The ever-treasured, long-running Blissfest fires up again north of Harbor Springs this weekend. Local Spins has everything you need to know about this three-day music festival.
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The full name — Blissfest Folk and Roots Festival — says a lot about the overall approach, though most regulars just fondly refer to this annual northern Michigan celebration as “Bliss.”
Launching humbly with its first event in 1981, Blissfest has grown into one of Michigan’s most treasured music festivals, attracting both national and regional artists playing eight different performance areas over three days north of Harbor Springs, starting Friday (July 7).
The 2023 lineup ranges from acclaimed touring stars Valerie June, Molly Tuttle and Colin Hay to regional favorites such as Sweet Water Warblers, Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers, The Crane Wives and Earth Radio.
“Blissfest stands out because the lineup is carefully curated with diversity in mind. Women and BIPOC folk aren’t just added as afterthoughts, they’re sought out with intention,” said Kate Pillsbury of Grand Rapids’ The Crane Wives, which plays on Saturday and Sunday.
“I’m impressed with the lineup because not only are there ultra-famous headlining national acts, but also up-and-coming national acts, as well as talented regional acts that all bring something a little different.”
Fans of The Crane Wives can expect “an acoustic Song Tree set (on Saturday) that will hearken back to our folk roots, and … a high energy electric set (on Sunday) with some new songs as well as old crowd favorites.”
Check out the Local Spins preview with everything you need to know about Bliss ’23.
WHEN: July 7-9
WHERE: 3695 Division Rd, Harbor Springs, Mich., 49740
THE DRIVE: 210 miles (3 hours, 30 minutes) north of Grand Rapids
260 miles (4 hours, 12 minutes) north of Kalamazoo
296 miles (4 hours, 12 minutes) northwest of Detroit
236 miles (3 hours, 25 minutes) north of Lansing
91 miles (2 hours) northeast of Traverse City
THE LINEUP: Valerie June, Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway, Colin Hay, Abigail Washburn, Marc Broussard, Lindsay Lou, Myron Elkins, May Erlewine, The Sweet Water Warblers, Yasmin Williams, Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers, Gina Chavez, The Steel Wheels, The Crane Wives, Armchair Boogie, Crys Matthews, Rachael Davis, The Moxie Strings, Seth Bernard and many more. View the full lineup here.
QUOTE: “What makes Blissfest stand out to me is the dreamy vibe, and the rich legendary history around the festival. What excites me is how immersive of a musical experience it will be. With creative and unique stages like the intimate Song Tree and the odd-ball “Bliss-tro-dome,” it will really feel like there is music woven into the fabric of the weekend, rather than only presented on big far-off stages.” – Dan Rickabus of The Crane Wives
WEATHER FORECAST (as of July 4):
Friday – High of 77 degrees, sunny
Saturday – High of 80 degrees, partly sunny
Sunday – High of 84 degrees, partly sunny
TICKETS: $235 adult weekend wristband, $90 teens; $100 Saturday adult wristband, $50 teen; $50 Sunday adult wristband, $25 teen. Details here.
BLISSFEST 2023 TOP 15 PLAYLIST ON SPOTIFY
BLISSFEST 2023: THE DAILY SCHEDULES
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