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Big Fam Music & Arts Festival 2022

Following a slam-dunk debut in 2021, the Big Fam Music & Arts Festival is set to return to Michigan with its second annual installment in a new location.

While the first year was held in Lake Ann, MI, the second installment will be held in a more centralized part of the state, taking place at the Liberty Mountain Event Venue in Farwell, MI.

The electronic and jam music festival takes place this weekend from Friday, September 2 - Sunday, September 4, with attendees leaving Monday, which is Labor Day.

Just like with the 2021 debut, I had a chance to speak with Andrew Martin, Director of Marketing, Sponsorship & Communication for the event. Communicating via email, Martin says the team has ramped up production for the big return.

[Courtesy of Andrew Martin]

“We’ve learned to be more prepared for obstacles and set expectations early,” Martin said. “You will notice more staff, more vendors, more production and more infrastructure at the new property. The space we’ve curated at Liberty Mountain is more spread out than it was in the previous year. Each area has a unique experience and landscape to explore. The Apogee stage [main stage] is the largest permanent stage in Michigan, and the venue was a ski slope in the past.”

Even with a new property, the Big Fam mission statement remains the same.

“Big Fam’s main goal is to give an encompassing sense of community and togetherness,” Martin said. “We welcome open-minded individuals from all walks of life with open arms into this annual experience.”

True to its name, the lineup once again features instantly-recognizable big names from the festival circuit, while also including a “who’s who” of both local and regional artists.

“Every artist that we book is intentional,” Martin said. “We spent a lot of time curating the overall vibe and creating an experience that everyone can enjoy. You will notice jam bands, bass music and a lot more house music incorporated into the lineup than the previous year.”

Martin himself will be playing another set as well, bringing tropical house vibes under his name A Tropical Martian.

The headliners for this weekend include the Vermont-based rock band Twiddle, who dropped their latest album “Every Last Leaf” earlier this month.

The downtempo dubstep duo Truth, originally from New Zealand, will also be headlining. The duo has been staying busy ahead of Big Fam, having released two new EP’s as of this year.

The Austin, TX-based dubstep producer known as The Widdler will be returning for round two, having already headlined the first installment. Just like his performance in 2021, his bizarre brand of reggae-tinged electronic music is sure to impress.

As far as the locals go, there are several new and returning artists who are ready to share their material with the Big Fam community.

One such returning act is the Ann Arbor-based jam group Chirp, who performed one of my favorite sets of the weekend during the first Big Fam.

Ahead of the big weekend, I touched base with Chirp guitar player, singer and songwriter Jay Frydenlund, who says the band is eager to make their return.

Returning Artist - Interview with Jay Frydenlund from Chirp

“We’re super excited to be back for Big Fam number two,” Frydenlund said in an email. “It’s awesome to have teamed up with [Magical Mitten Productions President] Chris Stewart for years now and see something on this level coming to fruition. We were blown away by the production level, lineup and professionalism of the first Big Fam, so being a part of the next one is really exciting.”

Anyone who has seen Chirp live can attest that the band incorporates many different styles, providing viewers with an eclectic sound and performance.

[Courtesy Jay Frydenlund]

“We tend to genre-hop a good deal both in terms of originals and cover choices,” Frydenlund said. “We bounce around between a lot of funk, prog, fusion, rock and more.”

Hard at work as always, Big Fam is only one of many stops for the group this summer and beyond.