MONTCALM COUNTY, Michigan — If you’re looking for a way to enjoy the nice weather this weekend, consider checking out the inaugural Smiling Acres Music Festival in Montcalm County.
Over two days, more than a dozen bands will take the stage with the live performances starting around 4 p.m. Friday and continuing through the end of the day on Saturday.
“It's been a family and friends party for well over a decade,” event coordinator Tim King said. “The hosts here have been inviting people over to their place, doing fireworks and sitting around the campfire. Then, we started adding more food on, more friends invited other friends, and it's grown over the past several years.
"This is the first year where they've invited the public in to do some camping, two full days of live music, food vendors, craft vendors. So this is just the first year that we're really giving it a go with seeing how many people want to come hang out and have a good time.”
The festival, which King said is kid-friendly, is happening on 40 acres of land in Trufant, allowing for plenty of social distancing.
“Based on the attendance we’re expecting, we could probably put 30 feet in between groups,” King said. “Our actual max capacity is probably close to 3,000. We're expecting and planning for between 500 and 600.”
As for the type of music to expect, King said there will be a wide variety.
“If I was told to label it originally, I would have called it more of like a folk music festival, but that's definitely not the way it turned out,” he said. “Mark Lavengood is the entertainment director for this. He's done a lot of music festivals himself. He put this line up together basically out of bands that are his friends and associates, most of them are based out of West Michigan. There's definitely a variety in there. It's mostly more acoustic acts.”
There are two tiers of tickets available, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better deal for a weekend of live music. An all-inclusive weekend pass is only $50 for adults and $20 for kids. Camping is included with the pass.
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