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Loft to host 3-day music festival

January 18, 2012

It might not be a campground in Tennessee or a park in Chicago, but a local music venue is aiming to provide students with a festival experience similar to Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza.

The first annual Lifted Music Festival will begin at 9 p.m. Thursday at The Loft, 414 E. Michigan Ave., in Lansing.

“The way that music festivals really are growing now, we thought it’d be cool to try to throw an indoor one and start the excitement for the summer festivals,” said Matt DiMambro, who helped book the festival performers.

The three-day-long event will run until about 2:00 a.m. Sunday and feature a variety of area acts as well as many from out of state.

“Our focus initially was to make sure that the majority of the local artists are associated with (the festival) … and then to bring in some more established names in the genres to top everything off,” Managing Partner at The Loft Jerome White said.

DiMambro said the festival should appeal to a wide range of music lovers because of the variety of genres it features, such as reggae, Americana and rock.

“Stylistically, they’re all a great fit,” he said. “We wanted to try to hit most of the major Michigan markets while still representing Lansing.”

East Lansing duo Matt Borghi and Michael Teager of the indie group Teag and PK will be the first to perform Friday night.

“Matt and I don’t really know what to expect,” Teager said. “We’re just going to show up and do our thing with a smile on our face, and hopefully other people will enjoy it.”

Teager said the weekend’s event will be a unique opportunity for attendees to experience a variety of Lansing’s music all in one place.

“It’s a good way to go see and sample, if you will, a lot of the local acts that are going to be there,” he said. “As opposed to going to four or five separate shows, you can just go in one night and hear a good deal of what the Lansing area has to offer.”

The festival also will feature live art by various artists who will create their work while listening to the bands perform.

“When an artist gets going, and they’re inspired by the music, what you end up seeing is something that is completely relative to the music that you just heard,” White said. “Music-inspired art is just part of the overall ambience.”

The event also is a charitable one, and attendees who bring a coat with them to donate will receive a ticket for half off of a drink. All the coats collected will be donated to Volunteers of America.

“We really want to do a lot of good for the community while having a good time,” White said.

Covert, a rock and funk band from Flint, Mich., will headline the second night of the festival.

“We’re looking forward to our performance,” said Dallas Barr, who is the vocalist and guitar player for the band. “With all these great bands that are going to be here, to be the last band (playing) is great.”

Barr, who used to play in the area often, said he hopes the festival will help revitalize Lansing’s music scene, which once was much more vibrant.

“We used to say that Lansing was our favorite city to play in in Michigan,” he said. “We’re really hoping to build that back up to what it used to be. We’ve had great times there.”

White is encouraging everyone not to miss the event because there won’t be another like it for some time.

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“If you like good bands and you like to dance, you’re not going to have another three-day event like this in Lansing anytime soon,” he said. “This is original, (and) it has not been done before in this market.”


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