It won’t be long before Winona will have the sounds of music drifting out of what seems like every doorway thanks to the Midwest Music Fest – a three-year-old event that is destined to become famous. If you haven’t been to it yet (or even if you have) stay tuned – we’re going to send somebody to the show, but first, let’s discuss.
The brainchild of Sam Brown, the festival creates the perfect marriage of music and community. All sorts of venues around town – including places you would expect to hear music and places you wouldn’t – will play host over a three day span to more than 100 musicians from all across the Midwest. People can buy day passes or wristbands for the entire event (which at $35 should feel like stealing because it’s such a good deal), and even better, the proceeds from the event are donated to local charities.
So really, a musical event doesn’t get much better than this. OK, well this year it actually did get a little better than that. On April 21, the last day of MWMF, a national headliner will join the festival when long-time folk musician Greg Brown takes the stage in Somsen Auditorium. Ticket’s for Brown’s performance are separate from the festival passes, but for $26 you see a guy whose history includes touring with Buck Ram, founding the Red House Records label, releasing more than two dozen albums, and being nominated for Grammys. And NOW his resume will also include playing at the Midwest Music Fest – something I think artists are starting to brag about.
At last count there were 115 groups signed up to play in at least 10 different venues at MWMF. Seriously. That, folks, is a music festival. And it all happens over three days – April 19 – 21 – and it all happens here, in Winona. Local groups, up-and-coming musical acts, and Midwest performers who have amassed large and loyal followings will all be here, playing just about every kind of music you can think of. For charity. It is so freakin cool I can hardly stand it.
If you want to learn more, go to www.midwestmusicfest.org, and you can volunteer too, by emailing the organizers. But whatever you do, GO. You’ll talk about it all year.
OK – now let’s have a little fun. The festival has donated a wristband good for the whole Midwest Music Fest, a $35 value. I am going to give it to one of you, and here’s how: Leave a comment on this blog and tell me why you think music is good for a community. It can be long or short, and you can enter more than one comment, but only one per day (and it can’t be the same comment) between now and when I draw a winner on March 19 . On that day I am going to literally print off all the comments, cut them up, put them in a hat (OK, a bowl – nobody has hats like that anymore) and draw one out. I will post the winner on this blog. Sound good?
So let’s go people – and I’ll leave the first comment:
I think music is good for a community because it brings all kinds of people from all walks of life out to the same place to tap their toes together, and I think that’s cool.