2011 FESTIVAL ARCHIVE - Return to main > site.

August 26, 27 & 28, 2011

Press Releases

Porcupine Mountains Music Festival to Receive Funding from Arts Midwest

Arts Midwest funding will help to support the performance of the Guy Mendilow Band.
Photo by Craig Harris

August 1, 2011

The Porcupine Mountains Music Festival, presented by the Friends of the Porkies, has been selected to receive funding in the amount of $1,000 from Arts Midwest’s Performing Arts Fund, funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional contributions from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, General Mills Foundation, and Land O’Lakes Foundation.

The Performing Arts Fund supports the touring of professional performing artists specializing in the fine arts of dance, theater, music, and family entertainment throughout Arts Midwest’s nine-state region. These engagements include public performances and in-depth educational activities reaching audiences that lack access to the performing arts.

Arts Midwest Executive Director David J. Fraher says, “Arts Midwest is proud to support the Porcupine Mountains Music Festival in their upcoming presentation of the Guy Mendilow Band. In these economically trying times, arts events like this not only provide uplifting experiences for audiences, they also create meaningful jobs for those employed in the arts industry – thus amplifying the effectiveness of our funding.”

The festival will be held August 26-28 at the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, ski hill area and the Guy Mendilow Band is scheduled to perform on Saturday, August 27 at 4 p.m. (eastern time) and on Sunday, August 28 at 5:45 p.m.

About Arts Midwest: Based in Minneapolis, Arts Midwest is one of six nonprofit regional arts organizations in the United States. Its mission is to promote creativity, nurture cultural leadership, and engage people in meaningful arts experiences, bringing vitality to Midwest communities and enriching people’s lives. Since its establishment more than 25 years ago, Arts Midwest has been serving audiences, arts organizations, and artists throughout the nine states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and beyond.

About the National Endowment for the Arts: The National Endowment for the Arts is a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts, both new and established; bringing the arts to all Americans; and providing leadership in arts education. Established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government, the Endowment is the nation’s largest annual funder of the arts, bringing great art to all 50 states, including rural areas, inner cities, and military bases.

For more information:

About the Porcupine Mountains Music Festival: Please visit www.porkiesfestival.org
About Arts Midwest: Please visit www.artsmidwest.org

“Busking Barn” an Acoustic Oasis at Porcupine Mountains Music Festival

The Busking barn surrounded by the park’s tall grasses and wildflowers.
Photo by John Deckinga

Submitted by Cheryl Olson

Organizers of the 7th Annual Porcupine Mountains Music Festival, presented by the Friends of the Porkies, are busy making the final preparations for the event to be held August 26-28 at the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park’s Ski Hill area.

Attendees who have not yet followed the path leading to the Festival’s third stage, the Busking Barn, should put this on the “must do” list for this year’s event.

In its third year of existence, the Busking Barn, (a wooden structure without electricity), showcases performances by performers with tip jars. The vision of stage coordinator, Dale Venema, the barn serves as an acoustic oasis on the festival grounds. “The absence of electronic paraphernalia and its busyness takes folks back to the pure roots of music for an enjoyable and memorable experience for both performers and listeners,” said Venema.

In addition to the barn’s three “open” jam sessions where all are welcome to participate...those scheduled to perform are: Aaron Dean, Ryan Peterson, Reid & Rivers, Raining Frogs, Jenn Copeman, Tom Chapman, Dang Ole’ Triole’, West of East, Al Buczynski - Squeeze Box, Kaleb Kotsko, Huffing Pink, Dane Ohri, Erin Luoto, Dan Wilder, Lost Creek String Band, Gratiot Lake Road, Bathtub Mothers, Cheri Griffith, the Lund Family, Truckey Bros. (Dan & Drew), Jackie McMullen and Friends, Linda Garrett and Dale Miller, the Carrothers Family, Lisa Ridgley, Jonathan Soper, Kevin Davidson and Electric Park.

“It seems the word has spread.” said Venema, adding “The schedule filled up earlier than previous years, with many new faces. We have an exciting line-up featuring seasoned professionals... along with youthful artists and songwriters joining us for the first time. The excitement level is high and building.”

Visit www.porkiesfestival.org for more information on the Porcupine Mountains Music Festival.

Click here for a printable version of the Busking Barn schedule

Porcupine Mountains Music Festival 2011 T-shirt Design Chosen

This design, submitted by Mike Brostek of Spaulding, Illinois, was selected
as this year’s t-shirt design for the Porcupine Mountains Music Festival.

Submitted by Cheryl Olson

Melissa Hronkin, coordinator of the T-Shirt Design Contest for the 7th Annual Porcupine Mountains Music Festival– presented by the Friends of the Porkies, has announced the selection panel’s decision that its 2011 t-shirt design has been chosen.

Mike Brostek of Spalding, Illinois, submitted the winning entry and will receive 2 weekend passes and $50, along with a t-shirt bearing his winning design. He will also be credited in the music festival’s program guide.

“I’ve been to the Porcupine Mountains countless times but I’ve never been up for the festival. I will be there this year! I know people who go every year,” Brostek said. “I live in Chicago and I’ve been going to the U.P. since I was born. My parents have owned land on the beautiful shores of Lake Gogebic since 1971 and are moving up there within the next year.”

Brostek’s design was in good company among ten artists’ entries. Approximately half of the designs received were from local artists and other half sent via the internet from all over the country.

The 7th Annual Porcupine Mountains Music Festival will be held August 26–28 at the Porcupine Mountains Winter Recreation Area (a/k/a Ski Hill). For more information visit www.porkiesfestival.org or call 884-2653 or toll free 1-800-344-5355.

Porcupine Mountains Music Festival Announces Return of Mountain Heart

Mountain Heart, a band that wowed the Porkies audience in 2008,
is confirmed to return as this year’s Saturday night headliner.

Submitted by Cheryl Olson

Organizers for the 7th Annual Porcupine Mountains Music Festival, presented by the Friends of the Porkies, have announced a change to the festival’s Saturday night lineup. The festival takes place August 26 - 28 at the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Winter Recreation (Ski Hill) area.

Due to an unfortunate scheduling conflict, Grasstowne, the band previously selected as headliner cancelled its performance. Without skipping a beat, Don Kermeen, Booking Coordinator for the festival secured the band Mountain Heart as Saturday night headliner. Many will recall the excitement generated by Mountain Heart’s energetic performance on the Porkies stage in 2008.

Mountain Heart is the band that has been fearlessly revolutionizing the way acoustic music can be presented and played. The band’s name has been synonymous with cutting-edge excellence in acoustic music circles since the group’s creation in 1999. Widely known throughout the music industry for continually redefining the boundaries of acoustic music, the band has gained legions of loyal fans both as a result of their superlative musicianship, and more notably, their incomparably exciting live performances.

As one of the most highly awarded ensembles ever assembled, Mountain Heart, or members of the band, have either won or been nominated for Grammy’s, ACM, CMA, and multiple IBMA Awards. They have appeared on the revered stage of the Grand Ole Opry in excess of 125 times and have shared the stage with acts ranging from Lynyrd Skynyrd, Montgomery Gentry, Merle Haggard, George Jones and Brad Paisley to Alison Krauss, Tony Rice, The Avett Brothers, Yonder Mountain Stringband, Levon Helm, John Fogerty and Patty Loveless.

Mountain Heart’s musical virtuosity, unmatched energy, and keen sense of entertainment dynamics have helped them to forge a highly unique sound, and stage show, which appeals to an incredibly wide variety of musical tastes. Mountain Heart always makes an undeniable connection to an audience, leaving them on their feet. In short, this rare combination of abilities makes Mountain Heart one of the most versatile acts ever assembled.

The group’s latest effort “That Just Happened”, was released in late 2010.

For more information on Mountain Heart visit their website at www.mountainheart.com.

Tickets can be purchased at local outlets including the Ontonagon Herald, Superior Shores Resort, Peterson’s Cottage and AmericInn of Silver City. Senior and teen discounts and special children’s pricing are available.

Visit www.porkiesfestival.org for more information.

MCACA Grant Award Received by The Friends of the Porkies

The Friends of the Porkies have been awarded a grant of $7,500.00 from the State of Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA) to be used for the 7th Annual Porcupine Mountains Music Festival event. The grant was awarded through the MCACA peer review process and was one of nearly 188 applications to compete for MCACA fiscal year 2011 funding.

Organizations receiving a MCACA grant award are required to match those funds with other public and private dollars. Local support of the project by way of donations, event sponsors and advertisers has been important. The festival also receives significant volunteer support from the community with approximately 120 volunteers utilized throughout the 3 day event.

The MCACA peer review process allows for each grant application to be competitively considered by a panel of instate and out-of-state arts and culture professionals. This ensures the taxpayers, who support this project through legislative appropriations, and all other visitors or residents in Michigan will have access to the highest quality arts and cultural experiences.

A complete list of grant awards around the state is available by contacting MCACA at (517) 241-4011, or by visiting the MCACA website at www.themedc.org/arts.

World Music in the spotlight at 7th Annual Porcupine Mountains Music Festival

by Cheryl Olson

The 7th Annual Porcupine Mountains Music Festival, presented by the Friends of the Porkies, will take place August 26 - 28 at the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park Winter Recreation Area (Ski Hill/Chalet). Organizers have been hard at work making preparations for this year’s event. Last year was a success and the weather was sunny and as hot as the music! The festival provides its audience a unique musical experience – the ability to see top quality national touring acts, in a beautiful, up-close and intimate setting. The festival’s Music Selection Committee has been busy. Twenty-two acts have been selected to date, with the remaining booking(s) to be finalized in the near future. Each year the festival solicits audience survey forms asking for feedback.

“The feedback has been very positive,” said Linda Kermeen, Festival Director. One sentiment echoed by many survey respondents, when asked about the performers selected, is “keep surprising us!” This year’s lineup is no exception, with many surprises in store. World music will be represented this year by headlining act, the multi-cultural Guy Mendilow Band. Led by Israeli performer Guy Mendilow, the quintet makes this ancient music relevant to today’s audiences by recasting it through the lens of modern migrations. Drawn from the places Mendilow and his musicians have called home, from Israel and Brazil to Japan and the United States, the resulting music is a blend of haunting Sephardi, driven with Brazilian street beats and tempered with blues. From Guy Mendilow’s first touring experience as a boy, swapping songs with Ladysmith Black Mambazo as a vocalist with the American Boychoir; to currently thrilling the audiences at venues such as the Chicago World Music Festival or New York’s Tribeca Performing Arts Center; to building cross-cultural understanding through facilitating musical workshops with government education ministers from Palestine, Israel, Jordan and Lebanon; Mendilow and the Guy Mendilow Band continue to journey beyond musical boundaries.

Other headlining acts are: Grasstowne, one of the hottest and most energetic bluegrass bands touring today, will also be featured as headliner on the Porkies Stage this year. Grasstowne is comprised of several well respected veterans in bluegrass and acoustic music and the band’s first two projects “The Road Headin’ Home” and “The Other Side of Towne” went to #1 and #2 respectively on the National Bluegrass Charts. The Road Headin’ home remained at #1 for three months and also won the 2008 “Album of the Year” award; Rita Hosking and her band “Cousin Jack.” Rita was named winner of Best Country Album (Vox Pop) in the 2010 Independent Music Awards. Come Sunrise, Rita’s third album, was recorded in Austin, Texas with producer and guitarist Rich Brotherton (Robert Earl Keen, Caroline Herring,) Come Sunrise launched Rita onto the international Americana scene. Newcomers to the Porcupine Mountains stage include Hoots & Hellmouth, Ray Bonneville, The Red Sea Pedestrians, The Pines, D.B. Rielly, Roma di Luna, Alison Scott, KAIVAMA, The Back Room Boys. Returning are Sista Otis, Seth Bernard and May Erlewine, Charlie Parr, the Bathtub Mothers, Conga Se Menne, Black River John, Rory and Dale Miller, Doris and the Daydreams and Yvonne Blake. Once again, what has now become the festival’s 3rd stage – the “Busking Barn” will have it’s doors open, providing a welcome and cozy structure hosting numerous acoustic performances, some scheduled and some spontaneous – including the daily “open jam session.”

Always popular with families is the children’s area, designed to entertain our young festival goers with various colorful activities. The children of the Porcupine Mountains are the future of music and they cap their festival experience each year by performing on the festival’s Peace Hill Stage.

A notable change has been made to the festival’s advance discounting calender with May 31 as the last day to receive advance discounts, tickets go to full price on June 1. The festival made State history in 2005 by becoming the first music festival to be held in a State Park. The Friends of the Porkies organization that presents the festival, is a nonprofit that represents the interests of all users of the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. The Park is a popular tourist attraction, with a breathtaking 60,000 acres of natural beauty located in Ontonagon County. Ontonagon is largest by acreage and is also one of the least densely populated counties in Michigan...laid back and picturesque, with wondrous natural surroundings. There are more than 40 miles of Lake Superior shoreline, 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. 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.

For more information regarding the 7th Annual Porcupine Mountains Music Festival, visit www.porkiesfestival.org or call 906-884-2653 or 800-344-5355.