Traverse City Record-Eagle

July 12, 2013

Third name's the charm for area music fest?

BY LAURIE MIHOLER-ZACHRITZ Special to the Record-Eagle
Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — TRAVERSE CITY — Walt Langielle, proprietor of the new Walt’s Smokehouse in Honor, doesn’t know exactly how much of his signature house bacon he’ll be making for this year’s Dunesville Music Festival in Lake Ann, but his nitrate-free recipe from a 1936 Morton Salt catalog will be featured in the festival’s own food venue.

“Waken Bacon” will be located in the festival hospitality tent, where entertainers, volunteers and festival go-ers also can grab bacon wraps, bacon burritos, and other things bacon. There’ll even be an ‘as-yet-to-be-revealed’ Dunesville Brat, in honor of the festival’s new name.

“I haven’t figured that out yet,” Lingielle said. “Since we’re doing so much bacon, I’m thinking bacon, mushrooms, and Swiss. I’ve got to make some first, though, and see if it tastes okay.”

While Langielle still needs to work out the ingredients for the special brat, producer Brandon Wittig has already worked out the formula for a successful festival — scheduled for July 26-28 at the Harm Farm in Lake Ann. Wittig, new to this year’s festival, is a veteran of seven years with the Farm Festival in Johannesburg.

The Dunesville festival is taking place at the farm on Hulbert Road for the third year in a row. And for the third time, the festival name has changed. Originally known as Dunegrass, the music festival begun in 1993 near Empire, the event changed venues to the Harm Farm as Sleepy Bear Music Festival in 2011, and now is Dunesville Music Festival 2013 at the same location.

Headlining the festival are fan favorites the Ragbirds, Delilah De Wylde and the Lost Boys, and Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys, along with local favorites The Accidentals, Billy Strings and Don Julin, Blake Elliott, Miriam Pico and New Third Coast. In all, 40 acts — either from Michigan or with Michigan ties — perform on three stages during the event.

The festival’s name changes are indicative of other administrative changes that occurred over the past several years, which resulted in Wittig stepping up to take over and keep the festival viable. The focus this year is to take the festival back to its roots, say organizers.

“We’re going to take it back a few steps,” Wittig said. “We want to create a bit of what it was when it first started.”

What it was, and what Wittig hopes to create again, is a family-friendly atmosphere with an abundance of music, ample camp sites, and plenty of space to spread out and enjoy the shows. In addition to food and craft vendors, the musicians and other volunteers will be leading activities and workshops. Event organize, Mary Alice Brooks, who also is active with the Bliss Fest, has helped arrange everything from make-your-own hula-hoop workshops to harmonica and kazoo workshops led by band members. Singer Robin Lee Berry will lead Ukes for Youth, a ukulele workshop.

Wittig plans to have a shuttle looping to Lake Ann every hour for people who want to explore the area and take a break from festival activities. He also is trying to secure a shower trailer, but said cherry farmers and the storms in Oklahoma have created a shortage of the portable showers. Bay Area Recycling for Charities is in charge of the ‘green team’ and plans for a recyclable and compostable event. Volunteers and sponsors are still needed and can call Brooks at 330-4240 for more information..

For more information and the full lineup, see or call 651-9713.