The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

13th annual Porkies music fest brings beats, blues


Ian Minielly/Daily Globe

NOT QUITE Canada, out of Marquette, rocking the stage Saturday afternoon at the 13th annual Porcupine Mountains Music Festival in Ontonagon. Quite a number of people hit the dirt track near the stage to shake and boogie to their sound and music.


Ontonagon - The 13th annual Porcupine Mountains Music Festival was this past weekend, presented by Friends of the Porkies. Artists from as far away as Denmark came to the shores of Lake Superior to camp and play music with folks that like harmony, fiddle, straw hats, electric guitars and the blues. It was interesting to hear different artists discuss the location and distance from civilization that the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is.

Ana Egge, of Ana Egge and the Sentimentals, described the difference between Denmark and the United States as far as size of country. In Denmark, an hour drive will likely take you past the borders of the country, so when someone says they are going an hour away, Egge said people are nearly aghast anyone would consider driving so far. Egge commented at the great distance the music festival is from civilization and the great distance so many people came to listen. Egge appeared genuinely surprised at the willingness of Americans to travel compared to her countryman.

Cruising two of the parking lots and one camping area, it was clear an inordinate number of people from Minnesota and Wisconsin made the trip for a weekend of fun and grey skies. There was one car from Ohio in the parking lot, but people continued streaming in, changing the audience dynamics.

The rain held off Friday, but by 2:20 p.m. Saturday, it began coming down softly. The music continued and the bands played on and people huddled under covered areas of the slopes, moved inside, or just got wet.

The local Boy Scout troop volunteered to pick up the recyclables all weekend, which would in turn help fund their troop while another 130 volunteers were necessary to keep the event hopping.

Where else can musicians and people stay together in a camp ground at night, sharing chow and stories, while playing music from afternoon till late? Nikki Grossman, guitar, fiddle, and vocals for the Yellow Bellied Sapsuckers relayed a story between songs. While sitting around the fire Friday evening, Grossman said she heard someone say, "Did you hear that gal from the Yellow Bellied Sapsuckers playing the kazoo?" Grossman said she was flattered to hear people talking about the music because it is rare to spend such extended time with the audience and listeners.


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