Music festivals fill the summer’s schedule in Lake Country
Written by Kate Perkins
NOTHING CAN COMPARE TO LISTENING AND WATCHING MUSIC HAPPEN—THE ENERGY OF THE CROWD, THE MASSIVE VOLUME OF THE SOUND, AND THE PASSION OF THE ARTIST.
This summer Minnesota is once again home to a wide variety of music jams and festivals. From country to rock, blues to jazz, there’s something for everyone.
Lakes Bluegrass Festival
Bluegrass performers from across the Midwest and the country will gather at the Cass County Fairgrounds in Pine River this August for the Lakes Bluegrass Festival, now in its seventh year at that location.
The festival draws bluegrass enthusiasts from across North America who spend the weekend enjoying performances, workshops, and jam sessions. Festival-goers can bring an instrument and jam with fellow bluegrass fans or learn from workshops led by headlining bands. The event kicks off with a free dance on Wednesday, Aug. 24.
Tim Roggenkamp, one of the festival’s organizers, said that the Lakes Bluegrass Festival is different from other festivals in that it’s especially family-friendly. He said that alcohol is not served or allowed at the festival, though it is allowed at the campsites, which are also on the fairgrounds.
Carolyn Chauncey says that even if you’re not into country music, WE Fest “would make a country fan out of you in no time.” Chauncey serves as vice president of marketing for Townsquare Events, the company that produces WE Fest. With more than 150,000 people over three days, WE Fest is the largest country music and camping festival in the country.
“After seeing the artists live you just have this affinity,” Chauncey said. “It’s so fun and such an experience.”
She said that WE Fest balances its headlining big names with groups that are up and coming in the country music world. Some of those up and coming bands have even gone on to become huge names in the industry and country music superstars. Eric Church is one of those. Church made his debut at WE Fest years ago and is this year’s WE Fest head-lining band.
This year, WE Fest will have six jumbotrons (up one from last year) and
two 12-by-36-foot video walls, which will live feed hash-tagged social media posts and sponsor logos.
This Walker festival is celebrating its 25th year in 2016. Headliners for 2016 include Chicago, Boston, Loverboy and Rick Springfield. Moondance Jam has come a long way from its inaugural event in 1992, when 5,000 people were expected to attend the event headlined by the Fantastic Convertibles, The Classics, and Sparky and the Time Pirates. The Walker Pilot Independent previewed the first-ever Moondance Jam, saying that it “promises to join the ranks of other big annual events,” and it seems that statement was right on.