Michigan music festival back for an encore

by Brian Mccollum

Detroit Free Press (MCT)

10 February 2009


Dust off the camping gear: Rothbury is on.

After months of uncertainty - and amid a topsy-turvy year for Michigan festivals - Rothbury’s promoters confirmed Monday that the event will return.

Michigan music festival back for an encore

The second-annual fest will take place July 2-5 at the Double JJ Ranch north of Muskegon. Artist and ticket information will be announced in coming weeks. In response to the sour economy, tickets will be available for layaway purchase. Admission to the camping event ran from $244.75 to $1,725 last year.

That inaugural festival was roundly considered a success, drawing tens of thousands of fans to the rustic Double JJ for four days of performances by artists such as Dave Matthews Band, John Mayer and Snoop Dogg. The event drew national headlines for its environmental focus, including efforts to become the nation’s first fully self-sustainable festival.

But the event’s fate was thrown into question with the subsequent bankruptcy of the Double JJ, prompting speculation about Rothbury’s return. A judge last month approved a deal with the ranch’s bankruptcy trustee that paved the way for a second festival.

The ranch will be put up for foreclosure sale in the spring.

From the national perspective, Rothbury is late out of the gate. Artist lineups for festivals such as Bonnaroo and Coachella have already been announced. It’s not the only Michigan festival facing challenges; m any area events will be downsizing amid diminishing sponsor dollars and tightening budgets.

The 2009 edition of the festival’s Web site, www.rothburyfestival.com, went live Monday afternoon.

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