HopCat is excited to announce our sponsorship of this year’s second-annual Blue Bridge Music Festival, the official music component of ArtPrize Nine. The event, a collaboration with community radio station WYCE-FM (88.1) is set to unfold Friday and Saturday Sept. 29-30 on the blue pedestrian bridge over the Grand River in downtown Grand Rapids.
The free festival will feature performances by eight regional artists, all of whom are eligible for the ArtPrize Song of the Year award, which carries a $1,000 cash prize. In keeping with ArtPrize’s public-vote model, the prize will go to the artist who attracts the most support from visitors. The award format is pared down from last year’s inaugural Blue Bridge event, in which songs were divided by genre and also competed for judges’ awards.
The 2017 contestants, however, still are eligible in ArtPrize’s main field in the time-based category, which carries $12,500 prizes in both public voting and juried awards. The Song of the Year winner will be invited to perform at the ArtPrize Awards Ceremony, Oct. 6 at 20 Monroe Live.
HopCat is presenting the Song of the Year prize and will be on hand at the festival, selling Crack Fries and a few local beers from Founders Brewing Co. The same sustainability initiatives we practice in our restaurants also will be in effect -- all food products will be compostable and there will be readily accessible compost and recycling bins, with the goal of diverting at least 90 percent of waste that would otherwise go to a landfill.
Also, we’ll go ahead and guarantee* that the weather at this year’s event will be better than the conditions at the first Blue Bridge Festival. (*not legally binding)
Quinn Matthews, station manager at WYCE, curated the festival’s performers. ”I’m beyond excited as WYCE 88.1FM, HopCat and ArtPrize team up for the Blue Bridge Music Festival for 2017,” Matthews said in a statement. “West Michigan is filled with amazing art during this competition, and I feel it’s extremely important to show the visitors to our city what an amazing music scene we have here. Get ready for “A World of Music” on the Blue Bridge, all for FREE, celebrating Jazz, Soul, Rock, Country, Hip Hop and more for two straight days over the Grand River.”
WYCE, the long-running Grand Rapids Community Media Center station whose motto is “A World of Music,” will broadcast from the Blue Bridge Music Festival each day. The schedule of the event is as follows:
Friday, Sept. 29
4 p.m. - Live WYCE broadcast
5. p.m. - Yolonda Lavender
7 p.m. - The Bootstrap Boys
9 p.m. - Michigander
Saturday, Sept. 30
Noon - Live WYCE broadcast
2 p.m. - Brad Fritcher’s Moods
4 p.m. - Asamu Johnson & the Associates of the Blues
5:30 p.m. - Jesse Ray and the Carolina Catfish
7 p.m. - Watching for Foxes
8:45 p.m. - The Great Ones (Lady Ace Boogie/JRob)
For more information on this year’s Blue Bridge Music Festival, check out the ArtPrize website and a longer feature in Local Spins.