You can keep Coachella and stay outta Sasquatch…we’ve got our own expansive, genre-spanning, song-filled music festivals here in Michigan. In the autumn we have YpsiFest and as winter gets going we get Mittenfest. But now its summer, which means its YpsiArbaroo’s time to shine.

What started a few years back as just a modest (if sometimes ambitious) birthday show for Christopher (“Chewy”) Anderson, a scene-entrenched local music maven, has now become an annual event championing Michigan music with a multi-day festival that aspires towards the grandiose levels of Bonaroo.

This is Anderson’s 3rd time curating the official YpsiArbaroo event. In 2010 and 2011, he’d already thrown music-filled bashes for his birthday while also propping his label, Intellect Records, as the main organizing “host” of the ceremonies. He’s well suited as a curator, having demonstrated his eclectic tastes in music and instrumentation through his main project, The Vagrant Symphony, as well as an appreciation for musical “happenings” or makeshift festival-atmospheres in unconventional venues, particularly with Vagrant’s knack for striking up a 60’s-tinged psychedelic folk. (Not that they were entirely like a tripped-out set from The Dead inside some smoke-plumed Haight Ashbury house party, but…you get the gist). Side note, there’s been more than 20 people in the Vagrant Symphony over its ten-year run, to date. Take a listen:

Vagrant Symphony [soundcloud] “Back To The Country”


“This is the biggest line-up yet,” Anderson assured, far outdoing the modest 2012 line up of 14 acts. “I’m most excited about the diversity of both the venues and the bands. I had great consideration of the places, venues, houses that I booked, placed that I’ve grown to love, mixed with all the bands I’ve intermingled with throughout the years. They all feature a unique tie to Intellect Records initial success.”

Intellect Records hosts six days of music, YpsiArboroo 2014, simultaneously capping Anderson’s 30th birthday while also commemorating 10 years of The Vagrant Symphony. Upwards to 60 bands are set to perform including The Macpodz, Audra Kubat, Stormy Chromer, The Loveseats, Runeship of the Rhyme Traveler, Las Drogas, Vagrant Sympohny and many many more will play throughout a variety of venues, like The Canada House on Olive St and Casa De Gato on Ballard, both in Ypsi, while comparably unconventional venues in Ann Arbor will serves as festival spots like The Farmhouse on Park Rd and The Far House on Packard.

Things get started next Thursday, June 5th, around 4 pm at Peach Pit, with Russell Davis, Stormy Chromer, Stone Teller and Flycatcher (the Farmhouse Super Group). After that, the evening shifts over to the Crossroads Bar & Grill over in Depot Town with The Surfing Pharoas, The Butts, Zoo Hippies, Sunlab and The Michael Aaron Lipson Band. That’s 10 hours, straight, of local music, with nine bands, two venues, one day. And that’s just “day one!”

Search: YpsiArboroo on Facebook for the full line up, with times, venues and links to band’s main sites and soundclouds.

“I think the biggest motivator, for me, has been the timing of it,” said Anderson. “I started whittling away at the initial framework in January (2014) and it’s amazing to see the capacity to which it’s grown. Mittenfest challenges me, too. They always seem to make the next year more next-level than the previous year and I think this year’s YpsiArboroo was meant to be thusly next-level because I feel Vagrant Symphony turning ten is a much bigger deal than me turning 30. I feel I’ve grown and metamorphosed many times musically in 10 years; it’s interesting to stay the same person with the same intentions and motives with the art.

Anderson continued: “I tailored Vagrant to be insightful, psychedelic and inward and I think the bands that we include in our Festival represent that mentality as well. We all seem to have fun with our original music. It’s a wonderful thing!”

YpsiArboroo 2014 – June 5th – June 10th. That’s nearly a whole week, folks. THAT’S how you do a festival! As many bands as possible, as many venues as possible, as much music as possible… And all of it (more or less) from the same area: Ypsilanti. Ann Arbor. Michigan.

Need a substantially exciting, charming, strange and engaging way to kick off your summer? Well, here you go.    

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Jeff covers music for Current, posting weekly show previews and highlighting new bands in the area.

Jeff Milo
Jeff Milo
Jeff covers music for Current, posting weekly show previews and highlighting new bands in the area.

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