The Michigan festival will fire up for the third year outside Sidney, with familiar, popular names such as Nathan Kalish, Valentiger, The Bootstrap Boys and Jordan Hamilton on board.
SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEOS OF SOME FEATURED PERFORMERS
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When Eric and Jo Raby staged their first Willowsong Music Festival outside Sidney, Mich., in late September 2017, concertgoers reveled in sunny, 70-degree weather.
But Year 2 proved to be much different: 40-degree temperatures amid cold rain.
So, they’ve moved Willowsong 2019 up to Aug. 23-24, with a strong lineup of regional acts that features Grand Rapids soul/pop singer Molly (Molly Bouwsma Schultz), Kalamazoo hip-hop/soul ensemble Last Gasp Collective and Americana/alt country’s Nathan Kalish & The Lastcallers, along with Valentiger, The Bootstrap Boys, Jordan Hamilton, Blushing Monk and more.
“While we love the fall colors and harvest season in Michigan, the weather at the end of September is just too unpredictable,” said Eric Raby.
“The first year it was a beautiful, 70 degrees and sunny. Last year, it was 40 degrees and raining. Everyone on our staff got sick and one person even got pneumonia. By moving into August, we hope to preserve everyone’s health and attract more attendees that were perhaps deterred by the weather last year.”
The third year of the intimate festival on the Willowsong Farmstead about an hour north of Grand Rapids will also feature sets by Joe Serrapere & The Willie Dunns, Escaping Pavement, Matt Gabriel Trio, Jukejoint Handmedowns, Chain of Lakes, Deep Greens & Blues, Beaver Xing, August and Deerfield Run.
“We have been so fortunate to have had incredible talent the first two years,” Raby said. “My goals in curating this year’s lineup were to maintain the stylistic diversity that we have begun to be known for and to balance the familiarity of some returning acts while also bringing fresh new talent to our stage.”
AS CLOSE TO A ‘ZERO WASTE’ EVENT AS POSSIBLE
Another point of pride?
“We started out with the somewhat daunting goal of being as close to a zero waste event as possible. In both 2017 and 2018 everyone in attendance was so respectful of this ideal that with over 200 people onsite for the entire weekend we only generated one small bag of trash each year,” he said.
“We are also very proud to have received an honorable mention in the Michigan’s Top 10 Music Festivals: Results of the Local Spins 2019 Readers’ Poll. There are so many amazing festivals on this list that have been doing it right for decades and to have received enough votes to be mentioned alongside of such great institutions in the Michigan music community is amazing and incredibly encouraging.”
Weekend passes are $40; single-day tickets are $25. Get tickets online here.
VIDEO: Last Gasp Collective at the Jammie Awards
VIDEO: Nathan Kalish & The Lastcallers, “My Best”
VIDEO: The Bootstrap Boys, “Diamond Joe”
VIDEO: Jordan Hamilton, “For You”
VIDEO: Willowsong Music Festival 2018 (Local Spins)
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