GRAND RAPIDS — Combining music and beer, Founders Fest is back for its fifth year with a wide-ranging music line-up. While details on special beer offerings have yet to be announced, this year’s headliner is Brooklyn-based Soulive.
“Founders Fest is our biggest party of the year and is always a great time,”said Mark Dorich, festival coordinator and Founders Brewing Co. director of retail operations. “We are excited to celebrate with our community again, and we’re really excited about this year’s music lineup.”
The rest of the line-up includes: Asheville’s Toubab Krewe; Michigan folk favorites Seth & May and Friends; one-man band That 1 Guy out of Las Vegas; the locally sourced improvisational progressive rock band Ultraviolet Hippopotamus; and Grand Rapids indie-folk outfit The Crane Wives. Hometown rockers Four Finger Five and the 12-piece African funk group Afro Zuma join local favorite and SXSW sweethearts The Soil and the Sun and a super-group of Founders employees, the FBC All-Stars, to round out the entertainment lineup.
The June 23 outdoor festival is hosted on the streets near Founders. The brewery expects to cram more than 5,000 participants on Grandville Avenue between Cherry and Bartlett and on the grounds of the brewery.
This year’s event will again feature local food vendors, including The Cottage Bar and the Pita House, as well as a Local Artists Row, which showcases the various works of some of the area’s finest artists and designers. There will be other strolling surprise entertainers sprinkled throughout the day, according to organizers.
Founders calls its annual festival a celebratory “thank you” to Grand Rapids and West Michigan for making Founders what it is today. Founders Brewing Co. opened in Grand Rapids in 1997, and it has grown its brewing tradition from modest beginnings to most recently being rated the second best brewery in the world, for the second year in a row.
“We’re proud of how we’ve grown to become not just a local name but a serious contender on the regional and national beer scene,” says Founders President & CEO Mike Stevens. “We’ll be celebrating our 15th anniversary this year, and we’re proud to say that our crew is making some of the best beer in America. Founders Fest allows us to take a day to toast those efforts with our friends, family and community.”