Home Featured News Lamplight Music Festival brings music home

Lamplight Music Festival brings music home


By Erica Horoky

Live music bridges the gap between musician and audience, but rarely does that experience go so far as to let you practically sit at the feet of the artist. House shows provide a rare intimacy and hospitality that you wouldn’t find at a regular venue, and the collective behind Lamp Light understands this. Kevin Fein, member of The Wallace Collective and attorney for Lamp Light, put it simply: “You’re blurring that line between audience and band, venue and home.”

And that’s what makes the Lamp Light Music Festival worth checking out.

The Lamp Light Music Festival, presented by Do-It-Together Grand Rapids, returns again Nov. 1 through 3 to deliver a weekend full of stripped down music from both local and national bands, craft vendors, and engaging workshops in five homes in Grand Rapids’ Eastown neighborhood. Weekend passes can be purchased online for $35, and day passes can be purchased at any of the homes for $15.

lamplight courtesy photoThirty-five bands will grace the living rooms of the five Eastown dwellings (The Bird House, The Hen House, The Neighborhood House, The House of Pancakes, and The Waffle House), each home providing a unique experience as they host the hundreds of festival goers that will step foot in and out of their doors. House-show festivals are unconventional, but to Lamp Light founder John Hanson, it’s the most rewarding way to experience music. “The goal is to create potentially the most beautiful context for an exchange of music directly from the artist, as pure and honest as it could be, with as few distractions as possible.”

This year’s festival will be featuring Michigan favorites Frontier Ruckus, Ghost Heart, Breathe Owl Breathe, and Jamaican Queens, among a lineup of other local and national talent.

The Soil & the Sun, a local favorite, will kick off the festival at the Hen House at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 1. A short walk across the street or around the block will take you to the next house, and bands will be playing until around 1 a.m. that opening night. Music and workshops will continue throughout the weekend, with Valentiger closing up the festival at 8:30 p.m. Sunday.

When you need to get away from the music for a bit, you can enjoy a selection of scheduled workshops including bicycle maintenance, zine creation, food fermentation, and screen printing. You can expect more workshops announced in the future, as there are still time slots for more workshops waiting to be filled. “It’s something to do during the day for people that brought kids or just want to roam the neighborhood. We’re expecting 300-400 people, so it’s a good break after a long day,” added Dan Climie, coordinator for Lamp Light.

Tickets are already selling faster than they did last year as the community gets behind the idea of this unique festival. But with growing numbers, what is it like to open your home to so many people? The aspects of Lamp Light that make it so unique and inviting also make it the most challenging. There has to be the balance between keeping the experience intimate and comfortable, but also allowing it to grow and invite more people in. Although there’s a degree of uncertainty regarding this year’s higher expected turnout, Lamp Light continues to be inspired by last year’s results.

“It just worked. Nobody broke anything, everything went so smoothly,” Fein said. “It was amazing and really encouraging that if you put out an event like this, people will respond with respect.”

Visit www.lamplightmusicfestival.com to purchase tickets, view the complete lineup and schedule, and for event locations.  For more information, join the Lamp Light Music Festival 2013 event page on Facebook. Make sure to arrive early!

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