Mittenfest Wrap-up: I'm Not Sure What to Say

January 5, 2011 | 826 Blog Post

So, if you haven’t already heard, Mittenfest V, our four-day, sixty-band music extravaganza, brought in $15,000 for 826michigan this year. We’ve come a long way, baby. Mittenfest I, which lasted one day and featured about ten bands, brought in just under a thousand dollars. And the beast it’s become is a beautiful one, and one that’s hard to talk about.

For starters, there’s just so much LOVE. Mittenfest V was all hugs and high fives and great music, and a really warm, cheery feeling for 826. We had a great location for our booth, sold lots of student publications, got lots of volunteer applications, talked to lots of people who are really excited about what we do. The musicians, as ever, blew us away with amazing sets. Andy and Hasan and the incredible staff at Woodruff’s went above and beyond to make sure it was the best weekend of the year (yes, for BOTH 2010 and 2011). (Speaking of which, have you been to Woodruff’s yet? It’s GORGEOUS. You should GO.)

Mittenfest is hard to talk about because there’s so much to it, and all of it is so good. It’s a weekend of warm fuzzy. It’s tiring, to be sure, but every year, I feel so full afterward. Of love and support from our community. Of a feeling that many people back up what we’re doing. Of the knowledge that our work here is IMPORTANT.

When Andy made the announcement that $15,000 had been made, this is what it looked like:

Awesome, right?

First and foremost thanks go to my dear friends Andy Garris, Jeremy Peters, and Brandon Zwagerman. The amount of organizing they did ahead of time and THEN the amount of fire-putting-out, toilet-unclogging, and-so-on they did during the event have earned them no fewer than thirty standing ovations. Chris Bathgate and Jen Harley did an astounding job on decorations, making the stage look like the Mackinac Bridge at sunset:

I’d also like to thank our very own Rachel Lieberman, one of the best volunteers we’ve ever had, who spent hours and HOURS behind the 826 booth.

HUGE thanks to all the bands! Thank you for donating your time and skill to the cause, and for saying such nice things about us.

And BIG thanks to our sponsors: Red Wings’ Open Skate, VG Kids, Quite Scientific Records, Beezy’s Cafe (Special thanks to Bee who made the Most Delicious Bacon Popper EVER for me Sunday at her 826 brunch!), Thomson-Shore, and Woodruff’s. Thanks also to Aubree’s and Sidetrack for donating a portion of the check from Mittenfest attendees to 826.

Can’t wait to do it all again next year!

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