If you think Labor Day weekend marks the final hurrah of summer fun, think again. For those reluctant to usher in the back-to-school season, take a trip up the North Shore over the following two weekends: Grand Marais will be hosting its annual Radio Waves and Unplugged music festivals.
From Sept. 5-7, the talents of over 30 regional musicians will be highlighted at the Radio Waves Music Festival overlooking the shores of Lake Superior on Sweethearts Bluff. Local on-site food vendors such as Lola’s Sweet Life Bakery and Double D’s BBQ will fill bellies as stylings of rock, country, folk, jazz and Americana fill the air.
Then, join North House Folk School from Sept. 11-14 to celebrate the 13th anniversary of the Unplugged Music Festival. The Unplugged festival centers on the theme “Celebrating Craft and Community,” complete with a folk artisan marketplace, local performers, fundraising auction, and courses for all. Dabble in a new skill with lessons in mini moccasin sewing, wood-fired bread baking, songwriting, a bluegrass banjo workshop, and more.
NPR’s Mountain Stage Radio Show will feature live concerts on Thursday and Friday night, while Saturday evening’s show will be hosted by Minnesota native and Grammy-winner Jon Vezner. Vezner, whose renowned songs have been recorded by John Mellencamp and Martina McBride, will present a “Songwriters in the Round” performance.
Fresh additions to this year’s festival include contra/square dancing under the big top tent accompanied by Pert Near Sandstone. Quench your thirst with the new craft brew tastings courtesy of Fulton.
Details for each festival are below; enter here for a chance to win an Unplugged prize package.
Radio Waves Music Festival
The Radio Waves Music Festival begins at 4:00 p.m. on Friday the 5th, 10 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday the 6th and 7th. Tickets are available onsite for $5 per day, $10 for the weekend. On-site camping will be offered for the adventurous.
Friday, Sept. 5
The North Shore Community Swing Band
Jim & Michele Miller
Viton, LaVigne, Mills & Hand
Rich Mattson & The North Stars
Saturday, Sept. 6
Earth, Wind & Todd
Trails End Band
skyBLUEtrio and the ORANGEgirl
The Curry Family Band
Cook County’s Most Wanted
Ric Gillman & Bruce Bowers
Al and Don and the Coast Connection Remnants
The Carpenter Ants
Sunday, Sept. 7
Gordon Thorne with The Carpenter Ants
The Spruce Roots
Shoot from the Hipsters
Joe Paulik Band
Brand Morrison & Roxanne Berglund
The Pete K. Group
Sam Miltich & The Clearwater Hot Club
Music begins at 7:00 p.m. Thursday and Friday the 11th and 12th, 7:30 p.m. Saturday the 13th. Stick around Sunday the 14th for more arts, crafts, and market offerings. Tickets are available for $20-$50 here.
Thursday, Sept. 11
David Wax Museum
Tony Trischka’s Great Big World
The Don Juans (featuring Don Henry and Jon Vezner)
Friday, Sept. 12
Pert Near Sandstone
Saturday, Sept. 13
Selena Carlson is currently tackling a double major in journalism and music business at Augsburg College. In addition to writing, she is an avid enthusiast of all things banjo; biking; and breakfast for dinner.