Just outside of Lake City, Michigan, there are 181 acres of farmland where, once every year, all of your favorite local musicians assemble. For one weekend right around the autumnal equinox, they along with thousands of volunteers and music lovers fill all 181 of those acres with harmony, hospitality, and relentless positivity.
The event is called Earthwork Harvest Gathering, and if you didn’t go this year, you missed out pretty hard.
This year’s festival boasted a huge lineup of over 110 bands who performed on 4 different stages. Vendors sold homemade (and homegrown) goods, and experts hosted workshops on everything from spiritual health to instrument repair. The good vibes were so formidable they persisted even throughout the cold rain, which put a really solid effort into dampening them out.
If that’s not enough to pique your interest, then maybe a couple snapshots, verbal and pictorial, will win you over.
Let’s start with the food: Earthwork Farm is the only place you can acquire a grass-fed Bob’s Bovine Burger. And once you’ve tasted one of Bob’s burgers, every burger you eat thereafter will leave you disappointed. Honestly, music and good humor aside, Bob’s burgers are a major factor in why we decide to return to Harvest Gathering every year. They’re that good.
And then there’s the vendors, who this year included a farmers market featuring a bounty of fruits, vegetables, and homemade products. After stopping there, you could make your way over to the Hill Stage, where a village of tents housed sellers of things like homemade crafts, thrifted goods, and tintype portraits.
But most come to Harvest Gathering for the music. Because only at Harvest Gathering can you revel in the intersection of two beautiful Michigan seasons while Frontier Ruckus lyrics send you whirling into a state of nostalgia. Only at Harvest Gathering can you hear Micah Ling sweetly sing melancholy folk tunes in a barn overflowing with silent listeners. Only at Harvest Gathering can Breathe Owl Breathe get hundreds of people to dance euphorically in the rain.
Yeah, you missed all that. Not to mention Colette Alexander completely shredding on the cello with Matt Jones and the Reconstruction. And the Go Rounds blasting the tightest performance I have ever seen from them. And Maraj performing their new album on the backdrop of a lightning-filled sky.
Plus literally over a hundred other great acts.
But fret not. Luckily for you, we have some more video and photographs for you to peek at while you make plans to attend next year’s festival.
all photos excluding title image taken by Steven Holmes