The first Porcupine Mountains Music Festival is scheduled to take place Friday August 26 (4 - 10 pm), Saturday August 27 (12 - 10 pm) and Sunday August 28 (10 am - 7 pm) at the Winter Sports Complex (ski hill and chalet area) in the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Ontonagon County located in the western Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Festival-goers will have a unique opportunity to camp in the beautiful outdoor setting of the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness on the south shore of Lake Superior while enjoying 3 days of music.
The festival headliners are Ember Swift, Iris DeMent and Kelly Joe Phelps and the sub-headliners are Rachael Davis, Garnet Rogers, and Beth Amsel.
Grammy-nominated Iris DeMent, Nashville-based, is one of the most celebrated country-folk performers of her day, DeMent has recorded 4 solo albums and has collaborated with such country-folk luminaries as Emmylou Harris, Nanci Griffith, Tom Paxton, Merle Haggard, Steve Earle, John Prine, and Delbert McClinton. Iris DeMent will be performing solo on piano and guitar. DeMent performs on Saturday for 1.5 hours at 8:30pm.
Performing on electric violin and guitar, Toronto-based Ember Swift's deeply eclectic sound combines folk, jazz, funk, punk, world (ranging from Middle Eastern to Spanish to Eastern European), pop, classical and reggae. Swift will be joined on stage by bassist Lydell Montgomery. Swift's label's motto reads: "May the few who ignite sound fuel a change in the night. May the few who fuel change ignite sound into light." It embodies their philosophy that art combined with activism is truly a recipe for hope. Swift performs for 1.5 hours on Friday at 8:30pm.
Portland songwriter Kelly Joe Phelps has released 5 major albums since 1997. Influenced by such Blues legends as Skip James, Blind Lemon Jefferson, and Mississippi Fred McDowell, Phelps is a country blues guitar virtuoso. Phelps will close the festival with a 1.5 hour performance on Sunday at 5:30pm.
Garnet Rogers, brother of the late Canadian folk legend Stan Rogers, is a formidable instrumentalist and highly literate balladeer with a powerful baritone voice. Garnet has collaborated with a wide variety of artists including Mary Chapin Carpenter, Billy Bragg, Bill Monroe, Ferron, Greg Brown and Guy Clark. At the Porcupine Mountains Music Festival, Rogers will be performing unique unrehearsed collaborative workshops with Rachael Davis, Beth Amsel, and Kelly Joe Phelps. Rogers will open for Iris DeMent on Saturday at 7pm.
Boston-based, Michigan-native Rachel Davis has been singing on-stage since she was two years old. Her influences range from the jazz stylings of Ella Fitzgerald to the soulful pop vocals of Patty Griffin -- with many more in between. She is a contemporary songwriter but is equally at home singing anything from traditional ballads to Cole Porter to Joe Henry. Davis opens for Ember Swift on Friday at 7pm.
Northeastern songwriter Beth Amsel's beautiful commanding voice and stunning lyrics combine with influences spanning classic rock, mid-century pop standards, and early 70's blues influenced country. In 2002, Amsel and three other singer-songwriters took the world by storm with their Voices on the Verge collaboration which has sold 65,000 copies. Amsel opens for Kelly Joe Phelps on Sunday at 4pm.
Other artists performing at the festival are Erik Koskinen (Michigan, folk/blues), Charlie Parr (Minnesota, piedmont blues), Seth Bernard and Daisy May (Michigan, singer-songwriters, accompanied by Dominic of Steppin' In It), Sista Otis and the Wholly Rollers (Michigan, funky urban folk soul), Bill and Peg Carrothers (Michigan, jazz piano), Conga Se Menne (Michigan, finnish reggae), Cornbread Harris and Mr. Right (Minnesota, blues and jazz piano), Larsen Family (Michigan, gospel bluegrass), Yvonne Blake (Michigan, gospel soul), MJ Walker and Fictive Kin (Illinois, traditional bluegrassy folk), Buster's Dream (Illinois, , bluesy backporch folk), Rory Miller (Illinois, high energy singer-songwriter), and Linda Garrett (Illinois, blues, folk, and celtic guitar).
The festival will feature three stages. The 19 scheduled acts will perform on the Main Stage and the Chalet Stage. A third unamplified "Busking Stage" will be set up under tent as a 3-day open stage for unscheduled performers attending the festival who wish to play their music or collaborate. The Busking Stage will be a freeform open stage and all musicians who attend the festival are encouraged to bring their instruments and tip jars to the festival to perform on this stage.
Up to 1000 people each day will hear 19 artists who will appear on outdoor stage and indoor stages. Temporary canopy covered stages will be set up at the base of the hill and several acres of open slope will be mowed and ready for your blankets and lawn chairs. Attendance is limited therefore a bad seat will not be found. Additional workshops and performances will take place indoors at the ski chalet. The restaurant located inside the ski chalet will offer a varied menu, including vegetarian options, and will be open throughout the festival.
The Porcupine Mountains are a popular tourist destination. Ontonagon is largest by acreage and is also one of the least densely populated counties in Michigan. We welcome you to our community and openly share our wondrous natural surroundings. There are more than 40 miles of Lake Superior shoreline, which was recently named one of the cleanest beaches in America. The thousands of acres of state and federal land, a community lighthouse, an area rich in mining history and Native American history are all a part of the legacy of the area. Make sure you allow for fishing, boating, hiking, camping, and local tours and museums. Ontonagon County also boasts Michigan's and the Midwest's largest span of virgin hardwood maple/hemlock forest located within the boundaries of Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park.
"The Music Festival being planned offers locals and visitors alike an opportunity to enjoy a mix of cultural entertainment during the 3-day event. The economic impact of such festivals lasts long after the festival ends, as visitors to our area will want to return time and time again to take advantage of our scenic, recreational outdoor activities. I commend the Friends of the Porkies on their on-going efforts to invite locals and visitors to enjoy not only the Porcupine Mountain Wilderness State Park, but also our entire area", said Dorothy Bussiere, Administrative Secretary of the Ontonagon County EDC.
This festival is a project of the 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, the Friends of the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness Stage park. Tax-deductible donations may be sent to:
Friends of the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park
Porcupine Mountains Music Festival
P.O. Box 694
White Pine, MI 49971
FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO PURCHASE TICKETS:
Linda & Don Kermeen (Co-coordinators)
Friends of the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park