One of Michigan’s youngest music festivals has quickly become a favorite, lighting up Fourth of July weekend for the third year in Trufant. Get the lowdown and listen to music from performers.
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Musician and talent buyer Mark Lavengood credits Michigan’s legacy of memorable music festivals for the genesis and success of Smiling Acres Music Festival, which celebrates its third year outside Trufant this weekend.
The multi-instrumentalist’s experiences at Blissfest, Wheatland Music Festival, Dunegrass and Earthwork Harvest Gathering have helped contribute to the inspiring, family-friendly vibe of the three-day festival taking place over Fourth of July weekend with an all-star roster of regional bands.
“Legacy Michigan music festivals – that’s what I built my life around,” said Lavengood, entertainment director for Smiling Acres.
“It put me on the path that I’m on as a performer, as a talent buyer. Everything I’m doing in the industry stems from that and those experiences.”
The same goes for others on the five-member team that runs Smiling Acres with help from an army of volunteers and the support of sponsors, he added, making the Fourth of July weekend special for an impressive slate of performers and hundreds of festivalgoers alike. Here’s the lowdown.
SMILING ACRES MUSIC FESTIVAL 2023
WHEN: June 30–July 2
WHERE: 3060 N. Johnson Rd., Trufant, Mich., 49347
THE DRIVE: 36 miles (50 minutes) northeast of Grand Rapids
86 miles (1 hour, 25 minutes) northeast of Kalamazoo
170 miles (3 hours) northwest of Detroit
77 miles (1 hour, 30 minutes) northwest of Lansing
124 miles (2 hours) south of Traverse City
THE LINEUP: The Accidentals, May Erlewine, Smiling Acres Bluegrass Band, Ben Traverse, Lighting Matches, Birds of Prey, Josh Rose, After Ours, Earth Radio, Henhouse Prowlers, Airborne or Aquatic?, Cabildo, Silver Creek Revival, August, Normal Mode, Deerfield Run, Nomads, Desmond Jones, So Many Humans, Tone Farmers, Blue Water Ramblers, Whorled and more. Get the full performance lineup and schedule online here.
QUOTES: “What makes Smiling Acres so special is it’s a place that isn’t far from the city, yet feels far enough that you can disconnect from the hustle and bustle and connect with a variety of music and people who enjoy or play that variety of music.” – Rachel White of Lighting Matches
“It’s got a uniquely welcoming and homey atmosphere.” – Matt Plessner of Lighting Matches
“The lineup, I couldn’t be more proud of. Just being there and experiencing it is so sweet.” – Mark Lavengood, festival entertainment director
WEATHER FORECAST (as of June 27):
Friday – High of 83 degrees, humid with clouds and sun
Saturday – High of 84 degrees, partly sunny with a chance of thundershowers
Sunday – High of 84 degrees, mostly sunny with some clouds
TICKETS: $95 weekend adults (with camping), $25 children 6-12 (with camping; age 5 and under free); $45 adult day pass. Get tickets online here.
SMILING ACRES MUSIC FESTIVAL 2023 TOP 15 PLAYLIST ON SPOTIFY
Check out Local Spins coverage of Smiling Acres 2022.
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