Springtime not only brings rain showers and flowers but more summer festival and concert series announcements from Grand Rapids to the Upper Peninsula. Here are a few to peruse as you make your summer plans.
FARM BLOCK FEST 2019 IN KEWEENAW PENINSULA
Farm Block Fest and Reunion is billed as an “intimate, multi-generational celebration of life and music” staged in one of “the most beautiful and pristine places in the world.”
The Go Rounds’ Graham Parsons should know, considering the Kalamazoo musician has organized the summer music festival on the farm where he grew up in the Keweenaw Peninsula in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula for the past 12 years.
Farm Block 2019 may represent the most impressive lineup of regional acts ever showcased by the cozy, July 26-28 event in Allouez that raises money for The Dan Schmitt Gift of Music and Education Fund.
More than two dozen acts — including Traverse City favorites such as Joshua Davis, Charlie Millard Band and Jonathan Timm — will perform over the weekend on the farm, with camping, workshops, art and food vendors — including Short's Brewing — also part of the festival.
Other regional stars on the bill include Seth Bernard, Heavy Color, Molly, Cabildo, Luke Winslow-King, Earth Radio, Jordan Hamilton, OHMME, Lalo Cura, Talking Ear, Kansas Bible Company and more.
“The festival is shaping up great,” Parsons said. “This is our 12th year. Looks like the moon will be in a waning crescent phase so expect lots of stars.”
Tickets are $80 for the weekend (with an extra $15 for RVs and camper-trailers). Day passes are $25 Friday, $40 Saturday, $25 Sunday, available online at farmblockfest.com. The site is about 385 miles from Traverse City.
BREAKAWAY MUSIC FESTIVAL IN GRAND RAPIDS
For lovers of electronic music and hip hop, the third year of Grand Rapids’ Breakaway Music Festival boasts a bevy of high-profile touring acts.
House music star Kaskade, rappers Wiz Khalifa, Troyboi and Blackbear, and electronic music kingpins Big Gigantic and Louis the Child will light up the Breakaway Music Festival set for Aug. 23-24 at Grand Rapids’ Belknap Park.
The third year of the electronic music and hip hop festival will also boast sets by Herobust, Wax Motif, Bryce Vine, Kid Quill, Mersiv, Emogee, Cookn, D-Wrex, Kar Pow, Super Future, Stratz, Twinz and Saylin, with Friday’s stage lineup hosted by Grand Rapids’ DJ Jay Vee and Saturday’s by Choff. A silent disco will also boast performances by dozens of DJs over the weekend.
“Our focus with the lineup is to curate a unique blend between pop, hip-hop and dance music,” said Jenna Meyer of event promoter MiEntertainment Group, adding that the 2019 festival will feature some new vendors.
Tickets to the all-ages festival are $40 daily or $75 for both days, available online at michigan.breakawayfestival.com. VIP options also are available starting at $80 for one day or $155 for the weekend.
MEIJER GARDENS SUMMER CONCERT SERIES IN GRAND RAPIDS
The same week that Interlochen Center for the Arts announced its summer concert lineup, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park revealed its 30-concert schedule for 2019.
Series first-timers Sarah McLachlan, Dawes, Iron & Wine, The Stray Cats and Mandolin Orange will join popular returnees Foreigner, CAKE, Styx, Trombone Shorty, Steve Miller, Michael Franti and Lake Street Dive at the 1,900-capacity renovated outdoor amphitheater this summer.
The series kicks off June 6 with Nahko & Medicine for the People, will showcase touring stars in a renovated amphitheater, with a two-year remodeling and expansion project set to wrap up before the summer’s first show.
Billed as the Fifth Third Bank Summer Concerts at Meijer Gardens, the 2019 series also will feature some special double billings, among them Dawes & Margo Price (July 31), Buddy Guy & Kenny Wayne Shepherd (June 10), Calexico & Iron & Wine (Sept. 18), Steve Miller Band & Marty Stuart (June 24), The Mavericks & Los Lobos (July 25), and The Temptations & The Righteous Brothers (July 28).
“The theme for me this summer is some of the co-headlining shows. The list just goes on and on and on,” said Chris Mautz, the Utah-based promoter who books the Meijer Gardens series. “You split pretty much all of those in half, and they could be headlining on their own – every one of them.”
Discounted tickets go on sale to Meijer Gardens members at 9 a.m. April 27, available online at StarTickets.com, by phone at 800-585-3737 or in-person at Meijer Gardens. That pre-sale period ends at midnight, May 10, with tickets going on sale to the general public on May 11. Many concerts sell out during the members-only pre-sale. Public sale ticket prices range from $40 (for Nahko) to $125 (for Steve Miller and Marty Stuart), with an average price tag of $67.07 for this year’s concerts.