I just wanted to draw everyone's attention to the blossoming music and festival scene here in Michigan and Northern Michigan in particular. With festivals like Blissfest, Sleeping Bear Blues & Dunegrass Festival, Wheatland Music Fest, Farm Fest, Hoxeyville Music Festival Northern Michigan is quickly becoming a festival destination.
We've been going to BlissFest for years and have turned it into a family tradition. With a totally family friendly vibe, Bliss is a great place to bring the kids, aside from music there are workshops, kids activities, programs, etc. This year's BlissFest (the 28th annual by the way) was absolutely top notch...the BlissFest organization actually owns the festial farm, so every year there are improvements and it just keeps getting better and better. You won't find a nicer, more sincere, caring group of people anywhere.
Last year, we discovered Dunegrass, in Empire right at the Sleeping Bear Dunes. We've decided that while Bliss is the family festival, Dunegrass is for mom and dad...not that it isn't family friendly, it's just a good opportunity for our daughter to visit the grandparents and for mom and dad to cut loose a bit! Dunegrass last year was phoenominal...great music, great vibe, great location with shuttle to the beach...an all around awesome festival! Dunegrass is next weekend (July 31-Aug 3), if anyone's in the area looking for something to do, I'd highly suggest you check it out.
Here's a handy list of music festivals throughout the area:
Blissfest: Second weekend in July every year: www.blissfest.org
Dunegrass Festival: First weekend in August: www.dunegrassfestival.com
Wheatland Music Fest: Weekend after labor day: www.wheatlandmusic.org
Farm Fest: This is a little down home festival that's really starting to come into it's own...In Johannesburg August 14-17: www.farm-fest.com
Hoxeyville Music Festival: Going on Right Now!!! I've not yet been to this one, but I've heard great things. Unbelievably, it's getting to the point where there's more music that one can feasibly see in the summer!!! What a great problem to have, eh?
Of course we can't forget Rothbury. In it's innaugural year, Rothbury was a huge hit. I personally prefer the smaller regional festivals, but with the amazing lineup, Rothbury is definitely a national draw. I hear they didn't do too well financially (it's not cheap being green) so we'll see if they're still around next year.
Anyway, do yourself a favor and check out some of these festivals. Even if you just stay for a day you'll get a good flavor of what goes on. I can't tell you how many people I've turned on to these festivals...they all just come for a single day and wind up camping for the weekend the following year!