Celebrate the Vibrancy of Community and the Power of the Arts at the 2nd Annual Fair Ground Festival

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Thornapple Arts Council's second annual Fair Ground Festival features an eclectic mix of six musical acts, culminating in a performance by country music's rising star, The War and Treaty.

The small town of Hastings will transform into the epicenter of music euphoria with the Thornapple Arts Council's second annual Fair Ground Festival, taking place Saturday, July 27. The festival—which calls itself the only female-forward music festival in West Michigan—is slated to feature an eclectic mix of six musical acts, culminating in a performance by country music's rising star, The War and Treaty.

Birthed from the vision of creating fair ground for all musicians and a diverse offering of music genres, the Fair Ground Festival is a movement in celebrating the vibrancy of community and the power of the arts.

The War and Treaty, a husband-and-wife duo from Albion, have become well known for their performance at the 2023 CMA Awards, as well as for their touring performances with stars like Chris Stapleton, Zach Bryan, Al Green, Brandi Carlile, Jason Isbell, John Legend and Van Morrison. The duo delivers powerful genre-bending performances of Americana, southern soul, blues, folk, rock and gospel music.

According to Thornapple Arts Council Executive Director Megan Lavell, the mission of the Fair Ground Festival is to raise diverse voices, creating fair ground for performers; promote cultural development in Barry County; and inspire the next generation of artists. Lavell said last year's attendance was more than 700, with most people traveling from outside the area to attend the festival. She hopes that having a huge act like The War and Treaty will draw more people to the festival and to Barry County.

"2023 was a great start for the Fair Ground Festival," Lavell said. "We put together a tremendous team of people who made the festival a huge success, and we are hoping to capitalize on that momentum this year. One couple flew in from Texas for one performer, and ended up loving the whole festival."




One of the priorities of the festival, Lavell explained, is to use cultural tourism to attract people to the Barry County area to support local businesses. She added that other festival priorities are to uplift artists and musicians, and to create inclusivity in the cultural community.

The festival will include food trucks, beer, wine and cider, a kids' activity tent, and a camping option. In addition to six performances, this year's festival also has a VIP and sponsor pre-party Friday, July 26 with two additional performances by In the Valley Below and The Burney Sisters. The Saturday line-up includes BAILEN, Alanna Royale, The Rebel Eves, Hannah Wicklund, The Accidentals, with the The War and Treaty finishing out the day.

Tickets are $50 per person leading up to the festival, and are $60 per person the day of the event. Tickets for kids ages 4-14 are $25; and kids under 3 are free. For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit fairgroundfestival.org or look for the Fair Ground Festival on Facebook and Twitter.

Courtesy of West Michigan Woman.


Main photo by Jim McMellen, courtesy of Fair Ground Festival. Photos within copy courtesy of Fair Ground Festival.


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