BENNINGTON TWP. — Fortitude Outdoor Fitness & Venue owner Alec Faber is trying to bring a new event to the area: a music festival featuring five bands.
Partnering with the Korner Pub in Westown, Fortitude is hosting the festival from noon to 11 p.m. Aug. 24 at the outdoor fitness center, 4377 S. M-52.
The festival is called “Fortitunes,” and Faber is promising to make it an annual event.
“It’s an event that normally doesn’t happen around here,” he said. “I wanted to bring something new to the area, and make it something for people to look forward to doing every August. I’m hoping we can draw people from all over.”
The musical acts, all from Michigan, play classic rock and jazzy blues with their own musical style. They are, in performing order: Cash O’Riley, Darin Larner Trio, The Rupple Brothers, Back Barn Band and Jimmy G and the Capitols. Each group will play for two-hour blocks.
On the grounds will be a food tent offering hamburgers, hot dogs, tacos and chips from the Korner Pub, beer tent and a dining tent for festival-goers. You must be 21 to attend.
“Our motto is, ‘festival feel without festival prices,’” Faber said. “We’re not going to jack up the prices on food because it’s a festival. You won’t be paying $8 for a cheeseburger. The event is affordable for most everybody.”
Bands will perform on two stages, giving the next act a chance to set up or break down equipment while another act plays. The stages are each 40-foot-long metal shipping containers, one wall of which will be opened, providing the artists with overhang protection against rain. They will be set up next to each other along a tall berm located at one end of the festival field.
“It’s a pretty cool setup, where we’re having the festival,” Faber said. Fortitude is composed of 118 acres.
Tickets are $15 until Aug. 1, after which they go up to $20. The cost is $25 on the day of the festival. Tickets are available at fortitunes.com, Fortitude between 6 and 10 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays in the volleyball pit, Korner Pub or Agnew’s Graphics.
Presenting Fortitunes is sponsor Great Lakes Family of Companies in Vernon Township and other sponsors have been lined up, Faber said. The Shiawassee Sheriff’s Office has been retained to help with crowd control. The county’s emergency manager, Trent Atkins, is assisting with parking lot layout and other logistics, Faber said.
Cash O’Riley, a Detroit area resident, describes his sound as a blend of rock ‘n’ roll, blues, folk, punk, country, bluegrass and a little jazz and funk. His albums include “Booze, Lust, Lies and Heartache” and “Get Lucky, Break Down or Die!”
The Darin Larner Trio from Lansing is a variety cover and original song band led by the band’s namesake. The Rupple Brothers, according to their website, “blend honest wisps of folk with an air of psychedelia, to craft a musical space the likes of which can only be found in few, far corners of the universe.”
Jimmy G and the Capitols, from Lansing, describe themselves as playing “scorchin’ hot” progressive blues, rock, R&B and soul. Black Barn Band, hailing from Williamston, say they are a “nugget” band, playing covers with their own spin, including songs by the Doors, Cat Stevens, Hootie & the Blowfish, Tom Petty and many others.
“We’re providing a festival with good energy and positive vibes,” Faber said. “It’s just going to be people having a good time.”