Circle Pines Center south of Grand Rapids will again host this family-friendly festival boasting regional stars with a few national acts. Local Spins asked some performers to pick must-see acts for the weekend.
SCROLL DOWN FOR FULL FESTIVAL SCHEDULE, PLAYLIST
Support our coverage of
West Michigan's music scene
In eight years, Buttermilk Jamboree has grown to become one of the most beloved early-season festivals of West Michigan’s summer concert season.
The focus on family, regional music, sustainability and social activism has made the weekend event at Circle Pines Center in Delton a real treasure when it comes to music festivals, with its picturesque stages amid the meadows of Barry County, 37 miles south of Grand Rapids.
“I have to say Circle Pines is one of the more beautiful festival sites in Michigan,” said Fennville bassist Mark Schrock, who’ll be performing at Buttermilk for the seventh year, this time with Jive at Five.
“Wooded, intimate, steeped in history, natural and very family friendly. As a performer, the alternating stage times allowing for load-in and sound check makes it so much more relaxing to get on and off stage. Great for the audience too obviously, you have opportunities to see everyone. The location between Grand Rapids, Lansing and Kalamazoo naturally results in reconnecting with friends, fans, and fellow musicians from around West Michigan.”
This year’s lineup features New Orleans-based rocker Nikki Hill headlining on Friday night, East L.A. Chicano band Las Cafeteras headlining Saturday and Michigan’s own “songbird” May Erlewine wrapping things up on Sunday afternoon. In between, renowned singer-songwriter Beth Nielsen Chapman and local faves Earth Radio, Brotha James, Seth Bernard & Jordan Hamilton, The Appleseed Collective, The Change, Red Tail Ring, Last Gasp Collective, Billy Davis, Chirp, Max Lockwood and more will rev up stages.
With so many performances to soak in, Local Spins asked some of the Michigan performers themselves to pick some of their must-see acts for the weekend. Check them out below, along with the full weekend schedule on festival stages and a Spotify playlist.
By the way, pre-sale weekend tickets are $100 for the weekend for adults, $25 children; daily passes are $25 Friday or Sunday, $60 Saturday. Get more details and ticket options online here.
THE ‘BEST OF BUTTERMILK’ 2019: THE MUSICIANS’ PICKS
MARK SCHROCK (Jive at Five, swing band which plays at 4 p.m. Saturday on the Sugar Bush Stage)
Las Cafeteras, 9 p.m. Saturday, Orchard Stage – They tore it up at Wheatland last year. (A Chicano band hailing from East L.A., the band plays dance-inspiring music that blends traditional Son Jarocho and Afro-Mexican music with folk and spoken word.)
Funktion, 11:30 p.m. Friday, Sugar Bush Stage – Excited for the Funktion reunion set of course. I’m loving what my pals May Erlewine, Jen Sygit & Max Lockwood are doing these days. Really, the whole lineup is can’t-miss.
May Erlewine, 3:15 p.m. Sunday, Orchard Stage
Jen Sygit Trio, 2 p.m. Sunday, Sugar Bush Stage
Max Lockwood, 11 a.m. Sunday, Orchard Stage
HANNAH LAINE (Earth Radio, a progressive, experimental neo-soul band that plays at 12:30 a.m. Saturday on the Sugar Bush Stage)
Last Gasp Collective, 1 a.m. Friday, Sugar Bush Stage – Last Gasp Collective is a super-group of talent that brings an uplifting energy and is soulful and inspirational. They are a beautiful people to be around and it shines through in their music.
The Nathan Moore Affair, 10 a.m. Sunday, Sugar Bush Stage – I met Nathan at a songwriting retreat at Circle Pines in January, and I was captivated by his joyful spirit and open heart. I have been looking forward to hearing him play ever since, and now I finally get to.
MAX LOCKWOOD (Lockwood plays a solo set at 11 a.m. Sunday on the Orchard Stage, followed by a 3:15 p.m. set on the same stage with May Erlewine)
Samantha Cooper, 2 p.m. Saturday, Beer Tent – Sam is a beautiful vocalist and performer and writes songs that will pull on your heartstrings, make you smile and make you laugh.
May Erlewine, 3:15 p.m. Sunday, Orchard Stage – Full disclaimer, I’m biased since I play in May’s band, but she has been performing her gorgeous songs with a newer group that will be at Buttermilk for this set featuring several of the musicians from her band The Motivations, but displaying our more sensitive sides for this songwriter set, showcasing May’s artistic depth and lyricism.
CHANNING & QUINN (The duo plays the Beer Tent at 7 p.m. Friday)
Last Gasp Collective, 1 a.m. Friday, Sugar Bush Stage – You’ll get a little bit of everything with this group based out of Kalamazoo that’s been making the rounds all over Michigan the past few years: soul, gospel, hip hop and more.
Hayes Griffin and Nate Roberts, Noon Sunday, Sugar Bush Stage – Not just because Hayes is a good friend and took over for me (Quinn Mathews) as station manager at WYCE, this man majored in bluegrass, that’s no joke! Two of the best musicians we have in West Michigan team up for an incredible performance.
Local Spins also asked Ken Wylupski of Circle Pines Center, who books the festival, to list a couple of sets he’s most excited about this weekend. Here are his picks.
Funktion, 11:30 p.m. Friday, Sugar Bush Stage – One of my favorites from when they last appeared at Buttermilk in 2015. Andrew Schrock’s vocals and the solid group of musicians backing him are a real treat.
Earth Radio, 12:30 a.m. Saturday, Sugar Bush Stage – I’ve been really impressed by their originality and improvisation. A real innovative musical group.
BUTTERMILK JAMBOREE 2019: THE SCHEDULE
Save the schedule images on your smartphone to take along to the festival
BUTTERMILK 2019: THE LOCAL SPINS PLAYLIST ON SPOTIFY
Copyright 2019, Spins on Music LLC