock in Douglas on Aug. 18.
Revisit Local Spins’ coverage of Beaver Island Music Fest 2019: Beaver Island Music Festival: Michigan’s best-kept musical secret
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