Porcupine Mountains Music Festival offers eclectic mix of sounds and scenery Aug. 28-30

Billy Stings and Don Julin

Billy Stings and Don Julin lit up the Porkies’ stage in 2014, and they are returning as special guests in this year’s lineup.

ONTONAGON COUNTY, MI – The 11th Annual Porcupine Mountains Music Festival, presented by the Friends of the Porkies, will take place, rain or shine, Aug. 28-30, 2015, at the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park Winter Recreation Area (ski hill/chalet) in scenic Ontonagon County.

The festival is supported by the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts.

The festival is a music lover’s smorgasbord offering up a wide variety of sounds, including folk, blues, country, rock, bluegrass and more.  A labor of love, the festival is run by a core group of year-round volunteers, and the grounds will be bustling with over 100 hard-working volunteers during the 3-day event.

Headliners this year include:

  • Ruthie Foster:  A three-time Grammy nominee, Ruthie has collaborated on stage with artists ranging from Bonnie Raitt to the Allman Brothers to Susan Tedeschi and has recorded tracks with  Warren Haynes, Big Head Todd, and The Blind Boys of Alabama, among others. She also has recently been featured both as an actress, with a guest appearance on NBC’s television series Revolution, and as a classical vocalist, with the Austin, TX, prestigious vocal ensemble Conspirare. Ruthie has been recognized by organizations such as the Austin Music Awards (2007, 2008, and 2013 Best Female Vocalist); Blues Music Awards (2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013); and Living Blues Awards (2010 Critics’ Poll winner and 2011 nominee for Blues Female Artist of the Year). This presentation is supported by the Arts Midwest Touring Fund, a program of Arts Midwest that is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional contributions from the Michigan Council for the Arts & Cultural Affairs, the Crane Group and General Mills Foundation.
  • The Slambovian Circus of Dreams, (aka The Grand Slambovians): Pioneers of the alt-folk/Americana genre, The Slambovian Circus of Dreams has stayed on the fringes of the industry, producing several critically acclaimed studio albums. Headlining major music festivals and venues across the U.S., Canada and UK, they have built their career from the ground up with a loyal fan- base supporting them all the way. This will mark the band’s seventh appearance at the festival.
  • The Ragbirds: The five-piece project is clearly built around the multi-talented Erin Zindle, who is proficient in a variety of stringed instruments. Surrounding Zindle’s earthy-sweet voice is the whirlwind of a guitarist T.J. Zindle, dynamic bassist Dan Jones, drummer Jon Brown, and standout percussionist Randall Moore.

Special guests include Wayne “The Train” Hancock, Ana Egge, and Billy Strings & Don Julin.

In addition to hosting 21 different acts, the festival also features an acoustic Busking Barn, which offers daily jam sessions and an easygoing atmosphere. In the barn, you will find professionals and amateurs alike, playing for the sheer love of music…and for tips. There also will be performers workshops held daily in the ski chalet and children’s activities on site Saturday and Sunday.

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 representing 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, the largest county by acreage and one of the least densely populated counties in Michigan…laid back and picturesque, with wondrous natural surroundings.

Thousands of acres of state and federal land, a community lighthouse, and rich mining and Native American history are all 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.

Tickets are $90 for a 3-day pass, $35 for a single-day pass, and a 20 percent discount is available to seniors 60+ and teens ages 13-17. Tickets for children ages 7-12 are $10 for either a 3-day pass or a single-day pass, and children 6 and under receive free admission when accompanied by a parent or guardian.  The festival will be held rain or shine.

For more information regarding the music festival, visit www.porkiesfestival.org or call 1?906-231-1589.

For more information about the park, visit www.michigan.gov/porkies or call the park at 906-885-5275.  Camping reservations for this event can be made online at www.midnrreservations.com or by calling 1-800-447-2757.

A Recreation Passport will be required to enter the park.  The Recreation Passport is an easy, affordable way for residents to enjoy and support outdoor recreation opportunities in Michigan. By checking “YES” for the $11 Recreation Passport ($5 for motorcycles) when renewing a license plate through the Secretary of State (by mail, kiosk, online at www.expresssos.com or at branch offices), Michigan motorists get access to state parks, recreation areas, state forest campgrounds, nonmotorized state trailhead parking and state boat launches. The Recreation Passport is valid until the next license plate renewal date. Nonresidents can purchase the Recreation Passport ($31.00 annual; $9.00 daily) at any state park or recreation area or (annual passes only) through the Michigan e-Store at www.michigan.gov/estore.

Learn more about this creative way of sustaining Michigan’s outdoor recreation and natural resources at www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport.

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