Those flocking to northern Michigan for film screenings at the festival founded by Michael Moore will also find numerous live performances indoors and out by dozens of West Michigan bands.
The Traverse City Film Festival isn’t just about movies.
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It’s also about music.
With more than 60 bands and solo artists performing before film screenings and on the bayfront “Open Space” stage during this week’s festival, pairing movies with live music offers musicians a rare opportunity to get their songs in front of new audiences. Bands volunteer their time to perform during the film festival that runs through Sunday at the height of northern Michigan’s tourist season.
“I’m all about the intersection of types of art, and I tend to like the way movie buffs think about music,” said Jake Kalmink, of Zeeland, whose rock band The Fever Haze makes its festival debut at 2 p.m. Sunday on the Open Space stage, only the second time it has ever played Traverse City. Kalmink also fronts a solo project, Jake Kalmink & The Further Closer.
“The only real difference in our approach this year is that our music stage moved to the Open Space and is during the day on Saturday and Sunday,” added Meg Weichman, creative director for the festival founded by filmmaker Michael Moore. “We still have acts playing before most of 250 screenings.”
The Open Space is located at the corner of Union Street and Grandview Parkway.
WATCHING FOR FOXES, OLIVIA MAINVILLE, BALSAM BROTHERS AND MORE ON STAGE
Although most of the participating bands and solo artists are Michigan-based – with many from northern Michigan – the long roster includes acts such as The Ethers from Los Angeles, Sammy Gonzalez from Miami, Thunderclap! from Niagara Falls, Tigers Are Bad for Horses from Washington D.C. and Starlifter, the U.S. Air Force Band of MidAmerica’s pop group.
Regional acts include Watching for Foxes, The Balsam Brothers, Olivia Mainville & The Aquatic Troupe, The Fever Haze, Josh Birdsong, Sierra Cassidy, Benjaman James & The Old Mission Collective, Blair Miller, The Busker’s Union, Capybara, Ellie McPherson and Cassidy Merten, Hannah Rae Beale, The Wild Sullys, Brett Mitchell, TC Uke Guy and many others.
Grand Rapids folk-rock band Watching for Foxes looks forward to plunging into the world of cinema.
“We jump at any chance for that,” said Joey Frendo, lead singer for Grand Rapids folk-rock band Watching for Foxes, which plays Lars Hockstad Auditorium at 9 p.m. Saturday prior to “Weiner.”
“I think it’ll be a different atmosphere. It’ll be fun to be the auxiliary piece of art, if you will – the music being supplementary to the films.”
Because bands volunteer their time to perform at the festival, Frendo views the experience as a unique way to promote Watching for Foxes, which recently released a full-length studio album, “Undone Bird.”
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