ESCANABA, Mich. (WZMQ) – A new music festival debuts in Escanaba July 21 – 22.
The inaugural Northern Lights Music Fest kicks off on Friday with rock performances by Sebastian Bach, Nelson, and Pop Evil.
“This is the largest-ever festival attempted in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan,” said Hunter Brucks, President and CEO of HB Concerts. “You’re going to have 10,000 fans here over the weekend or more. It’s really going to be something.”
Saturday will be Country Night, featuring Austin Snell, Ingrid Andress, and headliner Keith Urban–one of the biggest acts to perform in the U.P. in years.
“Keith Urban has really exploded,” Brucks said. “I’ve known Keith for many, many years. To have someone of that size and stature play, is incredible to start off the long run in Escanaba. I commend Keith for going, ‘Yeah, you want to build something; I want to be part of it.'”
Putting such a huge together takes about 140 people, as well as a large amount of equipment.
“We’re using some of the biggest production in the country at the moment,” said Brucks. “We have massive portrait video screens, massive upstage video screens. Anywhere you are in this venue, you’re going to see great.”
Brucks says the big screens and stage layout ensures the best experience possible for fans from the back row all the way to the stage.
“We’ve got about 1,400 – 1,500 screaming people right down here in the front, and then this is the thrust,” he said. “We’ve got a little special secret when Keith plays but can’t tell anybody yet!”
HB Concerts worked closely with Visit Escanaba to turn such an ambitious idea into a reality. Brucks says he has been impressed with how well the entire city worked together to make it all happen.
“I saw the ‘concert’ signs the Road Commission had put out, and I think the town did a great job,” he said. “You should be proud of yourselves, truly. Escanaba, this is really big for you, and we’re going to take care of you. This is what we do.”
The festival grounds open at 12:00 p.m. each day. Grandstand seating opens at 4:00 p.m. Performances will begin around 6:00 p.m.
Click here for more information about Northern Lights Music Fest at the U.P. State Fairgrounds.