Sunday’s festival in the Village at Grand Traverse Commons will boast sets by more than 75 Michigan artists in the corridors of Building 50 and beyond. Get the lowdown and schedule at Local Spins.
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For many, Traverse City’s Great Indoor Folk Festival represents the perfect opportunity to soak up the music of veteran Michigan performers as well as “young talent.”
For some musicians, it’s a chance “to hang out with some of the movers and shakers in the northern Michigan music scene.”
Sunday’s 12th annual festival in the Village at Grand Traverse Commons exudes the sort of singular charm that keeps many musicians and concertgoers coming back year after year, some of them traveling from all corners of the state.
With more than 75 northern and western Michigan artists performing noon to 5:30 p.m. Sunday (Feb. 23) in various locations in the Mercado corridor of Building 50 – as well as at Left Foot Charley Winery and Higher Grounds – the free event gives attendees a cornucopia of eclectic musical options.
“I think the fact that the festival brings musicians from all over the state, while also showcasing young talent, is what sets this apart,” said Sean Miller of Petoskey, a member of the band The Real Ingredients who will perform solo at 3:30 p.m. on the Solo Stage.
“You get a really good taste of the folk, Americana and singer-songwriter scene through most of northern Michigan.”
ATTRACTING ABOUT 1,000 PEOPLE IN A UNIQUE SETTING
Miller, who’s played the day-long event twice with his band and once before as a solo act, said he plans to perform original music that will appear on a new album he’ll release in April.
Started in 2009 by Northern Michigan Songwriters in the Round, the festival has continued to grow and attracts upwards of 1,000 people each year, according to organizer and performer Adair Correll.
The 2020 event will feature performances by established festival acts such as New Third Coast, Saldajae, Robin Lee Berry, Dede Alder and Runaway Mule, along with Michigan newcomers to the event: Troll for Trout, FlyLiteGemini, Eliza Thorp, Bob Fawcett, Kevin Johnson and Bruce Matthews, among others.
Matthews, a Lowell singer-songwriter, views the festival as “a great chance to hang out with some of the movers and shakers in the northern Michigan music scene. I was excited to be selected.”
Matthews, who describes his solo material as “stripped-down, simple front porch music,” lived in Leelanau County for six years in the 1980s and said he’s “looking forward to seeing old friends at a great venue. And hopefully, it will lead to more gigs in the area.”
Matthews performs at 4:30 p.m. Sunday on the New Folk Stage.
Several Interlochen Center for the Arts singer-songwriters also are part of the lineup, along with two Interlochen instructors who will get things started at noon on the New Folk Stage.
Performances during the family-friendly festival take place on seven different stages, including a Kids’ Stage. There’s a separate open-mic area at Cuppa Joe Cafe “where anyone can stop by and sign up to play,” Correll said.
Performers at the event will have CDs for sale and the festival sets out “busker buckets” to collect donations from attendees to help defray costs.
Get more information online via the Great Indoor Folk Festival’s Facebook page.
“My main advice to festivalgoers is get there early and try to visit as many of the stages as possible,” Correll said.
“And bring a portable stool with you if standing for a long period of time is difficult.”
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