The 14th indoor fest takes place the last Sunday of the month at The Village at Grand Traverse Commons, with more than 100 musicians playing eight different stages. The lowdown at Local Spins.
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The sprawling and winding corridors of Building 50 in The Village at Grand Traverse Commons might not resemble music venues on first blush, but for more than a decade, they’ve hosted performances by thousands of Michigan artists.
With more than 100 musicians on board and more than 50 performances spread across eight different “stages,” Traverse City’s annual Great Indoor Folk Festival will once again roll out in those hallways on Feb. 25, the last Sunday of the month.
Hosted by Northern Michigan Songwriters in the Round, the singular, one-day festival is billed as “one of the top events of the year” for regional artists, with both veteran and emerging acts on tap.
“Many of the performers are repeaters, but each year we get several new acts, which helps keep the festival fresh and exciting,” said Adair Correll, co-founder of the songwriters’ association that hosts the festival, now in its 14th year.
“This year’s new acts are Luke Woltanski, David Bowen, Trillium Groove, Ben Traverse, Lynn Calihan, Terry Coveyou, Charlie Arnett and Mackinaw Harvest Songwriter Showcase performers Edison Kitt, Samantha Goodell and Julianne Ankley.”
Trillium Groove – an all-girl Traverse City trio featuring SkyeLea Martin on vocals, guitar and ukulele, Keagan Kalbfleisch on vocals and percussion, and Ruby Bardenhagen on piano and backing vocals – will play the New Folk Stage at 1:30 p.m.
“We are absolutely thrilled to be part of the Great Indoor Folk Festival,” said Bardenhagen. “It is an event we look forward to every year. We are so excited to have the opportunity to share our music with everyone.”
Kalbfleisch noted that the unique festival “brings together a wide range of musicians from our own community. It brings us closer to together and showcases songwriting and musical talent for families to enjoy and younger generations to aspire to.”
Trillium Groove, named runner-up in last year’s inaugural, statewide New Moon Songwriting Challenge, plans to release its first single, “Mindfuzz,” in early April, along with a music video.
“All three of us have been gigging and writing new music, and have the intention of starting the recording process within weeks,” said Martin. “I am really looking forward to playing different venues, and being in the studio more this year.”
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Of course, the Great Indoor Folk Festival will also feature performance by seasoned folk-hued artists who’ve played the event many times before, including New 3rd Coast, Song of the Lakes, Robin Lee Barry and The Jim Crockett Band.
“The Jim Crockett Band stands out as being one of the festival’s most memorable acts,” Correll said. “Crockett is affectionately known as ‘the godfather of northern Michigan folk music’ and typically plays to a full house as the closing act on the Kirkbride Hall Stage (starting at 4:40 p.m.).”
The folk festival runs from noon to 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 25, with performances taking place on the Left Foot Charley, New Folk, Kirkbride Hall, North Duo, South Duo, Solo, Cuppa Joe Open Mic and Higher Grounds Kids’ stages.
Admission is free, but attendees are strongly encouraged to purchase CDs and merchandise from the performers who volunteer their time to play the festival. (Performers are selected on a first-come, first-served basis, with the festival this year filling all its slots within 24 hours of announcing and opening up registration.)
Correll noted the festival this year will incorporate the Venmo app as a way of paying for CDs and merchandise “for the benefit of the performers,” with the Northwestern Michigan College audio department handling sound and stage management for the event.
View the full schedule below and get festival details online via the Great Indoor Folk Festival Facebook page.
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