January 2010 – The Mittenfest IV Crew

January 1, 2010 | 826 Blog Post

The Mittenfest IV Crew

The Mittenfest IV Crew!

If you think it takes a village to put together a community event like Mittenfest, you’re basically right. While we hesitated to have two Volunteer of the Months in a ROW that were really Volunteers of the Month, there quite honestly was no volunteer effort more profound of late than the putting together of the fourth installment of Mittenfest.

Mittenfest is something we look forward to all year round. What started as a small, day-long acoustic event, focused on “cozy” just as much as “music” has turned into a very loud, four-day beast involving forty bands, an official brunch, numerous sponsors, and thousands of dollars to benefit the free student programming at 826michigan. And so, there are a few key people we would like to recognize right now:

Chris Bathgate!

Long one of our favorite musicians (Seriously, have you HEARD his music?? Gorgeous.), Bathgate’s been a presence around here since he taught a ten-week songwriting workshop several years ago. Certainly a Mittenfest staple, this year, he went above and beyond, making a video, getting New Year’s Eve decorations, and helping out with any number of Mittenfest-related tasks.

Furthermore, he serenaded us at midnight last night with a lovely rendition of Auld Lang Syne. What a way to ring in the new year!

Thanks so much for all your help this year, Chris! We love you, and couldn’t have done it without you!

Angela Duncan!

The new kid on the block, so to speak, 826michigan- and Mittenfest-wise, at least, Angela’s made quite an impression on us this year. She is the talented artist who designed the magnificent t-shirts, flier, and buttons. A herringbone Michigan? We didn’t know how much we wanted to see that until it came out of her brain.

Angela’s been an absolute delight to work with for the last couple of months: dedicated, reliable, and super nice.

Thanks so much for all your help this year, Angela! We love you, and couldn’t have done it without you!

Andy Garris!

Where do we START with this guy? Andy Garris is one of our biggest supporters, and the best part is, it goes both ways. Mutual Admiration Society to the nth degree. Andy, who owns the Elbow Room in Ypsilanti, has done any number of wonderful things for us over the years, including: giving us the full door from Mittenfest, throwing a huge birthday party and giving us all the proceeds, shlepping an unbelievable amount of beer and ice across the street in sub-zero temperatures when the power went out for the Mittenfest Warm-Up, AND donating hundreds and hundreds of his own dollars to our cause.

What a guy! We’ve known him since waaaay back in the day, pre-826michigan, and it really has been a delight to watch how amazing he’s become.

Thanks so much for all your help this year, Andy! We love you, and couldn’t have done it without you!

Brandon Zwagerman!

We didn’t save the best for last, per se, as we did organize this alphabetically, but it’s poetic justice to have BZ last. Mittenfest LITERALLY WOULD NOT EXIST without him. Last year, we coined a phrase — MITTENFEST = LOVE — and that truly sums it up. The warm feelings, friendships, and love that prevail at Mittenfest almost overshadow the music.

Brandon works his tail off every year, booking bands, setting the schedule, organizing, giving interview upon interview, and more. He is INCREDIBLE. We can’t think of many people we would rather exchange about a hundred emails a day with for November and December every year.

Thanks so much for all your help this year, Brandon! We love you, and couldn’t have done it without you!

Mittenfest IV Team: Thank you all so much for helping us put this together. Not only could we not have done it without you, we certainly couldn’t have had as fun of a time doing it with anyone else!

The best part is: It’s not over! Join us at the Elbow Room tonight and feel the love!

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