Caroline Smith & the Goodnight Sleeps will perform on Friday, April 19, at the MWMF block party at Third and Franklin streets.
Whether Willie Murphy has been on your list of favorites since he lit up the stage with the Bumblebees in the '70s or you consider yourself a member of The Big Wu family, the Mid West Music Fest (MWMF) has something for your musical palate. The best part, however, of the festival that brings music to more than a dozen stages in Winona, is that no matter your musical tastes and knowledge, attendees are guaranteed to stumble upon something new, something different.
MWMF Director and Founder Sam Brown said it is one of the aspects of the growing event he loves the most. "Wandering and finding new music is just really a lot of fun," he explained, as he listed all the musical acts he himself won't dare miss this year.
The festival, running from April 18 to April 20, will offer attendees the chance to hear more than 100 bands representing just about every genre imaginable. Over 100 volunteers will help during the festival, which has proven in past years to draw thousands of folks from all across the region to experience all Winona has to offer. From intimate stages in coffee shops to bigger venues like the Winona History Center and the Masonic Temple, MWMF not only offers music, Earth Day events and art, but showcases the burgeoning art scene for the thousands who flock to Winona for the spring festival.
Each year, festival organizers choose a charitable cause for which to raise funds; this year, the Winona Early Childhood Initiative will benefit from money raised by the festival. Not only does the event aim to give back to the community, but also to the musicians themselves through a musicians' summit. The summit includes several panel discussions in which artists and musicians are able to share ideas and information about their trades, providing fans a chance to listen in on talks about what it takes to market music and art in today's changing landscape.
Back this year is one of Brown's favorites — a block party with outdoor music on Third Street near Franklin Street. Minnesota's Red House Records will celebrate its 30th anniversary during the festival with Willie Murphy, The Pines and Andra Suchy performing at the Masonic Temple on Friday, April 19.
MWMF has also teamed up with the city of Winona's Earth Day celebration again this year, with Earth Day festivities moved from Unity Park to Levee Park.
The festival schedule and information about venues, events and artists can be found at www.midwestmusicfest.org.