Midwest Music Fest Announces Virtual Festival, Fundraising Campaign

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The Midwest Music Fest has become an institution in Winona and a key component of the Winona Originals roster. From bringing huge acts like Lizzo, Greg Brown, and Dessa to the stages of Winona over the years, to its commitment to local causes and business, MWMF is a fundamental part of the arts and entertainment community of the island city.

This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be wowing its audiences from the clubs, cafes, theaters, parks, and parking lot tents of Winona, but rather from the virtual world of its patrons’ streaming devices.

Midwest Music Fest management tells Visit Winona, “We are excited to announce Mid West Music Fest 2020 – AT HOME, a 2-day virtual fest, May 8-9! This virtual fest will feature many of the acts that we planned to feature in-person, but now they will be streamed through MWMF’s Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube pages. We will also be partnering with a new initiative of the City of Winona and WinonArts, which will also provide streaming via winonarts.com.”


The Facebook event for the streaming festival says, “Music is bringing the world together right now, feeding our souls and helping us heal. We feel this is not only a way for us to contribute to that effort, but also to support musicians who are largely not able to perform and make a living during this time.”    The event page also informs us that over 50 acts will perform, and that auxiliary wellness events will be interspersed throughout the virtual festival, “connected to mental health initiatives and children’s programming.” The event page also thanks local production house Treedome for streaming service assistance.

Among those performing will be: Charlie Parr, The Gully Boys, Katy Vernon, Queen Drea, Sierra Ferrell, Mae Simpson, and many more.

There is also a fundraising effort underway to maintain the sustainability of the festival. The fest’s managers detail the challenging situation that has arisen from the decision to not hold the in-person event, saying, “Our ability to bring the community together around music is in serious jeopardy. The in-person events represent 40% of our organization’s annual income.” They have created a new campaign, SAVE MID MEST MUSIC FEST.

Festival organizers identify three concrete pathways of support.

  1. Sponsorships and honoring prior commitments.
  2. Converting previously purchased 2020 tickets into a gift to the organization’s 510(c)3
  3. Donations which will be portioned between the festival, the artists that have been affected by the 2020 changes, and non-profit partners in MWMF’s mental health initiative.

Updates about the festival and its fundraising campaign will be shared via midwestmusicfest.org, its social media pages, and e-news.

Watch Visit Winona’s Facebook Live from MWMF 2019 here








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