The re-branded Cowpie Music Festival will fire up with 14 Michigan bands in early August, boasting no overlapping sets on two stages. Details and a ticket link at Local Spins.
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For Nathan Purchase, who booked bands for this summer’s re-branded music festival, it’s about highlighting “strictly Michigan based artists in a family-friendly and fun environment” with no overlapping sets.
For drummer John Nowak of one of the headliners, Desmond Jones, it’s gratitude for being invited back to a farm where the band has performed many times before, leaving the musicians “excited and honored” to play the inaugural edition of a regional festival with a new name.
And for Shagbark Farm owner “Farmer” John Crissman, the goal of the first “Shagbark Music and Arts Festival” this August is to “honor my parents and Shagbark Farm by keeping live music singing over the hills of the farm.”
“I also want to step back and let the festivalgoers enjoy the community and experience the joy that is the communal living of festival camping,” Crissman added. “Complete performances by every band will be enjoyed by all.”
Welcome to the Shagbark Music and Arts Festival, the new name of the revamped Cowpie Music Festival staged for many years on a working farm in Alaska, in southern Kent County.
Organizers today announced the 2023 lineup, with Americana’s Myron Elkins (winner of this year’s Local Spins Emerging Artist Award), jam band Desmond Jones and Telluride bluegrass contest winner Full Cord headlining the weekend festival set for Aug. 3-5.
Also on the bill: Max Lockwood, Chirp, Earth Radio, Nathan Walton & The Remedy, Flexadecibel, Pajamas, Kyle Brown & The Human Condition, Dani Darling, Round Creek String Band, Lacy Galloway and Tyler Gitchel.
TICKETS ON SALE NOW FOR A FESTIVAL WITH A RELAXED VIBE
Unlike Cowpie, Purchase said, Purchase Productions has booked fewer acts and moved from three stages to two for the Shagbark fest.
“The goal of this model is to be able to have zero overlapping music to ensure that our attendees will be able to catch every single performer that they wish to see,” he said.
“We also will be starting music later in the afternoon. Our goal with this is to allow people to hang out and enjoy the land of Shagbark Farm, play a round of disc golf at the farms course and be able to visit the nearby river for a swim to cool off.”
One Cowpie tradition will continue, Purchase said: “Our Friday night ‘Fire Performance’ set featuring Desmond Jones, fire performers and pyrotechnics.”
General admission tickets — $90 — are on sale now, online here. Attendees must use the code SHAGBARK to get a $15 early-bird discount until noon April 20.
Nowak called Cowpie “a highlight for our band and fans the last few years and we are eager to create more music and memories on that beautiful land. Nathan Purchase of Purchase Productions is an incredibly important person to Desmond Jones and it’s a beautiful thing when he organizes and produces events.
“Farmer John and his family have welcomed us year after year and we’re grateful to them for hosting one of the best music festivals in the state this summer. The camping space, lack of long lines, proximity to Grand Rapids and the local community makes this festival one of our favorites.”
View Local Spins coverage of the final Cowpie Music Festival in 2023.
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