It’s usually a good sign for a festival when people are raving about the music and not caring about the weather. That’s exactly what happened at the 41st annual Grand Marais Music and Crafts Festival Aug. 10-12.
“Yesterday people danced in between the raindrops, but even with the not so good weather, they’ve been having a blast,” said Brandi Taylor, Grand Marais Chamber of Commerce Director.
Gate sales were a bit slower on Friday due to the weather, but Taylor said that it was another strong day at the door on Saturday.
Official numbers were not available by deadline of The Munising Beacon.
This year’s festival saw three separate band lineups for each of the days. Organizers broke the bands between rock and roll on Friday with bluegrass and country on Saturday.
Roughly a dozen acts performed on the stage throughout the weekend.
“Giving people that option has been a good success,” Taylor said.
On Thursday, a free concert was held with Chicagobased rock band 28 Days.
“Many people said it was the best band they’ve ever seen here,” Lawrence said.
“It’s great to kick off a festival with a free show for everyone, especially when everyone like (the band).”
Lawrence and Taylor said that the lineup this year included both out of town and local acts. While Taylor said it was a good way to see acts like Wyatt Kulik and Adam Carpenter and the Upper Hand before they make it big, Lawrence said it was a good way to create a mix of familiar and new bands.
Continued from pg 1 “We got a lot of positive comments about how the festival felt new. You get the acts from out of town to freshen that up along with the locals that provide stability for (festival goers) and it just worked really well,” Lawrence said.
This was the first year of the festival with Lawrence as chair. He said that he originally signed up to help with the bands but was able to work with a lot of the pre-festival organization.
Lawrence said that past and present organizers focused on the history of the festival and what it meant to the community, making it easier to dive into the work.
“I think that people who were doing so much of the work were looking to hand it off, so there were a lot of people willing to talk,” Lawrence said. “We were then able to bring in some new people and new ideas to keep the tradition going.”
One of those changes resulted in bands getting booked earlier, which meant tickets could go on sale earlier than ever before. The result was the largest ticket presale in the history of the festival. It also helped get new craft vendors and made scheduling the 40+ volunteers easier.