Some of Michigan’s favorite roots and rock bands, beach and campsite jams, and scads of VW buses made the Memorial Day weekend’s Buses by the Beach event one to remember. Images at Local Spins.
Festivalgoers dodged raindrops early on, but much of the 2019 edition of the Buses by the Beach Bus Benefit at Camp Blodgett in West Olive was a sun-splashed affair that made Memorial Day weekend along Lake Michigan more than memorable when it comes to music, camaraderie and Volkswagen bus-adorned, camping charm.
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Kicking off on Friday with sets by Political Lizard and Nicholas James & The Bandwagon, the official main-stage performances continued Saturday with the B-Side Growlers, Fauxgrass, Full Cord and The Go Rounds and on Sunday with Deerfield Run, The Gasoline Gypsies, The Legal Immigrants and Roosevelt Diggs.
But as always with this annual event that raises money for the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors and first revved up back in 2002, much of the fun took place off stage — in late-night jams at campsites or during the day on the Lake Michigan beach. And there was even a bagpipe and band procession paying tribute to fallen heroes and late friends.
“It was an epic weekend with emotions running high,” said Todd Olson, a past Buses by the Beach board member and longtime festival attendee. “So much love and magical moment I will cherish forever. I love our Bus family and the memories we create together.”
Joe Bockheim, lead singer and guitarist for Grand Rapids’ The Legal Immigrants, said his first Bus Benefit experience was more than memorable.
“It was my first time kickin’ it with the VW bus hippies,” he said. “They are a tight-knit and welcoming community. We really felt the love.”
Browse the weekend-long festival photo gallery by Local Spins’ Anna Sink here and read a recap (with photos) of Day One from Bus Benefit 2019 here: Bus Benefit dodges hit-and-miss rain with family vibe, musical jams on opening day.
PHOTO GALLERY: Bus Benefit 2019 presented by Buses by the Beach
Photos by Anna Sink