Fern Fest— diverse voices welcomed

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Fern Fest courtesy photo.

If you’ve been dreaming of spending a week filled with workshops, activities and live music surrounded by nature under the warm summer sun, Fern Fest might be just the thing for you. This six-day, five-night festival experience out in Trufant, Michigan is designed to be a safe, accessible space with a very particular objective in mind.

A camper’s tent under an array of flags at Fern Fest. Courtesy photo.

“Fern Fest is specifically curated to foster community for women, nonbinary and trans folks and those that live on the spectrum of the feminine spirit,” said Abra Wise, one of the organizers of Fern Fest. “It’s a special experience to come together in a space that is created for and by our community. We want the week to be filled with opportunities to connect with each other though music, camping, learning, activities and so much more.”

The festival organizers are committed to ensuring diverse voices are welcomed and amplified through performances, programming, and providing a forum for people to connect and engage with one another in meaningful ways. The festival is predicated on being an opportunity for learning, sharing, and growing together.

“It is a priority at Fern Fest to create an inclusive and equitable environment where everyone in our community can show up as their authentic selves,” Wise said. “We are on a collective journey to learn and grow together in order to build that space. We have another diverse lineup this year of amazing stage performers from around the country, as well as dynamic workshops, crafts and food vendors and many community spaces to gather and engage in activities and conversations.”

Visitors can expect a rustic camping experience with a community kitchen, as well as food and craft vendors. If camping isn’t your speed, no worries – guests are welcome to seek offsite accommodations and still participate in the festivities. As for programming, there will be plenty of interactive workshops and live music and performances with interpreters for guests who are deaf or hard of hearing.

“Creating and producing Fern Fest is the most fulfilling and passionate work I have ever done,” Wise said. “As a musician and an avid music listener, the opportunity to curate a festival and lineup that supports artists, both new and well known is a dream come true. The outpouring of love and support for Fern Fest gives me so much hope for the future.”

Fern Fest is July 9-14 at Smiling Acres in Trufant, MI. Get tickets at Michiganfernfest.com.

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Ever since Pasha Shipp could talk, she's been dreaming up colorful stories. Fantasy creatures, mysterious kingdoms, enchanted forests, you name it. As she reached adulthood, she decided to take the magic out of her head and put it down on paper. Pasha has been writing for Grand Rapids Magazine since November 2015, and has loved every minute of it. She has a master's degree in Communication and a bachelor's degree in Film Studies from Grand Valley State University and Western Michigan University respectively. When she isn't daydreaming and writing stories for the magazine, she's exploring the many hidden treasures of Grand Rapids with her fiancé.