Astronautalis, the Big Wu, Willie Murphy highlight Winona's Mid West Music Fest lineup
Photo By Erik Hess
After the resounding success of 2012's Mid West Music Fest in Winona, event organizers have just announced the dates as well as their ambitious musical plans for this year's festival. The 2013 Mid West Music Fest is set for April 18-20, taking place in a wide array of venues spread throughout Winona, Minnesota.
Some of the notable bands and artists scheduled for this year's fest include Astronautalis, the Big Wu, Willie Murphy, Retribution Gospel Choir, Lisa Germano, Claudia Schmidt, Apollo Cobra, Halloween, Alaska, The Pines, Charlie Parr, Chastity Brown, and over a hundred more local and regional acts spread over the course of the three-day festival.
Mid West Music Fest, Day One: Tapes 'n Tapes, Cory Chisel, and Zoo Animal
Mid West Music Fest, Day Two: The 4onthefloor, Rogue Valley, Ruben, and Midwest Dilemma
Mid West Music Fest, Day Three: Kimya Dawson, the Melismatics, BNLX, and My Private Eye
Last year's MWMF was a terrific blend of recognizable and undiscovered bands playing at numerous intimate venues throughout the welcoming city of Winona, and this year's fest will only build on that strong sense of musical and artistic community forged during the first few years of MWMF.
In addition to the many different unique venues that play host to all of these bands over the course of the three day festival, this year's fest boasts an intriguing new location, Broken World Records, which only plays vinyl in the bar area, while having music scheduled in both their front bar and large back room during all three days.
The celebrated Ed's No Name Bar is also hosting three days of music, as well as their highly entertaining block party, which has been a consistent highlight of the festival in years past. The 2013 Block Party at Ed's features performances from Halloween, Alaska, Caroline Smith & the Goodnight Sleeps, the May North, Click Track, and Tour Funk.
St. Paul's beloved Red House Records also has a fantastic showcase planned for MWMF in honor of their 30th Anniversary, with Willie Murphy, the Pines, and Andra Suchy set to perform.
MWMF is a nonprofit organization, and proceeds from this year's festival will be donated to the Winona Early Childhood Initiative. And over the course of the past three years, MWMF has donated over $20,000 to local nonprofits throughout the Winona arts and youth care community.
MWMF also doubled their attendance figures from 2011 to 2012, and hopefully this year's fest will be bigger and better than ever.
As someone who attended all three days of last year's festival, I can say how refreshing and rewarding it was to get out of the Twin Cities for a weekend to see some live music at relaxed, intimate venues in beautiful Winona. It was also quite cool to see some very familiar Minnesota bands having to play in front of (and win over) audiences of music fans who have never seen them perform or heard their music before.
At festivals like this, new musical discoveries occur around every corner, and I came away a fan of quite a few young, promising bands that I clearly would not have been exposed to if not for MWMF. So, if you're looking to catch some great music as well as looking to get out of the Cities for a few days in April, the Mid West Music Fest is definitely for you.
Tickets are currently on-sale here, and until March 8 festival organizers are offering $10 off a three-day wristband if you use the promo code MWMFsched at checkout.