Live music, local brews, powerful poetry: Ladyfest at the Lakeshore highlights growing art scene in an inclusive Muskegon

Lady Ace Boogie will be one of the performers at Ladyfest 2017. Photo by Anna Gustafson

Get ready to raise your glasses to a day chock full of music, beer and celebrating diversity, inclusion and a whole lot of talent: Ladyfest at the Lakeshore 2017 is here.

The second annual event, which is being held Saturday, Sept. 30, will feature an impressive lineup of local female musicians, poets and visual artists who will kick off the festival at an intimate house show and move on to Pigeon Hill Brewing Company and Unruly Brewing. The festival is free and open to all ages from 2pm to 9pm and will become a 21+ event after 9pm.

“We believe that the voices of women need to be heard empowered and connected,” said Samantha Andrade, a Ladyfest at the Lakeshore organizer and musician.

Flyer by Maddie Jackson, image courtesy of Ladyfest at the Lakeshore.

The festival’s organizers mainly hail from the Muskegon area–and they want their city to be the permanent home for the Ladyfest at the Lakeshore in order to support and celebrate an artistic movement they see growing in their hometown, Andrade explained. Last year, the event was held in Grand Haven.

“I moved to Grand Rapids for school, another person [from the Ladyfest committee] went to Grand Haven, but we’re all coming back,” Andrade said. “This is where we grew up, and we want to be a part of its progress.”

“For me personally, it seemed like there was a lack of music or art or even a foodie scene when I moved away to Grand Rapids [in 2013], but now Muskegon is up and coming; there’s a lot more going on,” she continued. “We’re trying to get behind that and fuel that change.”

For Andrade and the other Ladyfest organizers, they’re hoping the festival is emblematic of a larger shift happening in Muskegon and West Michigan: that there is a promotion of “ideas of diversity and non-binary perspectives from all genders, races and sexual orientations,” as the event’s Facebook page says.

“Ladyfest at the Lakeshore is for everyone; it’s for people of all genders and identities,” Andrade said. “It’s really inclusive. We want everyone to get together and support each other. If you bring all these like-minded people together, it sparks good things all around. It’s inspiring.”

Drawing inspiration from other festivals in Michigan, such as Lamp Light Music Festival and the former LadyfestGR in Grand Rapids, this year’s multi-venue festival will feature performances from acts like Grand Rapids’ Lady Ace Boogie and the group Bermudas and Muskegon’s Van Lente, Maddie Jackson, Leah Kristene, Molly Schaub, and SAND, among others. All donations and proceeds from Ladyfest at the Lakeshore T-shirts, buttons and other promotional items will go to benefit Planned Parenthood of Michigan.

If you’re not familiar with the performers, the following videos are a couple examples of what you’ll get to hear on Saturday. Check out the artists’ individual websites and social media (linked in the schedule below) to hear more.

The entire schedule can be seen below.

Venue: Jackson House
1220 Brookwood Dr.
2:00 PM – Opening words
2:30 PM – Maggie May (Olivia Tatreau)
3:00 PM – Brianne Hubbard-Ross
3:30 PM – Molly Schaub
4:00 PM – 

Venue: Pigeon Hill Brewing Company
500 W Western Ave.
5:00 PM – Doors Open
5:30 PM – Maddie Jackson
6:00 PM – Lady Ace Boogie
6:30 PM – Speaker from Planned Parenthood
6:40 PM – Ana Elle
7:20 PM – Jessica in The Rainbow
8:00 PM – Libby DeCamp
8:45 PM – Speaker from Planned Parenthood

Venue: Unruly Brewing
360 W Western Ave.
9:00 PM – Doors Open
9:30 PM – Leah Kristene
10:00 PM – reggie
10:40 PM – Van Lente
11:20 PM – Bermudas

For more information about Ladyfest at the Lakeshore, please visit the festival’s Facebook page.

Anna Gustafson is the editor of the Muskegon Times. You can connect with her by emailing or on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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