After a long COVID hiatus, the much-beloved Mio festival featuring more than 30 regional acts kicks off Friday. Get the inside story and full schedule at Local Spins.
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There’s little doubt that the Nor-East’r Music and Art Festival boasts some of Michigan’s most devoted and loyal fans.
“This festival is close to our heart. All four of our children and all their friends that we have brought throughout the years have fallen in love with playing instruments and live music,” raves festivalgoer Danielle Hawkins. “When we look at photos from the past decade of Nor-East’r, it is like watching them grow up.”
Christine Matthews calls the three-day festival held on the Oscoda County Fair Grounds in Mio “an intimate experience, with all of the elements of the big festivals: great music, workshops for everyone, a variety of art and craft items, great festival food, and happy, friendly people.”
Or take it from self-professed “music lover” Dottie Jackson: “The musicians brought in for the weekend are fabulous and each play a few times. The event is tastefully planned and never disappoints.”
Suffice to say, the return of Nor-East’r this coming weekend after a two-year COVID hiatus has fans, bands and organizers revved up.
“It is beyond exciting and surreal at the same time,” music and artist coordinator Eric Janetsky says of the festival that ranked No. 3 on Local Spins’ 2020 roster of readers’ favorite Michigan music festivals.
“It feels like this weekend was never going to come, and with COVID-19, there was always the fear creeping in the back of my mind that this year wouldn’t happen again, but here we are, ready to get busy.”
MUSIC, CAMARADERIE, SMILES & ‘FORGETTING ABOUT THE PROBLEMS OF THE WORLD’
Indeed, with the likes of regional favorites Erin Zindle & The Ragbirds, Rachael Davis, Annie & Rod Capps, Peter “Madcat” Ruth, Thunderwude, Peter Mulvey, Jill Jack, Barbarossa Brothers, Blue Water Ramblers, Dave Boutette & Kristi Davis, Aspen Jacobsen and many more on the three-stage docket, the festival re-start has plenty of star power.
Music begins at 5:30 p.m. Friday and runs through late afternoon Sunday. Weekend passes are $65, day passes are $35, in advance. The price at the gate is $95 for the weekend; $45 for a day pass. Children 13-17 are just $5; children 12 and younger are free. Ticket links and details online here.
Organizers are sticking to “the traditional blueprint” for this year’s event, with more significant changes planned for future years. “We have reached out to include more national acts as well, which will help to get the Nor-East’r name and brand out there,” he says.
For 2022, 30-plus acts will play three different stages over three days, with about 2,000 attendees expected. The fairgrounds are located 1889 Caldwell Road, about six miles northeast of downtown Mio. (It’s 183 miles northeast of Grand Rapids or about a 2-hour-and-45-minute drive.)
“I am looking forward to the live music, camaraderie amongst musicians, magical moments being recognized as they happen, smiles on people’s faces, community, laughter and people just forgetting about the problems in the world and remembering that we are more alike than not,” Janetsky says.
“I truly believe that you will not hear better live music this summer anywhere in Michigan than you will at Nor-East’r.”
View the full list of summer festivals in Local Spins’ Michigan Music Festivals Guide 2022.
NOR-EAST’R MUSIC & ART FESTIVAL 2022 SCHEDULE
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