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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas WiertellaApril 30, 2024

Bass strings wobble at 15th annual Blues Festival

The Marquette Area Blues Festival began with a night open to the community free of charge on Friday headlined by Chicago native singer/songwriter Jimmy Nick. Photo courtesy of Sophie Hillmeyer/NW

The Marquette Area Blues Society attracted hundreds of community members and beyond for three days of soul-enriched tunes

A main stage was the focal point of Mattson Lower Harbor Park, which was filled with booths from local businesses and artists, different food trucks and drink options that attracted hundreds from the Marquette community and well beyond.

More than just a passion for music brought the community together at the 15th annual Marquette Area Blues Festival Aug. 31 – Sept. 2. The event was hosted by the Marquette Area Blues Society (MABS), which is a nonprofit organization that promotes and supports blues music in the area by hosting monthly blues band performances and holding other educational and outreach events for the community, said Walt Lindala, Marquette Area Blues Festival

This three-day festival offered its attendees a time to come together and enjoy blues music from more than 10 different artists from around the Midwest, as well as groups from as far away as Austin, Lindala said.

In addition to gathering musicians from around the country, the festival also brings in a high rate of tourists, which benefits the organization as well as the city as a whole.

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“[This] event brings high caliber, international touring blues artists to Marquette that normally would never make it here. Our event is designed in a way that allows festival attendees a chance to get out and explore Marquette while they are here,” Lindala said.

He added that the festival usually wraps up before 10 p.m. giving patrons the option explore other restaurants and bars in town after the show. The Blues Society works closely with the Ore Dock Brewing Co., and held some shows later in the evening at that venue on Friday and Saturday night, Lindala added.

The attendance for both Friday and Sunday was high but the festival did endure a lot of rain on Saturday night. Thankfully, that did not deter the fans from enjoying the music for as long as they could before there was no choice but to cancel the show, Lindala said.

“There were, however, a few hundred people who stayed and huddled under tents or had their own rain gear as we tried to still hold the show,” Lindala said. “[Unfortunately], the rain just wouldn’t stop, and we had to pull the plug. They were some hardcore music fans, and they stuck around. Blew my mind.”

The Marquette Area Blues Festival began with a night open to the community free of charge on Friday and was headlined by guitarist and singer/songwriter Jimmy Nick from Chicago. The doors opened in the afternoon on both Saturday and Sunday and once the weather cleared up on Sunday, guitarist and singer Sue Foley from Austin headlined the
warm weekend evening.

In addition to drawing in blues lovers, the event also drew in students from NMU as both spectators and volunteers from different organizations on campus. Lindala added that MABS would like to get more student involvement.

Organizations looking for volunteer opportunities or are interested in other areas of the organization can contact Lindala at (906) 869-4049.

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