Interrupted for two years by COVID, the unique indoor event will boast more than 40 performances by folk-hued artists on several stages later this month. The lowdown and schedule.
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For folk music fans in northern Michigan — and for performers from across the state — it’s “a little escape from the winter blues.”
With more than 40 performances on eight stages in a single day, Traverse City’s Great Indoor Folk Festival returns Feb. 26 after a two-year COVID hiatus with a real musical bang.
Staged on Sunday (Feb. 26) in its traditional location at The Village at Grand Traverse Commons, the 13th edition of the event founded by the Northern Michigan Songwriters in the Round will roll out as “one of the top events of the year for many local musicians,” contended organizer Adair Correll.
Spread throughout the Mercato corridor of Building 50 – with additional stages at Left Foot Charley winery and Higher Grounds – the unique one-day festival at 1200 W. Eleventh St. in Traverse City boasts a bevy of popular northern Michigan acts as well as singer-songwriters from across the state.
The North Carolines, Robin Lee Berry, New 3rd Coast, Jim Crockett Band, Saldaje, FlyLiteGemini, Runaway Mule, Michael Crittenden, Josh Rose, Dede Alder, John Piatek, Song of the Lakes, Unfurl and many more acts are on this year’s bill.
After being unable to host the event during the pandemic, Correll said the response from the venue, the public and musicians to the festival’s return this year “has been very positive and rewarding.”
“We are operating with the same format that we have in the past. We’re a simple, no-frills festival with lots of music jammed into eight stages for five-plus hours of continuous music,” he said.
“In the past, the halls of the Mercato have been filled with lots of fans with smiling faces, so at this point in time, we see no reason fix or modify something that’s not broken.”
EXCITEMENT, ANTICIPATION AND ‘GEEKING OUT’ ABOUT MUSIC
Indeed, Traverse City singer-songwriter John Piatek said he’s not only “extremely excited” to play the festival’s New Folk Stage at 1 p.m., but looks forward to “drawing inspiration from the many other great artists performing there.”
“I will be performing some songs solo and some with the addition of my wife Madeline’s vocal harmony,” he said. “You can expect rich modulated acoustic guitar and organ-like pedal tones looped to build a foundation of sound. I plan to play some unreleased material and some old favorites for the set.”
Grand Rapids-area singer and guitarist Josh Rose – who plays the Mackinaw Harvest Music Showcase at Kirkbride Hall at 2:30 p.m., along with Michael Crittenden, Sierra Cassidy and Laura Frawley – noted he’s long had “an amazing relationship with that town (Traverse City). It’s actually the site of my first bar gig … at Union Street Station back in the ’90s.”
“I have so many great memories of living there. I’m thrilled to be a part of the Indoor Folk Festival this year and get back to one of my favorite towns,” said Rose, who recently released a new studio album, “Foreverland.”
Rose said he anticipates meeting up in Traverse City with “music pals and geek out about music for an uninterrupted stretch. The Michigan music scene is so tight and we all support each other.”
Correll expects as many as 1,000 people to attend the festival, which leans toward folk, bluegrass and acoustic acts.
Running from noon to 5:30 p.m., the free-admission event encourages festivalgoers to purchase CDs and merchandise from the 100-plus individual musicians who’ll perform that day.
“The musicians, volunteers, venue and almost all facets of the festival are donated, so we have the opportunity to provide a free festival to the fans in the area,” Correll said.
“We appreciate everyone who takes a little time out of their regular schedules to participate and provide the folk music fans in northern Michigan with a little escape from the winter blues.”
GREAT INDOOR FOLK FESTIVAL 2023: THE SCHEDULE
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