The Homegrown Music Festival Will Be Virtual For 2021
"Homegrown is the anchor that keeps all these bands in the Twin Ports coming together," said Matthew Sjelin, a member of the Trash Cats Band.
DULUTH, Minn. – The Coronavirus pandemic is already causing organizers of many entertainment events to make difficult decisions about their upcoming scheduling plans in the new year.
It has now been announced the Duluth Homegrown Music Festival is going virtual for 2021.
The music festival has been a big staple in the community for more than 20 years.
“Our planning starts usually around July or August. We start laying things out and we are usually ready to hit the go button around March,” said Executive Director Melissa LaTour.
With the pandemic continuing to be a health concern, organizers decided to shift to a virtual format for 2021.
“We have been monitoring the CDC and decided that given our event happens the first week of may the best choice for us without fully cancelling would be to go virtual,” said LaTour.
The musical festival is usually an event where many people get to know some of the local bands in the community.
“Homegrown is the anchor that keeps all these bands in the Twin Ports coming together,” said Matthew Sjelin, a member of the Trash Cats Band.
With Homegrown going virtual this year, it means those local performers will have to continue adjusting to new normals as live entertainment gigs have dried up.
“We’re already doing stuff digitally. We pounce on anything we can. Basically, if something comes up, we want to be apart of it,” said Sjelin.
Getting used to the a new way of doing things hasn’t always been easy as the pandemic goes on.
“The hard part was that we are playing to a camera. We don’t have an audience anymore we don’t have the interactions with people,” said Sjelin.
Continuing to participate in virtual festivities like this one is a way to keep the legacy of these performers going.
It also requires the community to support the Homegrown Music Fesitval in this new format so it can return next year.
“I hope the community understands that it’s a beautiful thing, but it’s not immortal. Not every business is going to survive this, not every band is going to survive this. Homegrown better survive this,” said Sjelin.
A first taste of the virtual festivities will be Homegrown’s Winter Fiasco, which begins on January 22nd.
The main music festival starts this May.