By Kevin Alan Lamb
With fall colors turning, a chill in the air, and fires steadily burning, The Rupple Brothers prepare for the return of Handmade Music Festival October 7- 8, after a two-year-hiatus.
Created by and for the love of music and community, Handmade will celebrate its third year along the banks of the Shiawassee River at Showboat Park. Founded with the intent to meld generations through music, friendship, and gratitude, enjoy “Music from the Mitten that is handmade and homegrown.”
This year’s lineup features Chirp, Stormy Chromer, Ma Baker, Cosmic Knot, Distant Stars, Flexadecibel, The Rupple Brothers, The Marsupials, Zachary James, Fay Burns, Aaron Benjamin, Monte Pride, Nick James, Act Casual, Kalysta, and Odd Shaped Puzzle.
“This was our first full summer back in action after the pandemic,” says Chirp’s Jay Frydenlund. “Being able to play all these incredible festivals recharged us in a way that’s hard to describe. With this being our last festival in Michigan, we feel excited to end it at such an awesome place. Handmade Music Festival is a total gem.”
Based in Ann Arbor, MI, Chirp is a four-piece band who often plays in the styles of progressive rock/funk and jazz-fusion, while maintaining a melodic sound and center.
The first Handmade Music Festival was held in October 2018 with nearly two dozen Michigan bands playing all original music.
“We had approximately 300 attendees, food trucks, craft and music vendors and so much more. We are kicking off our third year with ‘Music from the Mitten,’ a celebration of Michigan musicians and their original music – handmade and homegrown. That is who we are. We are able to bring these talented musicians to our community with help from businesses like you. We thank you in advance for your support, and we look forward to celebrating with you,” producer Cole Rupple says.
This event would not be possible without the support of the Village of Chesaning, and its community sponsors, with special acknowledgment to Tom Teal, Highlife Farms, Main Beverage, Chesaning Comfort Care, anf McGeehan Funeral Home.
Single day, and weekend passes are found here.
Overnight camping is included with weekend passes, and children under 12 are free, offering an affordable, family friendly getaway accessible to all of Michigan.
“We are creating an atmosphere where the music flows freely, as does love, friendship and gratitude. Music is a universal language, bringing generations together and that is our mission. We are creating the perfect atmosphere while swaying to a handpicked playlist of bluegrass, psychedelic folk, Americana, and soul” Cole Rupple says.
Located on the banks of the Shiawassee, Showboat Park is 68 acres of opportunity to explore and enjoy. Chesaning offers “respite and relaxation, quaint and quintessential. It’s the kind of place where you can still stroll along the boulevard or stop into mom & pop shops and be greeted by the owners themselves.” (Pure Michigan)
Amin Lanseur, of Stormy Chromer who have been a mainstay of the midwest live music scene since its inception in 2014, looks forward to hibernation after closing out an epic festival season.
“This is our last festival of the season and we are stoked to be closing things out with so many great friends and musicians. Our first full festival season back was an exciting time and although we are very happy to have played so many gigs and been on the road to so many cool places, we are looking forward to a little bit of hibernation as we prepare for winter. Fall in Michigan is a magical time and we are welcoming the change of seasons with open arms, hot cider, great beer, and songs around the campfire.”
Stormy Chromer has performed alongside heavy hitters such as Aqueous, Mungion, The Werks, The Main Squeeze, Laith Al-Saadi, and Consider the Source. In addition to Stormy Chromer’s headlining tours they have been featured on major festivals and events, including Summer Camp Music Festival, The Werk Out, Cowpie Music Festival, and official Umphrey’s Mcgee afterparties.
Chesaning’s amphitheater, located inside Showboat Park, “was home to many musicians, dancers and members of this wonderful community for decades.”
Michigan is an oasis for creativity, strength, and endurance. Handmade Music celebrates our collective gifts and hopes to find a place in your heart for Chesaning, the big rock reserve along the Shiawassee River.
“It’s much smaller (to traverse, see all of, meet people in) and much more tight knit than some, it would seem – a real sense of family comes with being in the Michigan music scene, especially up North. The Northern Michigan festival scene and community really inspired us to be a part of Handmade by welcoming us into their family and with their grassroots attitudes – it made Handmade seem like the right thing to do for the right reasons” Rupple says.
Give yourself permission to find jubilant joy in music this fall. Find your smile amongst family and friends, fireside, under the stars, gratefully breathing in an abundance of crisp, Michigan air. Homemade, handmaid, hooray for community aid. Better together, no matter the weather, along the Shiawassee River. Sing, dance, play. Have fun in a groovier way. Michigan music and all who choose it; medicine – perhaps you could use it?
Where is Handmade Music Festival?
When do gates open?
Friday 2:00 PM / Saturday 10:00 AM
When does music start?
Friday: Fay Burns 6:00 PM / Saturday: Nick James 12:00 PM
Can I buy tickets at the gate?
Yes! Tickets will be sold at the gate. Weekend General Admission tickets are $60, camping is included – electricity/fire pits are first come, first serve. Saturday day pass is $30.
Absolutely! Kids under 12 are free.
Can I come for only Saturday?
Yes! Saturday passes are $30.
Can I bring by dog?
Pets are not allowed, but you can dress like yours!
Please, no glass.
Are there fire pits?
Yes! With FREE firewood.
Are there bathrooms and showers?
You bet! Showboat park has a number of permanent facilities with showers and bathrooms.
The Shiawassee River, duh! Just kidding. While there aren’t filling stations, there are drinking fountains. Best to bring water!
Are the stages covered?
Yes! Both stages are under a giant tent.
That’s a negative Ghostrider, bring cash if you plan on using it.
Bring your own.