This past Saturday, I had a chance to leave my hometown and travel to Mears, Michigan where traveling festival "Hippie Fest" hosted one of it's many festivals across the country. Going into Hippie Fest, I didn't know what to expect, except maybe some dirty dudes with acoustics and tents with homemade goods. While walking the outdoor festival on the cool windy day, myself and interviewer Bailey Haefner were able to interview some of the "locals" of Hippie Fest to get a first hand scoop of what it was all about.
Forgotten Giants - Folk Rock
We ran into Brooke VanDyke (Vocals, Ukulele) and Steve Middendorp (Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals) from "Forgotten Giants" in the grass and asked them a few questions, they caught my attention playing a Tom Petty song.
What's the best thing you've seen here today? Probably all the people in Hippie outfits and the smell of the place.
Where do you usually play? We've been playing around nursing homes lately, covering songs from the 50s and 60s.
What genre would you classify yourself as? Folk rock I would say, we have a bassist who isn't here today, and we are looking for a drummer to be a full band.
How did you get on the bill tonight on the big stage? We just signed up online through the Hippie Fest site, simple as that.
Where can people find your music? Reverbnation.
Check them out here: https://www.reverbnation.com/forgottengiants
JenX Creations - Business Vendor
Next we ran into Jen Kuehle from JenX Creations, we were drawn in to the art she had for sale and interview/fellow discer Bailey recognized her from the Disc Golf world.
Tell me about your tent here today at Hippie Fest. Well, my friend makes these bath and body products, my friend's boyfriend made almost all of the paintings, and the two normal paintings were done by my daughter.
Tell me about your business. I have four businesses actually, I make Disc Golf trophies, sculptures, baskets, and make beaded jewelry.
Awesome, which of those four would you say is the most successful? Probably my Disc Golf sculptures, I also help to run some of the Disc Golf tournaments.
What's been the best part of Hippie Fest today? Definitely the sunshine and no rain!
One more question, what's the best attraction you've seen here today? I really like the traveling musicians, they sounded pretty good.
Check out what JenX has to offer on Etsy and Facebook: https://www.etsy.com/shop/jenkuehle
Dave Cofell - Singer Songwriter
Inbetween playing songs under his tent, we were able to catch up with Dave Cofell, a musician who had his CD's and custom Kazoos for sale.
How long have you been playing guitar? Since I was 7 years old, I'm 50 now hah.
Do you play any other instruments besides guitar? Yeah actually, I play keyboards, a little banjo, accordion (only in private), kazoo, harmonica, and more.
Wow, very cool. What genre do you usually play? I don't really have a set genre, but I write songs in bluegrass, blues, jazz, rock and roll, what ever you like, what ever moves me.
So, what is your favorite part of Hippie Fest today? Well it stopped raining, there's a great crowd today, and lots of smiling people.
One more question, what's the best thing you've seen here today? It's hard to chose but I'd say the women on stilts. (pictured below)
Check out one of Dave's songs on his website: http://www.davecofell.com/WEB/Video.html
Groove Magoo - Cover Jams
One of the most interesting bands we saw playing in the grass was Groove Magoo, who brought half of their band to set up and jam in the grass.
Are you guys going to be on the big stage today? We are not, they gave use this space on the grass though, so we've been grooving it up acoustically. If we had power or a PA we could have brought the whole band.
What do you guys usually play? Mostly covers, we've been doing some impromptu to jazz and blues today.
Any particular genre you play? Whatever makes people dance! hah.
Awesome, what's the best thing you guys have seen today? Probably Beaver X-ing (another grass performer) and the whole community feel to the whole thing. Really, a good place to be.
I was unable to find Groove Magoo anywhere online, but if you can find them, give them a listen, funny dudes with a nice sound.
Right as we were about to leave, we ran into a frazzled hair dude who was wandering the festival with a free hugs sign.
Hey, what's your name? I'm Nick.
Nice to meet you, what's your favorite part about Hippie Fest? Probably this hot sauce I got, it's got a nice tomato base.
What are your plans for the rest of today? Trying to find some cheap good food, maybe some elephant ears.
Had a fun time exploring what Hippie Fest had to offer. First got coffee from a bus, walked around, got pizza from a van, and tie-dyed some t-shirts. Here's some more photos.
For more information on Hippie Fest, visit www.hippiefest.org