Milan Music Fest August 2-6


MILAN — Mark Gaynier has made two big changes to his Milan music festival in honor of its 25th anniversary.

First, he changed the name.

The Milan Music Fest replaced the Milan Bluegrass Festival.

“I’ve wanted to change it for a while,” Gaynier said. “I waited for the 25th anniversary. I used to have a few country bands, so I can’t say it’s all bluegrass. Now we can have different types of music. But, it will still be acoustic, not heavy metal. It’s good listening music.

Then he extended the event to five days. Past festivals lasted three and four days.

“Five for 25 sounds good,” Gaynier said.

Crandall Creek occurs on August 6.

The expanded and renamed Milan Music Fest will take place August 2-6 at KC Campground, 14048 Sherman Rd. Tickets are available at the door and range from $25-$45 per day. Three- and five-day passes are also available. Discounts are offered every day after 5 p.m.

Gaynier hopes the new name will appeal to a more diverse audience. Some, he says, hear “bluegrass” and decide not to attend.

“‘Music Fest’ allows them to watch the bands and discover their music,” he said.

This year, 22 groups will perform for five days. Five groups are new, including Carley Arrowood from North Carolina.

“This is our first big summer tour as a band,” Arrowood said recently. “We can’t wait. It will be a very, very good time. After Milan, we are in Ohio and West Virginia.

Another novelty, Crandall Creek, which has just released a new album.

“We are thrilled to be at the festival,” the band said.

Gaynier likes to bring young groups and new singers to the festival.

“Anyone who is promising, young artists, I give them the opportunity to shine. A lot of debuting bands have played here,” he said.

Returning bands include Russel Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers, Breaking Grass and bluegrass legend Rhonda Vincent & The Rage.

Many of the returning artists have been coming to Milan for years.

“Milan is one of our favorite festivals,” Breaking Grass said. “We’ve been there the majority of those 25 years. Everyone in Milan is always great with us.

Blake Williams returns as emcee.

Prizes will be awarded. Food will be sold. Several vendors will also have booths with handicrafts, musical instruments and accessories, arts and crafts, jewelry, clothing, home improvements, RVs, cars, trucks and more. .

Carley Arrowood will perform on August 3.

The festival was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic. Last year, Gaynier offered a three-day musical event and was surprised by the response.

“We had a good turnout. I was pleasantly surprised. My goal was just to maintain, but we actually increased in number,” Gaynier said.

He expected a decrease because the border with Canada was closed.

“Canadians love bluegrass. It’s the closest bluegrass festival they can come to,” Gaynier said. “Last year, 300 to 400 Canadians weren’t there. This year, I’m expecting 2,500 to 3,000 people a day.

For more information, call (734) 439-1076.

On the Web: MilanMusicFest on Facebook and milanmusicfest.com

Program:

August 2nd: Special Consensus and The Grascals

August 3: Midnight Hollow, Full Cord, Jim Hurst, Carley Arrowood and Jimmy Fortune

August 4: Larry Efaw & The Bluegrass Mountaineers, Little Roy & Lizzy Show, Alan Bibey & Grasstowne, Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers and Lonesome River Band

5 August : Deeper Shade of Blue, Larry Stephenson Band, Amanda Cook Band, The Malpass Brothers and Russel Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out

August 6: Dave Adkins Band, Breaking Grass, Crandall Creek, Rhonda Vincent & The Rage and Alex Miller

Jeff Tuttle

Festival fundraiser to benefit Tuttle

A fundraiser for Jeff Tuttle will be part of this year’s Milan Music Fest.

Tuttle, 61, of Monroe’s Nash Icon 98.3, was recently diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

“He’s fighting for his life,” said Mark Gaynier.

The Milan Music Fest organizer is selling raffle tickets and donating the proceeds to Tuttle to help pay for medical bills. The winner will receive a package including camping and festival tickets.

“They can come back next year for an all-expenses-paid trip,” Gaynier said.

Gaynier also reached out to groups and many donated merchandise to give away as part of the raffle.

Tuttle hosts a bluegrass radio show and is a regular at Milan Music Fest, sometimes even broadcasting from the venue.

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