Iconic band The Raconteurs, featuring Detroit natives Jack White and Brendan Benson, along with singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow will headline the first-annual MI Fest (mi • fest \ mī – fest \ noun : an outdoor music festival featuring the best of Michigan’s food, industry, art and music) on September 17, 2011.
The Raconteurs (White and Benson, along with bandmates Jack Lawrence and Patrick Keeler) will be joined by several artists from the Third Man Records’ roster who will be performing. In addition, the Third Man Rolling Record Store will be on-site and integrated into MI Fest.
Other artists set to appear on MI Fest’s two stages include Alto Reed’s AllStars, Bear Lake, Hot Club of Detroit, Jill Jack, Mark Farner (formerly of Grand Funk Railroad), Marnée, Mitch Ryder, The Howling Diablos, The Juliets, The Rockets, The Romantics, Ty Stone & The Truth, Whitey Morgan & The 78s. Additional artists to be announced.
Tickets for the first annual festival, to be held on the lush grounds of Michigan International Speedway (12626 US Highway 12) in Brooklyn, Michigan, will be available at an Early Bird price of $59 until July 8. The general sale begins on July 9 with tickets priced at $79 (no hidden convenience fees). Re-entry will be allowed. Children 12 and under are free accompanied by a ticketed adult. To get tickets, call 800-354-1010 or go here to purchase online.
For festival-goers wanting a red carpet experience, VIP tickets ($99 Early Bird-$109 General Sale) will provide shelter, special parking, entrance and concessions, and a chance to mingle with MI Fest performers.
Premier camping facilities at MI Fest cost $35 for rustic sites and $50 for electric sites for the entire weekend; RV rental is also available. Camp grounds open on Friday, September 16 at 4 p.m. and festival goers will not need their cars once parked, as there is a continuous shuttle to the festival just across the street. Camp grounds close on Sunday, September 18 at noon.
Gates to MI Fest will open at noon on Saturday, September 17 with the first show starting at 1 p.m. and last show wrapping up at 11 p.m. The ticket office will be open from 11a.m.
More than a music fest, MI Fest is a true multisensory experience. Delicious food will be provided by many Michigan restaurants and companies, including American Coney Island, Jacques’ Tacos, Chicken Man, Dago Joe’s and Kona Shaved Ice. Badass Beer will be there to wash it all down.
The Walker Tavern Farmers Market will be on-site, along with festival memorabilia and an outdoor marketplace featuring local artisans, transforming this one-day music festival into a weekend-long excursion. Detroit’s beloved rock magazine Creem, currently being relaunched, will be selling T-shirts and other merchandise.
In addition, there will be a MI Fest Art Gallery, where artists including Mark Arminski, Gary Grimshaw, Carl Lungren, Sue Rynski, Leni Sinclair, Tom Weshler, Stanley Mouse and Johnny Bee Badanjek – many of whom have played extensive roles in the poster and photo art of Michigan’s music scene – will display their work.
George Gikas, president of TGIF Entertainment Group, which is organizing the festival for the newly formed MI Fest, LLC, said: “We are so excited to be bringing this one-of-a-kind music and camping event to Michigan. This is the inaugural event of a festival that will become an essential weekend for all music-lovers in Michigan and further afield.”
TGIF Entertainment Group is a private independent entertainment company based in Farmington Hills, Michigan. TGIF builds dynamic relationships to create, develop, book, promote, produce, and co-brand concerts and events that encompass an energetic TGIF feeling. For serious artists, TGIF offers disciplined developmental strategies to create a plan for achieving their career goals. TGIF has produced some of the areas best events, including Alto Reed's AllStar Thanksgiving Celebration and is a recipient of the "Spirit of Detroit" award. For information, visit www.tgifeg.com.
Located in Brooklyn, Michigan, about 70 miles west of Detroit, the 1,400-acre Michigan International Speedway is a storied and historical facility best known for its NASCAR racing. The speedway annually hosts some of the country’s best, most competitive stock-car auto racing, the Great Lakes Wine and Beer Festival, the Spirit of America blood drive, the country’s largest 9-11 blood drive, the Michigan State High School Athletic Association’s state cross country finals, car shows, driving schools, summertime camping and more. Click or call www.MISpeedway.com or 800-354-1010 for information.