Saturday’s ‘powerful and moving’ affair in Riverside Park will once again blend music with water education. See the full schedule and listen to songs from festival performers at Local Spins.
SCROLL DOWN TO SEE SCHEDULE AND HEAR SONGS FROM FESTIVAL PERFORMERS
Support our coverage of
West Michigan's music scene
From the Flint water crisis to PFAS contamination, water protection has become a hot topic in Michigan.
So when the Grand River Water Festival unfurls for the 10th year in Grand Rapids’ Riverside Park on Saturday, the event will not only fill the day with family fun and a robust musical lineup of regional artists, organizers will also focus lots of attention on environmental education.
Grand Rapids singer-songwriter Nicholas James Thomasma, who will perform at the event with Alex Austin, believes that’s just how it should be: West Michigan’s water resources should be celebrated. After all, he noted, the Grand River is the main reason Grand Rapids is even a city.
“I have played this event one time in the past and it was magical,” Thomasma said.
“When you bring good people together with healthy food, activities for children, good music, positive speakers and education on our environment, you end up with a really powerful and moving experience.”
Every year, the event draws 2,500 to 3,000 people, with folks trickling in and out throughout the day.
“We have a constant turnover throughout the day, with maybe only 30 percent of those folks arriving at the start staying (the entire) day,” said chief organizer Bruce Ling. “We like this, this steady stream of folks that we can provide important environmental information to.”
A MISSION TO EMPOWER AND ENTERTAIN
The family-friendly affair will feature a kids’ creativity area (with bands such as Beaver Xing performing), a beer tent hosted by Creston Brewery, vendors and information tables staffed by environmental groups from across the state.
Because while there is a lot of fun to be had, event organizers are more than aware that the environment has become a controversial topic these days.
Jason Wheeler, co-organizer of the event and a member of the band Fauxgrass, said the 10th annual festival will touch on these increasingly important topics.
“This event is becoming more and more important because it serves as an educational resource and connector for those who want to become more involved in the local water quality discussion, clean up efforts, attend forums, and to better understand how we can empower ourselves to make small, simple changes in our own lives to play a role in the bigger solution,” Wheeler said.
And because music has become a powerful force and important tool in bringing people together for a worthy cause, the lineup at Saturday’s festival sets the stage for another memorable day at Riverside Park.
Tune in to Local Spins on WYCE (88.1 FM) at 11 a.m. Friday when members of festival act Nobody’s Darlin’ will be the special in-studio guests, along with Bruce Ling.
Revisit Local Spins’ coverage of the 2019 festival: Grand River Water Festival delivers music and message
GRAND RIVER WATER FESTIVAL 2019: The Local Spins Playlist
Copyright 2019, Spins on Music LLC