Porky’s music fest lineup set

Photo by Porcupine Mountains Music Festival Rev Peyton’s Big Damn Band performs at the 2016 Porcupine Mountains Music Festival.

ONTONAGON — For much of the year, the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is a place of peace and solitude.

But once a year, the Porcupine Mountains Music Festival figuratively raises the roof of the place.

This year marks the 14th year of the Porcupine Mountains Music Festival, which draws attendees from all over the region and occasionally from across the country for three days of music appreciation.

The acts are carefully selected after months of musical research, as well as email inquiries from artists and attendee suggestions, said festival director Cheryl Sundberg.

The entire event is planned by a core group of a few volunteers. About 100 other volunteers join in to help during the festival.

From Aug. 24-26, this year’s festival-goers will hear from Donna the Buffalo, Fred Eaglesmith Show starring Tif Ginn, Slambovian Circus of Dreams, The Roosevelts, Old Salt Union, Barefoot Movement, Charlie Parr, Joshua Davis Trio, Ragbirds, Wild Rivers, Talbott Brothers, Shari Kane and Dave Steele, Kind Country and Lucky Dutch.

Donna the Buffalo is a group the festival was particularly happy to see on that list after years of attempting to have the band perform.

“They’ve been on our radar for many years, and we finally got them,” Sundberg said.

The festival works to book musicians that might not otherwise be seen in the area due to the remote location.

“We strive for quality musicianship, and while our performers may not be household names, they are well-known in their genres, and once heard, they are certainly remembered,” Sundberg said.

The festival has been steadily growing each year, with the exception of 2017, when the weather rained on the parade for two of the three days.

The highest attendance was around 1,750 people in 2016, Sundberg said.

Although pleased with the growth, she intends to keep the festival small enough to remain an intimate experience that won’t negatively impact the park.

“We’d like to keep it intimate and have it be a really special experience for our audience, which it is,” she said.