Updated: 04/27/2014 10:23 PM
Created: 04/27/2014 5:16 PM WDIO.com
By: Travis Dill
The Homegrown Music Festival has entered its sweet 16th year in the Twin Ports and the event had another growth spurt this year. More bands and more venues will keep the music scene and business rocking this week.
At the Homegrown Headquarters, also know as the Chicken Shack, organizers were going through a lot more swag for musicians than when the festival first kicked off.
“Ten bands played the first festival and it's grown up to 200 bands this year, which is the most that we've had with 700 musicians. We've gone to several venues, over 40 venues around town as well,” Volunteer Coordinator Melissa LaTour said.
She said local business support and thousands of fans have kept the event clucking longer than most music festivals.
“Sixteen years is pretty amazing for a music festival. If you were to look at the history of music festivals all over the world there aren't many that have lasted 10 years let alone 16 so to have it in our little Twin Ports area is amazing,” LaTour said.
Homegrown packs venues like Pizza Luce in Duluth giving the restaurant its busiest nights of the year according to General Manager Paige Doty.
“Everyone hops around to each of the different venues, but a sell out in here it's wall to wall. You have to wait for a drink, but it's all worth it to hear the good local music,” Doty said.
The festival's chicken mascot draws loyal followers that keep musicians like Alex Galle-From on stage year after year.
“It's incredible how many people are out. It doesn't matter what day of the week like Sunday night here tonight is going to be packed here in Luce, packed in Tycoon's and every venue. There's so much support for all local bands,” Galle-From said.
Homegrown may be a boost for business and musicians in the Twin Ports, but LaTour hopes residents remember the show goes on even after the festival is over.
“Go to Homegrown, but go to the music all year round too. The music plays every day,” LaTour said.
Homegrown Music Festival runs through Sunday May 4. For ticket and schedule information click here.
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