Thousands of revelers embraced the rootsy, bluegrass-hued festival in the Manistee National Forest over the weekend. Local Spins has highlights, a photo gallery and a video recapping the action.
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When musician and luthier Jake Robinson launched Hoxeyville Music Festival on 150 acres of farmland in the midst of the Manistee National Forest back in 2003, he started something that’s since become one of Michigan’s must-attend summer spectacles for fans of rootsy, bluegrass and Americana-tinged music.
It’s also grown into a camaraderie-filled “musicians’ festival” that hundreds of players and singers circle on their calendars every August — and an event that this year even drew a Detroit legend, who sat in on a couple of sets. (Read more about that below.)
Hoxeyville 2022 continued that tradition last weekend in spirited, upbeat fashion with more than 20 national and regional acts performing on two stages — and of course — jamming and improvising at campsites throughout the festival grounds. Railroad Earth, The Infamous Stringdusters, Trampled by Turtles, Yonder Mountain String Band and Lindsay Lou led the way and plenty of others followed.
The festival even managed to skirt inclement weather and storms that affected shows in other parts of the state.
As usual, Local Spins was there to capture the action, with photographer Anna Sink documenting bands and fans in images, and West Michigan musician/performer Mark Lavengood offering to supply some of his favorite highlights from the three-day celebration in the Michigan woods.
MARK “HUGGY BEAR” LAVENGOOD’S TOP 5 HOXEY HIGHLIGHTS
1. CAMPSITE JAMMING – Morning picking at the Rilko/Petroff Family Camp out at Hoxeyville. Me and Papa Dan played while the rest of the camp cooked up a fine Hoxey breakfast.
2. LINDSAY LOU – Lindsay Lou’s Friday night set, just, wow. Totally mesmerizing and it was a real surprise for the whole festival that Joshua Rilko (currently full-time w/ Sierra Ferrell) played most of the whole set with her and bandmates, Anthony da Costa on guitar/vocals and Alex Bice on drums and vocals. The old classics with a new spin were splendid as well as the new songs that will be featured on her upcoming album. Everybody agrees: They were dy-no-MITE! (Note: Lindsay Lou is a Michigan native currently residing in Nashville.)
3. AIRBORNE OR AQUATIC – Sitting in with Airborne or Aquatic Saturday night for “Mooseman,” “The World is on Your Side” and “Ghost Bowl.” Wayne Kramer of MC5 ended up coming out to the festival and sat in with Seth Bernard as well as Airborne or Aquatic.
They ended up playing a couple of Wayne’s tunes, most epically, “Kick Out the Jams.” I got to sit in with Airborne earlier this year at Blissfest as well and the band is just sounding so tight this summer. It’s always an honor to play with those cats and Seth Bernard’s expansive AOA-specifc catalog makes for one of the finest summer soundtracks while seasoning through Michigan music festivals.
4. DUNEGRASS CANNABIS CONSUMPTION TENT – Experiencing the Dunegrass Cannabis Consumption Tent was definitely a first for me. I have never been at a music festival where there was a “Consumption Lounge,” coupled with a full-tier cannabis experience, simultaneously, in the same space. It was wild. Dunegrass and Hoxeyville did a great job curating that experience for everybody and I believe they’ll be doing it again next year.
5. BIRTHDAY SET – Celebrating 20 years of community through the Hoxeyville festivalgoers with my birthday set on the main stage Sunday. I had a full five-piece (Loren Kranz, drums/vocals; Dutcher Snedeker, keys; Justin Avdek, bass/vocals; Justin Wierenga, electric/pedal steel guitar) and my favorite artist on the scene, Lindsay Lou, guested with us and we even weaved The Beatles’ “Birthday” into my song, “In Transit.” It was epic!
PHOTO GALLERY: Hoxeyville Music Festival 2022
Photos by Anna Sink
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