Celebrated Northern Michigan musician Seth Bernard built a stage on his dad’s truck trailer and held a concert/ potluck for friends back in 2001. Nineteen years later, the Earthwork Harvest Gathering is an inclusive event of 3,500+ people, 120+ musical acts and 100+ workshops at his family’s farm in Lake City.
Here are ten reasons why this is the place to be September 20–22.
Earthwork Farm is a working farm run by Seth’s dad, Bob, who also co-founded and co-directs the gathering. Bob has a small herd of grass-fed cows and is the man behind the beloved burgers and homemade fries at the gathering.
Bob Bernard is a man of many talents, one of them being the waltz. Sashay under twinkling lights in the barn on Saturday night. (There’s a waltz workshop on Friday night so you’re ready.)
Get local foods at the market and then head to the community kitchen to cook your meal. You’ll also find panel discussions about food justice, farm animals, a sound garden and more in the market area.
This event isn’t just a music festival, it’s a place for people to learn, heal and grow. There are workshops about everything from sustainable agriculture and renewable energy to sign language, stress management, songwriting and family yoga.
FREE CAMPING + FREE PARKING
There’s an area for quiet family camping and a place for night-owl camping (separated by a parking lot, farmers market and stage).
WATER BLESSING CEREMONY + INTERFAITH PANEL
People come together to speak about the sacredness of water and our responsibility to care for it. There are also panels on water equity, affordability and Great Lakes protection.
There’s an open mic in the morning and late-night jam sessions. Campfires go into the wee hours where people lead and trade songs.
Seth’s nonprofit, Title Track, is taking 24 kids in Flint on canoe and kayak trips with indigenous leaders. They’ll spend three days writing songs inspired by the Flint River, and a bunch of these awesome kids are coming Up North to perform at the gathering.
IT FEELS LIKE A FAMILY GATHERING
All people are welcome, and many guests return year after year.
EMPOWERING, COLLABORATIVE AND DOWNRIGHT INSPIRATIONAL MUSIC
With 120 acts, there’s a little bit of everything—a Detroit Hip-Hop Showcase, Grammy Award-winning virtuoso harmonica player Peter “Madcat” Ruth, the “psychedelic rock ’n’ roll confetti pie” that’s The Go Rounds and Michigan favorites including Joshua Davis, The Accidentals and May Erlewine.