Don’t under-estimate the power and popularity of Michigan music festivals. Our preview of the 2022 festival lineup was the No. 4 story of the year. Come back on New Year’s for our 2023 preview.
EDITOR’S NOTE: We’re down to No. 4 in our round-up of the most-read Local Spins stories of 2022, revisiting our January preview of Michigan music festivals that were slated for spring, summer and fall after a complicated COVID hiatus. More festival excitement is on the way for 2023: Come back to Local Spins on New Year’s Day when we officially reveal the roster of the year’s music festivals.
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Until 2022, Michigan’s music festival season just hadn’t been the same since COVID reared its head in 2020.
Cancellations of popular music-centric celebrations over the prior two years ranged from some of the state’s largest such as Electric Forest and Mo Pop Festival to longstanding, iconic events like Wheatland and Earthwork Harvest Gathering to smaller boutique festivals starring local and regional acts.
But many festivals in Michigan’s great outdoors started to return in the summer of 2021 as some capacity restrictions and health protocols were lifted.
And while concerns remained as the Omicron variant fueled more COVID flair-ups at the end of 2021, the outlook for 2022 was cautiously optimistic with more than 50 Michigan festivals gearing up for music-loving throngs again, including the return of Electric Forest, Mo Pop, Camp Greensky, Wheatland and the Michigan Irish Music Festival, among others.
Organizers of the June 23-26 Electric Forest in Rothbury dubbed their 2022 lineup “the soundtrack for our reunion” – a long-delayed celebration of the electronic music-hued festival’s 10th anniversary, with promises that the gathering will be filled with “magical musical moments.”
Of course, magical moments at numerous Michigan festivals induce devotees to return year after year, and 2022 boasted some tantalizing milestones to consider, including the final Cowpie Music Festival at the Caledonia-area Shagbark Farm in August not to mention the much-anticipated revival of June’s Buttermilk Jamboree in Delton and July’s Blissfest near Harbor Springs..
And then there were the more remote, beloved events such as July’s Beaver Island Music Festival in northern Lake Michigan and August’s Porcupine Mountains Music Festival in Ontonagon.
Speaking of milestones, Local Spins celebrated its 10th anniversary in May, kicking off the season with Local Spins Fest on May 21 at Studio Park in downtown Grand Rapids. (Revisit coverage of the that event online here.)
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