Festival Summer

Crystal Mountain’s Taste of Michigan ~ September 3

TasteOfMichiganHead north to Crystal Mountain Resort & Spa on Saturday, September 3 for a Taste of Michigan. It’s a celebration of all things Michigan and part of Crystal Mountain’s Pure Michigan Labor Days!

Sample Michigan-made wines, craft beers, homegrown delicacies and signature products from throughout the state while you enjoy live entertainment by northern Michigan’s own Emmy award-winning Bihlman Brothers. The event takes place outdoors on Crystal’s slopeside lawn adjacent to the Crystal Clipper chairlift, but if the weather is bad, it will be moved to an on-premise indoor location.

Check below to register for a pair of tickets to the Taste of Michigan and also to see the Bihlman Bros. performing their hit Jubilee.

To be eligible for a pair of passes to the Taste of Michigan and to be entered in every one of the Festival Summer giveaways, just join our email list using the form below!

Traverse City Microbrew & Music Festival ~ August 26 & 27

Buckwheat Zydeco at the Beer Fest II by farlane,
Buckwheat Zydeco at the Beer Fest II by farlane,

The annual Traverse City Microbrew & Music Festival features over 50 breweries, a cider, mead and wine court, a new silent disco tent and a musical lineup including chart-topping folk rocker Martin Sexton, Grammy-nominated New Orleans brass brand Rebirth Brass Brand and Afro-Cuban funk favorites Euforquestra. It takes place August 26 & 27 at the Village at Grand Traverse Commons, and other musical guests include fiddle rockers Barrage, popular Michigan dance outfit Ella Riot (formerly My Dear Disco), musical “mad scientist” That 1 Guy, Celtic marchers Grand Traverse Pipes & Drums, West African drummers and more!

This year, the festival will kick off on Friday, August 26 from 5-10 p.m. with a “Pint Night” themed evening featuring a headlining performance by Martin Sexton as well as $3 pint specials from a variety of renowned craft breweries, the silent disco tent, and food and merchandise vending areas.

Traverse City Wine & Art Festival on FacebookThe second day of the festival on Saturday, August 27, will feature an expanded festival experience from 4-10 p.m. with over 50 breweries and 200+ flavors of beer, cider, mead and wine, live music from Rebirth Brass Band, Barrage, Euforquestra, Ella Riot, That 1 Guy, Grand Traverse Pipes and Drums and several more acts, plus $1 tasting tokens for 7-oz sample pours (a commemorative festival cup and 5 tokens are included with admission), a variety of local food vendors and brew-friendly pub grub, an MSU Extensions Educational Tent featuring workshops on beer-related topics, the festival’s popular Hop ‘N Brew tasting shack, the silent disco tent and special partner activities and events.

All in all, this is a fantastic celebration of Michigan’s microbrew culture that you will certainly enjoy and our Absolute Michigan passes will let you enjoy it to the fullest. Check Porterhouse Productions for ticket information and check below to enter the giveaway and for a video!

To be eligible for a pair of passes for Friday AND Saturday night to the Traverse City Microbrew & Music Festival and to be entered in every one of the Festival Summer giveaways, just join our email list using the form below!

Here’s the Rebirth Brass Band in New Orleans – see them in Michigan next Saturday! Also be sure to check out this cool video of the Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars at last year’s festival!

Wine and Food Festival at Meadow Brook ~ August 28 & 29

meadowbrook-wine-festivalThe Wine and Food Festival at Meadow Brook takes place Saturday, August 27 from 1 – 9:30 PM and Sunday, August 28 from 1 – 5:30 PM.

The festival features award-winning wineries throughout the state of Michigan and across the globe showcasing more than 100 varieties of wine including Chardonnay, Merlots, Cabernet Sauvignon, Rieslings, Sparkling, dessert wines and many more. A neat feature is that the festival’s on-site retail store has select wines available for purchase at the event, by the bottle or discounted by the case. In addition to wine sampling, there are also a number of food vendors along with seminars covering wine, food and other topics of interest. You will also enjoy continuous live music and special exhibits and displays throughout the weekend.

The Wine and Food Festival at Meadow Brook Music Festival is sponsored by Palace Sports & Entertainment, Kroger, The Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council and is a part of the Belle Tire Concert Series. Tickets for adults are $18 in advance and $20 at the door and include free wine samples, a complimentary wine glass, wine and food seminars, exhibits and live music. Designated Driver tickets may be purchased for $10 and admission is free for those under 21 years of age. Tickets are on sale now at Palacenet.com, by calling 1-800-745-3000 or on the day of the event.

Absolute Michigan has a pair of tickets for the Wine and Food Festival. To be entered for this and in every one of the Festival Summer giveaways, just join our email list using the form below!

Porcupine Mountains Music Festival ~ August 26-28

Porcupine Mountain Music FestivalThe Porcupine Mountains Music Festival takes place Friday August 26 through Sunday August 28 and is the only festival to take place within a state wilderness park.

The lineup of artists is truly impressive. The festival is headlined by one of the most highly awarded ensembles ever assembled, Mountain Heart, and other national performers include Rita Hosking and Cousin Jack (Rita won winner of Best Country Album in the 2010 Independent Music Awards), Israeli musician Guy Mendilow, The Pines (David Huckfelt and Benson Ramsey), blues artist Ray Bonneville and Minneapolis based Alison Scott. The festival also features great Michigan acts like The Ragbirds, Detroit-based Sista Otis, Seth Bernard and May Erlewine, Black River John and the Red Sea Pedestrians.

The festival takes place at the Winter Sports Complex located within Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. Temporary, canopy covered, stages are set up at the base of the hill, forming a natural amphitheater perfect for blankets and lawn chairs. Attendance is limited and there’s not a bad seat to be found. In addition to great music, workshops take place on the event grounds and also inside the 20,000 square foot ski chalet. The restaurant located inside the ski chalet offers a varied menu and will be open throughout the event.  All in all, it’s a beautiful, up-close and intimate setting that’s family friendly and perfect for unwinding after a busy summer!

To help you unwind, Absolute Michigan has a pair of weekend passes to the Porcupine Mountains Music Festival . To enter, and to be entered in every one of the Festival Summer giveaways, just join our email list using the form below!

You should definitely check out this slideshow from Porkies Fest 2009, but here’s the Ragbirds at the festival with one of my favorite musicians, That 1 Guy, sitting in!

Hoxeyville Music Festival ~ August 19-21

Is that Mickey Hart playing with Greensky Bluegrass!? It is.Held the weekend of August 19th through the 21st, the Hoxeyville Music Festival boasts 2 stages of national touring artists like Umphrey’s McGee, Mickey Hart Band, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, Greensky Bluegrass, Great American Taxi, Ekoostik hookah, The Itals and many more.

This summer Absolute Michigan interviewed Ragbirds front woman Erin Zindel about Electric Forest. She told us, “The heart of Hoxeyville is a community of musicians who are there every year. Many are from Michigan, and it’s wonderful to have so many talented people in one place. I love the bands they choose and the size of the festival. It’s well managed and a has a great vibe!”

Erin is dead on and you can see some of the best and brightest talent from around our beautiful state including The Ragbirds, Breathe Owl Breathe, The Macpodz, Ella Riot, Airborne or Aquatic, Seth & May, The Crane Wives and many more!

My Dear Disco - 3rd StageIt’s more than just music – Hoxeyville is held on 85 acres of northern Michigan farmland and hardwood forest that gets you feeling like you’re away from it all. So you don’t feel too far out there, they have a swimming pool, showers, plug-ins, dump station and wireless Internet. The festival also features a disc golf course with a glow course, VIP and quiet camping options, a vendor village and a beer tent featuring some of the finest brews from the region. To ensure you can enjoy the intimate vibe, attendance is capped at 5000!

Hoxeyville is also a leader among green festivals and offers incentives for “green acts” and was able to compost more than 70% of the waste produced, use biodegradable cups & plates and even to reduce its carbon footprint by powering its stages and productions using biodiesel generators!

All this can be yours with a pair of free weekend passes that include camping – enter below and read on for a highlight from Hoxeyville 2010!

Susan K won the pair of passes to Hoxeyville. She says that a few of her favorite Michigan festivals are Rothbury, Electric Forest Festival, the Buckley Steam Show and very appropriately the Hoxeyville Music Fest! Some of her favorite bands are The Red Sea Pedestrians and three acts who will be at Hoxeyville: Greensky Bluegrass, Seth & May, and Steppin' In It!

To be entered in every one of the Festival Summer giveaways, just join our email list using the form below!

Traverse City Wine & Art Festival ~ August 20th


Traverse City Wine & Art Festival, 2010 by KatSwinehart
Traverse City Wine & Art Festival, 2010 by KatSwinehart

Traverse City Wine & Art Festival on FacebookThe 2011 Traverse City Wine & Art Festival takes place Saturday, August 20th from 3-10 PM on the beautiful front lawn at The Village at Grand Traverse Commons, rain or shine. It’s Michigan’s premier celebration of wine, art, food and music, offering an incredible opportunity to taste wines from 24 wineries as you dance, dine, and see extraordinary performers, art and artists.

The wines & wineries are the heart of the festival and the large wine tent is dedicated to featuring well over 100 wines from the Leelanau Peninsula, Old Mission Peninsula and – for the first time – Benzie County. Attendees can choose a tasting or full-glass pour and have a chance to talk with the winemakers and winery reps to learn more about the wines. The 2010 vintage is spectacular, and this is a fantastic opportunity to try the riesling, pinot gris, chardonnay, pinot blanc, cabernet franc and a host of other varieties that are making a lot of noise at wine competitions around the country!

The festival also features a great lineup with some of Michigan’s finest musicians. Michigan jazz/folk great Claudia Schmidt kicks things off  and then joins Rachel Davis and Shout Sister Shout. It will be the first time Claudia and Shout Sister Shout have taken the stage together, an event that promises to be one of those “better not miss it” nights. Steppin’ In It goes electric and will keep you dancing into the evening. There’s also a wide range of performances including dancers, performance artists and the Sweet Adelines.

tcwfposterIn addition to a wide selection of art for show & sale and gourmet food from many of the region’s finest restaurants for purchase, there’s even a chance for YOU to get into the act with “Fashion Is Art”. This new feature that invites you to don your most innovative attire for a chance to win the Grand Prize, a spa weekend for two at Crystal Mountain Resort & Spa. Get tickets & lodging package information at traversecitywinefestival.com and check their Facebook for a ticket deal that ends TODAY.

To enter to win a pair of tickets to the Traverse City Wine & Art Festival and to be entered in every one of our Festival Summer giveaways, just join our email list using the form below!

Here’s Shout Sister Shout for your listening pleasure!

Farmfest ~ August 11-14

farmfestHeld every August, Farmfest is a four-day traditional music festival known for its support of Michigan artists. The festival’s mission is to support the performing arts while blending nature and music. 2011 bands include The Starlight Six, Rootstand, Dragon Wagon, K Jones and the Benzie Playboyz, Drew Nelson, Blue Dirt, Nervous but Excited, Who Hit John, Galactic Sherpas and the Parkin’ Lot Pickers with Ron Fowler. Also enjoy the Dance Pavilion featuring the Waltz Workshop with Wild Bill and Family Dance with Jan Fowler.

The Farmfest venue is located on a 100+-year-old 40-acre homestead farm a short distance east of the small rural town of Johannesburg that has been transformed into a beautiful northern Michigan festival site. A natural amphitheater serves the main stage and festival organizers say it has the best sound on the planet! Walk the labyrinth, set up your chairs and blankets or hang a hammock from the trees. The second stage is a magical place in the woods, and it’s an open stage, allowing you to sign up and play. There’s also a fire circle where jam sessions, workshops and story telling take place and deep in the woods, you’ll find the drum kiva.

Most folks who attend camp either in the meadow or in the woods, and there’s space for RVs too and places to stay in the area. The kids doesn’t have any video games, but there’s all kinds of activities including talent show, sand castles, playground equipment, face painting, crafts, open mic-less stage, instrument making, big hay bale climbing and much much more. We have a pair of tickets for you – enter your email on our list to be eligible using the form below!

To enter to win a pair of weekend passes for FarmFest and to be entered in every one of our Festival Summer giveaways, just join our email list using the form below!

I found a ton of great videos from billwaynebo1. I settled on Drew Nelson with Michigan harmonic legend Peter “Madcat” Ruth. Also check out Seth & May (and Mad Cat, Drew Nelson, Stacy Jo and many others) showing the community inherent in this great festival on Don’t Worry, Be Happy, Baby You’re a Power from Seth & May, and the Madcat & Kane Trio doing People Get Ready.

Michigan Roots Jamboree – August 5 & 6

Michigan Roots Jamboree on Facebook

Black Jake and the Carnies by Roots Jamboree
Black Jake and the Carnies
by Roots Jamboree

The Michigan Roots Jamboree is a two-day outdoor music and art festival in beautiful Riverside Park in Ypsilanti that takes place Friday & Saturday, August 5 & 6 and features 25 bands from rock to bluegrass to jazz and funk. It’s an exciting, family-friendly camping event that is sponsored by the Depot Town Community Development Corporation. All proceeds from this non-profit event go to support support projects aimed at improving the quality of life in Ypsilanti, and Absolute Michigan has a pair of weekend camping passes coming for one lucky winner! (enter below)

Live Art by Roots Jamboree
Live Art by Roots Jamboree

The Jamboree showcases the finest talent the midwest has to offer including Ella Riot (formerly My Dear Disco), NOMO, Steppin’ In It, The Werks, Frontier Ruckus, Hoots & Hellmouth, Theo Katzman & Love Massive, Dragon Wagon, Graham Parsons and the Go Rounds, The Floorwalkers and more. Click here for the full schedule. A unique feature is that each band will be accompanied by a live artist on a side stage, and there will be a silent auction for the artists’ work at the festival so that you can take home and cherish your favorite moments forever with an original piece by a Michigan artist!

The festival will once again offer overnight tent camping on both Friday & Saturday at Frog Island Park. After a fun day of great music, food, and activities, you can sleep out under the stars and experience the only urban camping adventure in Ypsilanti. Within the secure camping area, there will be music, food, and plenty of fun on both Friday and Saturday night. Purchase your tickets early because space is limited!

The Jamboree - 2009 by Roots Jamboree
The Jamboree – 2009 by Roots Jamboree

In addition to the music, you can get a taste of the area’s greatest food, including vegetarian options & choose from a variety of both locally and nationally brewed beers. You will also be able to browse the wares of some of Washtenaw County’s most talented artisans. Don’t forget that children under 12 get in free to the Jamboree, and there’s a kids’ tent with a variety of games and activities for your little music lovers.

As promised, we'll be giving away a pair of tickets to the Michigan Roots Jamboree. All you need to do to be eligible for this and every one of the Festival Summer giveaways is to have your address on our email list - add it below!

Here’s Ella Riot aka My Dear Disco showcasing their incredible live energy!

Dunegrass Music Festival ~ August 5-7


Dunegrass 2010 by Sarah Moore Kuschell

click for a Dunegrass slideshow!

Dunegrass 2010 by Sarah Moore Kuschell

Dunegrass Fest on FacebookHeld every year the the beginning of August in Northern Michigan, the Dunegrass Music Festival features the best local, regional and national touring acts.

2011 headliners include Donna The Buffalo, Ella Riot (formerly My Dear Disco), The Ragbirds, Seth Bernard & May Erlewine, Ralston Bowles, Grasshoppah, Rootstand, The Journeyman, Delilah Dewylde & the Lost Boys, Luke Winslow-King, Detour Bluegrass and many others. Click here for the complete schedule and definitely go to their website to listen to all the great bands. Most are from right here in Michigan and the musical range the festival offers means there’s something for everyone!

Dunegrass has a new location this year on 100 acres near Lake Ann that offers wooded camping, something that’s great after a late night jam session around the bonfire after the shows! One nice twist is free admission for 12 & under (accompanied by an adult) and the fact that tickets for kids 13-17 are just $30. There’s also the Rootenanny Beer Garden, fine food, arts & crafts, kids area, free shuttle to beaches, music/arts workshops and much more.

Absolute Michigan has a pair of weekend passes to Dunegrass ($150 value), and to be entered for those and in every one of our Festival Summer giveaways, just join our email list using the form below!

It’s hard to choose between all the great acts that are there, but here’s Donna the Buffalo!

Paella In The Park ~ August 5

Absolute Michigan’s Festival Summer “Frenzy Week” continues with our latest giveaway…

paella in the parkThe Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula (OMP) and Porterhouse Productions present the second annual Paella In The Park, a summer music & culinary event in the heart of downtown Traverse City.

Traverse City’s bayside Clinch Park grounds will transform into a swingin’ festival! This year’s lineup features national headliner Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, an energetic and exciting band who have been getting audiences up and dancing for 20 years. Rolling Stone declared them the “leaders” of the swing revival are going back to their ska roots with a danceable and entertaining show. They’re joined by Groupo Ayé, a 10-piece Cuban salsa band, and Hoots And Hellmouth, a mix of rockabilly and funk.

This 21+ event (no exceptions, please) will again pair the seven OMP wineries with local chefs. Guests will enjoy Spanish paellas from fresh ingredients cooked over an open fire, right on-site. Paella, a rice-based dish that boasts hundreds of variations using different ingredients, is one of Spain’s most popular food entrees. Festival attendees will have the opportunity to converse with local chefs about the art of making paella, as well as enjoy food and wine at each station.

Sign up for our email list below for a chance at 2 tickets and order your limited tickets at Porterhouse Productions.

To enter to win a pair of tickets to Paella in the Park and to be entered in every one of our Festival Summer giveaways, just join our email list using the form below!

Now here’s the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies playing one of their hits – Zoot Suit Riot. You can get many more in this YouTube playlist!