The jam-packed weekend of live music across West Michigan also featured Pink Sky, The Cornfed Girls and Charlie Millard. Revisit the celebrations in colorful images at Local Spins.
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Performing at two different music festivals on the same weekend might seem a tad arduous to some bands.
But for West Michigan acts such as The Bootstrap Boys and Nicholas James & The Bandwagon, it proved to be a marvelous, family-friendly way to strut their stuff for engaged audiences in relaxed settings.
“It was a blast,” said Nicholas James Thomasma, whose band played Wild Thyme Music Festival in Allegan on Friday, then traveled more than 80 miles northeast to help pump up Tamarack Music Festival in Morley on Saturday night.
“Micro festivals provide a unique opportunity to truly participate in the incredible community that is the Michigan music scene. … Both nights were great. I love Bandwagon weekends. We only have five shows this year, so they are very precious to me.”
Despite heat, humidity and some overnight rain, festivalgoers reveled in smaller celebrations that unfurled during the final weekend in July, including Morley’s Tamarack Fest, Allegan’s Wild Thyme and the first-ever Smoke on the Water Fest in Manistee.
“Wild Thyme was really fun,” noted Local Spins photographer Derek Ketchum, who caught sets by the Bandwagon, Samuel Nalangira, Cole Hanson and Dede Alder during the festival’s opening day. “It was a hot one, but it ran really smooth.”
Things were a bit different at Saturday’s Smoke on the Water cannabis festival in Manistee that starred the rapper Afroman, with Grand Rapids’ Nathan Walton & The Remedy and other acts such as Pretty Kool and Rev. Right-Time and the 1st Cuzins of Funk also on the bill.
Local Spins’ Chelsea Whitaker described the festival which attracted several hundred people as “one of the craziest and strangest festivals I’ve ever experienced. Nathan Walton & the Remedy were cut halfway through a song for going ‘over their time’ with no warning (though) the following bands ended up playing over their scheduled set times. … Afroman finally arrived to close the night at 10:30 p.m., an hour-and-a-half later than expected. He proceeded to play five songs (think big hits) and left the stage for his ‘VIP Meet & Greet.’ The crowd didn’t seem to mind, though, cheering with each song the DJ played. The smoke was thick and the sun was high and a delayed set wasn’t going to spoil our day.”
The weekend also saw California’s Glitch Mob inciting an electronic music party with a special “in-the-round” stage set-up at Elevation inside The Intersection in Grand Rapids, with Grand Rapids electronic music duo Pink Sky staging their farewell show at The Pyramid Scheme the night before. The duo is now bound for Los Angeles.
In Kalamazoo, Shakey Graves with Lucius entertained a sold-out crowd at Bell’s Brewery Beer Garden, and The Cornfed Girls and Payton & Annabelle delivered sets of fetching songs at Old Dog Tavern.
In Muskegon, meanwhile, The Starlight Room hosted northern Michigan’s Charlie Millard Band. View all eight photo galleries below.
PHOTO GALLERY: Tamarack Music Festival in Morley
Photos by Anna Sink
PHOTO GALLERY: Wild Thyme Music Festival in Allegan
Photos by Derek Ketchum
PHOTO GALLERY: Smoke on the Water Fest in Manistee
Photos by Chelsea Whitaker