Tomorrow: The June 6 Pumpstock Music Festival at Bailey Park will offer both local stars and nationally touring artists playing on two stages for continuous music from 2pm to 8pm.
Festival organizer Dudley “Smitty” Smith was involved with Pump House Concerts before the Festival was founded. The idea of these concerts – “an intimate atmosphere and a comfortable and involving listening environment” – blossomed into Pumpstock.
“We wanted to provide East Lansing with a day-long festival where great national, regional, and local bands could be presented,” he says. “The positive reaction of our friends and neighbors, every year, is very special.” When asked about his expectations for the festival, he says the crowds grows every year and expects more than 400 people this year.
Equally excited are some of Pumpstock’s musicians. Nathan Bell (of Nathan Bell and the New Bootlicking Weasels) says that the festival has “a wonderfully diverse and musically knowledgeable crowd.” He has a high level of respect for the audience at Pumpstock. “It is always quite enjoyable to play for an audience that loves good songs…Two years ago I played a solo set right after two bands and was amazed at how receptive the audience was to just a man and a guitar.” This year, Bell will have his hands full playing his own set, playing guitar for Rachel Brown and the Beatnik Playboys, and watching a performance by his close friends Missy Raines and the New Hip.
Fans have high expectations for the event, too. Festival goer Cindy Mielock has attended for the past three years. “This year I am really excited because one of my favorite local singer songwriters, Jen Sygit, will be mistress of ceremonies and her group, STELLA, will also be performing,” she says. “Another crowd favorite, Punch Drunk, will be playing the second stage in between the main acts. These guys are fantastically entertaining musicians and play some fun songs on ukuleles.” Mielock has collected some great memories over the years and knows “this year will be an even better festival.”
As a newcomer to the festival, musician Charlie Richardson (of Jackalope) is looking forward to the atmosphere and audience of the festival. “I'm anticipating a lively gathering and looking forward to playing some new, original songs my band has worked up in the past year,” he says.
Richardson also emphasizes the significance of the festival for the city. “It's an excellent venue for our local community to get together and support live music in Michigan, as well as some interesting local vendors and sponsoring businesses.” He adds that “There's nothing like an outdoor music festival for putting the stamp on the arrival of summer.”
Aside from the music, there will be family fun events and food vendors including Sweet Lorraine's Fabulous Mac 'N Cheez, Clint's Hot Dogs, and The Sinclair Grille ice cream truck. Festival organizers recommends a $10 donation (kids are free), with all proceeds to the performing musicians after “minor expenses” are paid.
To stay up-to-date on the festival, check out the Facebook event page.
Bailey Park is located at 300 Bailey Street.