The fast-growing international wine, beer and food sampling event in Grand Rapids also boasts three days of local and regional music, with 20,000 expected to attend. Get details and schedule here.
SCROLL DOWN FOR VALENTIGER VIDEO, LOCAL SPINS LIVE PODCAST
Support our coverage of
West Michigan's music scene
As Brent Shirey and Scott Rider of rock/pop’s Valentiger see it, regaling some 20,000 people over three days at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids surrounded by 1,600 stellar wines, beers, ciders and spirits couldn’t be a much better gig.
The popular Grand Rapids band this year will join the Steve Hilger Jazz Quintet and four solo artists in providing ramped-up musical entertainment at the ninth annual Grand Rapids International Wine, Beer & Food Festival which begins at 5 p.m. Thursday and runs through 10 p.m. Saturday.
The decision to further enhance the musical entertainment side of the event comes as show producer Showspan prepares to host record crowds at this year’s festival — an increase over the 18,000 or so who attended in 2014 and 2015.
“The first year, we used 40,000 square feet in the ballroom,” said Henri Boucher, of Showspan. “We are now 110,000 square feet using the convention center and Grand Gallery, too. … The music has to ramp up to keep pace with the festival.”
Much of that growth has come in the beer area, dubbed Beer City Station, where Valentiger will perform four times over three days. The explosion in popularity of microbrews and ciders led Showspan to significantly boost the size of that sampling area, while maintaining a large wine-tasting section dubbed The Vineyard, too. The Steve Hilger Jazz Quintet has four performances slated for The Vineyard.
“The selection of beverages … makes it an incomparable opportunity to discover wonderful new favorites and the opportunity to sample from over 25 great restaurants makes it the ultimate dining experience,” Boucher said. “And the fact that Grand Rapids is big enough to host a festival of this size pairs beautifully with the fact that it is small enough that all attendees will run into many, many friends.”
This year’s festival also features the “Elite Collection” of 47 wines with a retail price of $97 and the “GR Mixer” which boasts Grand Rapids’ “finest mixology of distilled beverages.”
Tickets are $40 for a three-day pass; $15 Thursday, $20 Friday and $20 Saturday. Beverage and food sampling tickets are 50 cents each. Get details and information online here.
Valentiger stopped the studios of News Talk 1340 AM (WJRW) for Local Spins Live this week to give listeners a little preview of its weekend performances at the festival, which Shirey said would give the band a chance to play a lot of different styles of material. He added that the band plans to return to the studio in coming months to record a new studio album.
Watch a video of the band’s acoustic performance of “Sunshine Arms” below, with a podcast of the radio show here.
PODCAST: Valentiger, Henri Boucher on Local Spins Live
2016 WINE, BEER & FOOD FESTIVAL
The Vineyard: Steve Hilger Jazz Quintet
5:30-9:30 p.m. Thursday
5:30-9:30 p.m. Friday
1-4 p.m. Saturday
5:30-9:30 p.m. Saturday
Beer City Station: Valentiger
6:30-9:30 p.m. Thursday
7-10 p.m. Friday
2-5 p.m. Saturday
6-9 p.m. Saturday
Mark Sala – 6-9:30 p.m. Thursday
Chris Laskos – 6-9:30 p.m. Friday
Alistair Beerens – 1-4 p.m. Saturday
Sam Corbin – 5-9 p.m. Saturday
VIDEO: Valentiger, “Sunshine Arms” (Local Spins Live)
Copyright 2016, Spins on Music LLC