Marquette’s Hiawatha Music Festival Goes Virtual This Summer

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The Hiawatha Music Co-op announces the VIRTUAL Annual Hiawatha Traditional Music Festival from July 16 to July 18, 2021. For over 40 years, the Hiawatha Music Co-op has brought people together in Marquette, Michigan for an annual weekend of concerts performances, workshops and jam sessions featuring a variety of traditional musical genres such as bluegrass, country, Cajun, Irish / Celtic, old-timey / Appalachian, blues, folk songwriters and gospel.

Following feedback from members, volunteers, community and entrepreneurs, the cooperative’s board of directors made the difficult decision to postpone the festival in person from 2021 to 2022 and decided to present a virtual festival. The annual Hiawatha Traditional Music Festival is an opportunity to connect with friends and family, old and new, and enjoy a weekend filled with live music in the heart of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The co-op’s board, staff and production team have created a virtual “space” to present the festival in hopes of embracing the sense of “community” felt at previous in-person festivals.

Access to the virtual festival will be provided free of charge to participants through a grant. Donation options will be posted on all forums. Participants will also have the opportunity to participate in interactive discussions, quizzes and membership giveaways. The hashtag, #myhiawatha will be used to post images of individual or group gatherings. There will be two formats for viewing Festival concerts. The cooperative invites participants to visit our Facebook group “Virtual Hiawatha Traditional Music Festival” at https://www.facebook.com/groups/hiawathafestival21. OR or Crowdcast forum to register on: https://www.crowdcast.io/e/hiawathafestival21

The Virtual Festival promises to present the same quality of local, regional, national and international musicians. The three-day event kicks off at 6 p.m. EST on Friday, July 16 with The Eagle Spirit Dancers, featuring Roberta Shalifoe, member of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, followed by Grammy-nominated Bruce Molsky at 7 p.m. . No average “man on the guitar” Chicago Farmer will perform at 8 pm, followed by family band and flat-footed dancers from eastern Kentucky, Zoe Speaks, at 9 pm. On Saturday morning, bring the kids together for a 10am show with another local Marquette favorite, singer / songwriter Papa Crow, followed by longtime Festival Children’s Parade leader Frank Youngman and a VIRTUAL Parade. for kids, featuring pre-submitted participation videos from The Hiawatha Born Song, ‘Pickles in Love’. Saturday night will start again at 6 p.m. with Troy, singer-songwriter from Marquette.
Graham, followed by Grammy Award-winning and two-time Emmy nominee Dom Flemons at 7 p.m. and Virginians, the Martha Spencer and Whitetop Mountain Band at 8 p.m. Saturday’s closing festivities will be Teen Scene, a four-piece Midwestern group, Dig Deep, at 9 p.m. ET.

The festival will end Sunday morning with the traditional Sunday Morning Gospel Hour, featuring Zoe Speaks at 9:30 a.m. and Michigan-based trio with seamless vocal harmonies, The Sweet Water Warblers at 10:30 a.m. All events will be broadcast on the Crowdcast video platform and the Hiawatha Facebook group. Hiawatha’s website will also provide instructions on how to log into the virtual festival and which links to use.

“As we come together ‘virtually’ as a community, all are invited to listen, dance, sing and celebrate all that Hiawatha has become over the past four decades and all that is yet to come,” said Julie Foster -Lindquist, HMC President. “To help us all feel connected, we would like to see what the festival looks like at each other’s home. Co-op invites participants to use social media hashtag

#myhiawatha the week before, during and after the virtual festival to share photos and stories from their festival celebrations. HMC President Foster-Lindquist added, “On behalf of the rest of our board, the co-op would like to thank and express our gratitude for the grants from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, The National Endowment for the Arts , the Michigan Economic Development Corporation Stages Survival Grant and the Michigan Small Business Development Center Upper Peninsula Region who made this festival possible.

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