Local Current Blog

Charlie Parr, Toki Wright and Big Cats among 2015 Mid West Music Fest headliners

Charlie Parr. Photo by Peter Lee.

Going into its sixth year as a music festival in Winona, Mid West Music Fest (MWMF) promises three days of live performances, along with educational presentations and family friendly activities from April 23-25.

This year’s festival will feature headliner Charlie Parr—who has performed every year at MWMF since 2011—as well as DJ Abilities, Chastity Brown, Communist Daughter, Frankie Lee, and Black Market Brass.

In addition to its standard three days of music, the festival will also include a series of informative sessions on Saturday, April 25, that focus on the recording process, copyright law, artist publicity, and music history. The series serves as an extension, in many ways, of the talk at last year’s festival with Hüsker Dü drummer Grant Hart.

Children can also be kept entertained via a stage at Wesley United Methodist Church featuring Twin Cities staple Koo Koo Kanga Roo as well as puppet shows, an “instrument petting zoo,” and local high school artists. The stage, dubbed the “Sounds Like School” stage, will be headlined by Toki Wright and Big Cats as part of a recent initiative by the MWMF board to connect Winona schools and universities with regional artists not only during the festival, but also throughout the academic year.

Other festival attractions include a documentary on jug bands by Emmy award-winner Jack Norton, as well as a Songwriter’s Showcase including nine midwest musicians grouped together in order to write three new songs over the course of a day.

Advance tickets are now available for $50; the price will rise to $70 as of April 1.

Paul Schmitt is a literature major at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. He’s inspired by bass lines, metafiction, and lengthy mealtime conversation.

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