The disappointment of 2020 has hit everything we hold dear.
The devastation we all felt with the cancellation of our beloved Michigan Irish Music Festival has left us heartbroken. There is a huge void for all who love MIMF as September 2020 has arrived.
My sincere hope is that I can fill that void with some wonderful memories of festivals past!
Irish music has been a part of me all my life. My roots are from County Galway (grandmother) and County Meath (grandfather). When Chris asked me to do this, I started to think about how Irish culture – especially Irish music – has impacted my life. I thought about how, in my young life, my Grandpa would play all the rebel tunes on his squeezebox. My aunts would dance to the jigs and reels. It runs deep in my soul.
I have been a part of Irish music festivals in Muskegon since the very first one. In 2013, I was asked to photograph MIMF. For me, it was a no brainer. Some see me as a historian for the festival. I suppose they are correct, and I humbly accept that role!
When Chris asked me to do this, I immediately realized it was going to be a very difficult task. Where do I start? How do I pick a list of top 10 photos? I have literally thousands of photos from all those years. How do I pick a hundred photos… How do I pick 10? What about all the festivals I did not photograph (pre 2013). Can I do this without representing those years?
I realize I am overthinking this…
MIMF has been a staple in our community, a crown jewel in the heart of our festival lives. Our community has embraced this festival and our volunteers show up proudly every year to make it the best it can be. Our venue is arguably the most beautiful of all festival venues. Every year, we gather the finest musicians in all the land. Thousands of fans fill the tents and leave with their bellies and hearts full. I can do this…
I clear my mind. I start at my beginning, sorting through all the photos. My list totals 25 photos. I based my choices on a variety of things. Some are personal, and some are simply because they belong on such a list. In my heart, every photo was chosen with all the volunteers and fans in mind.
This festival is a HUGE success every year because of you!
I sincerely hope you enjoy my look back at festivals past. I look forward to the party it will be in 2021.