Porcupine Music Festival

ONTONAGON – With summer quickly coming to a close, there’s still an opportunity for music lovers to get out and enjoy a diverse selection of music. That opportunity is, of course, the Porcupine Mountains Music Festival.

Going into its ninth year, the roots of the festival began years ago when Festival Director Linda Kermeen and her husband, Don, moved up here from Houston and bought a resort.

“We went up to the Porkies and we thought it was a beautiful location to have a festival,” Kermeen said.

With help from a friend, as well as the Friends of the Porkies, Kermeen and her husband were able to organize the event and use the park as a venue for a music festival.

“It’s a great little festival in our area and it really helps us economically.”

Some of those economic benefits includes bringing people into the community for the duration of the festival, which is three days. People also use the resources available to them.

“They’re going into our restaurants and buying gas, so it does help our economy.”

In the past, some first-time visitors have said they plan on coming back simply to be able to explore the area more.

“It’s a beautiful area and even some people from the U.P. haven’t seen the Porcupine Mountains,” she said. “You sit up on the ski kill and look out over the chalet and you can see Lake Superior.

Along with the beautiful location, the venue is also for people of all ages, not just adults.

As far as the music goes, Kermeen said they have some local favorites coming back to perform, one of which is Charlie Parr.

“(He’s) been doing the festival since the beginning,” Kermeen said.

Also appearing at the festival will be Shemekia Copeland.

“She has a strong background in blues and she is our headliner on Saturday night,” Kermeen said.

On Friday night will be Audie Blaylock and Redline and on Sunday night Gandalf Murphy and the Slambovian Circus of Dreams.

“(Gandalf Murphy) is a repeat performer and gets the crowd dancing,” she said. “It’s just a variety of music.”

The Porcupine Mountain Music Festival will be held August 23 through the 25. Tickets are available by visiting porkiesfestival.org, calling 906-884-7663 or at the gate.