The hills are alive…

No, this is not a post about horror movies, silly. It’s a post about music, namely the Midwest Music Fest, although I realize my Sound of Music reference title might be dating me a bit.

Yeah, I am outside the age range one typically imagines when you hear the words “music festival” — a term likely to conjure up images of hip 20-somethings with little square glasses, a couple of extra piercings, a degree in earth science and a taste in alternative music far cooler than I’ll ever understand.

Well yes, the Midwest Music Fest appeals to those cool alternative music aficionados, and they have plenty to love over the weekend’s festivities, which this year are scheduled for April 15 and 16. But the beauty of this festival is that it’s even cooler than that.

Last year in its inaugural year, Midwest Music Fest swept into Winona like Zeus’ Hecatoncheires (which, for those of you not up on your Greek mythology, were 50-headed, 100-armed giants who fought with Zeus against the Titans. They were also enemies of Uranus because he forced them back into their mother, Gaea’s womb, but let’s focus here…). For two days, Winona’s venues large and small were filled with music of every style – 14 venues and 77 groups in all – and more than 1,100 people came to hear it play.

This year promises to be bigger with more venues and new musicians, and what is the coolest part of it all is that the proceeds from the festival go to local charities. Last year they gave away about $7,000, not a small chunk of change, which might make one think it’s kind of spendy to partake of these musical festivities.

Au contraire.

Twenty five bucks. You can see every single performer, listen to music to your heart’s content for two days, for $25. AND the money goes to charity. Seriously folks, if that doesn’t get you out of the house, maybe the lineup will. Local favorites like Patti Darbo, Gregg and Nat, Chris Kendall and the Beef Slough Boys perform at local favorite haunts like Blue Heron, Acoustic Cafe and Blooming Grounds, with bands and performers from all over joining them there and at other cool venues like Ed’s No Name Bar, the Winona History Center, the Masonic Temple, even churches and art galleries.

This is not just a music festival – it’s like music-palooza with melodies drifting from every conceivable doorway in town. April 15 and 16 the hills WILL be alive with the sound of music in Winona, and if you don’t come I think the only thing missing from this music-packed event will be you.

See for yourself here: — you can buy your pass there and even sign up to volunteer, either of which will undoubtedly help your taste in local and regional musicians become a whole lot cooler.

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