Notes from the Advice Booth:
Eleven notches on the old lipstick case and another Beaver Island Music Festival tucked into its jammies and put to bed.
The music was evenly excellent, the atmosphere was joyful and fun, even the weather, though standoffish at times, agreed to hang back a bit.
There was so much music to hear, so many great acts, one after another, it's a real treat to be able to check them all out in one place, and almost all the acts played more than once so an excellent opportunity to do your apples and oranges comparing thing. Diversity, always a BIMF trait, was again on display – from the style of the music to the people making the sounds. From 50s soaked Rock Cats, to beautiful timeless folk acts, and a huge spectrum in-between. I really am impressed on the 'something for everyone' element that still has a common thread beyond just place.
This year had more vending than ever and so idyllic a shakedown street you never did see. To be there at dusk when all the people are passing through and the smells of the food and the music just, just around the corner it was so carnival feeling.
With three food vendors there was a lot of choices and a pretty wide range. Hot-Dog/Brat outdoor fare from the long time festival food guys at Henry J's and some super veggie stuff from Dr. Bob's crew, topped only by Daddy Franks with some insane sized ice cream cones. As I do and suggest others do as well, I tried it all. It is how I do.
Also to be had was some cool jewelry from a couple of vendors and also a very tight run Band Merch booth where you could get all the things the artist had for sale such as C.D.s, stickers, and posters all in one place, a good addition in the last couple years. There were some huge raffles to take part in as well and the prizes were out of control. Some lucky people won a Guild Guitar, a St James Boat Shop Long Board, Handmade Cherry Wood Buckets full of artist and vender stuff and a Samsung Tablet, also the ever famous original signed BIMF Posters signed by all the artists, all in the woods on Beaver Island.
The all-inclusive on-site camping really is a cool feature. To be able to stay until bedtime and not have to get in the car if perhaps you have a frosty ale or two and then wake up safe and sound and be able to crawl to a cup of coffee all at the festival grounds is almost spa like.
Some of the music highlights this year were, I'd say, the Friday night Crushed Out set was stomping good guitar and drums, rock-a-billy minus the billy. Hymn For Her were amazing and it is also amazing how good a cigar-box slide-guitar assault will make you feel. They get a ton of sound out of barely anything instrument-wise and they have mojo spilling out all over the place. But I would say the band that had the most murmur was the Accidentals, who are young and talented and interesting and musically wise beyond their years; they are first rate and already are in high demand all over the place. Soul Patch closed the first night and they were a funky percolator partner to the energetic and fun band Funktion.
An interesting side note was one of the bands, the Hawthorne Effect actually produced a hawthorn effect that was felt all over the festival grounds, while they were playing I had the sense that I had been moved as if by an unseen occult hand, like a B12 shot or an icy Gimlet after a well-earned narrow escape.
I really could pontificate about all the bands and not just be blowing smoke, they were by and large amazing and giving of their time to participate in a Kids' Time show for tiny fest fans as well as a robust campfire session each night after the electricity was sleeping.
Another cool extra entertainment this year provided by our famed hula-hoop girl Carla and her partner Scott as the Synchroblisity Festival Circus and they were amazing, at one point dressed in matching strongman unitards and twirling fire between themselves in a hypnotic fashion.... I thought I was going to have hawthorn effect all over, but these guys are serious artists and are compelling to say the least.
I know most folks assume that it is Carol Burton and the Tooth Fairy and the Great Gazoo who whip this huge event together and while I would never diminish the tooth fairy's contribution, a giant doff of the biggest hat you can find has to go out to the newly established BIMF Board Members team, the many mighty volunteers, and behind the scenes super support staff who keep the festival running so smooth. Thank you from a man who loves him some support staff.
Dan and Carol Burton have established a wonderful event that has impacted so many in such a beautiful way just amazing, thank you so much for everything you guys do to make a safe fun place for us all to have a terrific weekend of great music, great atmosphere, and lifelong memories.
Click here for 2012 Photos
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from earlier years of BIMF
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