Duluth Homegrown Music Festival

A chalk drawing of a chicken wearing a jean jacket with Happy Homegrown written below it on a sidewalk
Christine Dean for KUMD

This year's virtual Duluth Homegrown Music Festival ended with a showing of Charlie Parr's Duluth Cider performance from early in the pandemic, at a time when artists were just figuring out the livestream thing. Despite playing to an empty venue, Parr gave an engaging performance that was worth a second look, or first look for those who'd missed it the first time.

Band performing under a tent
Marah Evans

Duluth Homegrown Music Festival Saturday dawned clear and with an expected high around 60, so it was a safe bet that a kickball game would spring up at Chester Bowl Park for the first time since 2019. In a way it was a throwback to the early days, when the smaller number of bands performing translated into a smaller number of players on the field. Find a complete rundown of the game from Mike Creger on Perfect Duluth Day.

Man playing fiddle, woman playing stand up bass, and a man playing guitar
Marah Evans

Friday of Homegrown Week saw another night of live performances at Earth Rider Brewery festival grounds for their Starfire Unofficial Birthday Bash, and it was Duluth Homegrown Music Festival founder Scott “Starfire” Lunt’s actual birthday, which made everything even more festive.

Hour two of The Local included a specially curated set by Teague Alexy in honor of Homegrown. We also chatted about his move to the Northland from New Jersey, his new Film THIS FEELING WILL BE OVER SOON, and his upcoming Homegrown performance (his first live performance since lockdown) Saturday at Earth Rider.

Band performing under a tent
Christine Dean for KUMD

As day three of this virtual Duluth Homegrown Music Festival dawned, the Homegrown Scavenger Hunt was heating up just in time for "May the 4th," which spawned a slew of Star Wars-themed entries to fulfill item 28, "Who started the whole theme night thing anyway? Tuesday." Follow along with all the fun on the Facebook event page.

Gavin St. Clair

This Duluth singer/songwriter released a new EP, Goodbye, in October 2020. We'll find out more about his music and how he's weathered this past pandemic year when he joins us for a session on Wednesday, May 5 at 2pm. He'll perform on Thursday, May 6 at Earthrider Brewery's festival grounds for their Starfire Unofficial Birthday Bash (in conjunction with Homegrown week).

Coverage of the Duluth Homegrown Music Festival on KUMD is made possible by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.


The Monday of the Duluth Homegrown Music Festival traditionally features the Ancillary Arts: poetry, photography, and video.

Music was the main event, however, at the first event of the evening, another set of live-streamed performances from 2104. Grains of Stars opened the evening, with Kristy Marie and Charlie Parr seated barefoot on the floor, creating droning soundscapes on harmonium and steel guitar for a small in-person audience and the internet.

There’s something comforting about the fact that, although this year’s Duluth Homegrown Music Festival is virtual, the traditional schedule remains intact. For kickoff Sunday, that means a Children’s Music Showcase in the morning. This year’s hour-long video showcase is a well-curated mix of music and activities, with Brian Barber’s Draw-Along Fun Time teaching kids how to draw a chicken and Bootsy Collins (because, why not?). Local kid favorite Dan the Monkey Man debuted a new song, “I Got a Good Dog” with plenty of pup footage.

A picture of a perso in a chicken suit standing in a crowd
Laramie Carlson Photography

Happy Homegrown 2021!

Today kicks off the 23rd annual Duluth Homegrown Music Festival. After having to cancel last year's festival due to COVID-19, the Homegrown committee took the intervening year to plan for a virtual festival, while welcoming unofficial live events as vaccines and warm weather are making them a more comfortable option for some.

Seated woman in a radio studio playing guitar and singing into a microphone
Malachy Koons for KUMD

Laura Sellner started Superior Siren as a solo project, in time, adding three bandmates but still occasionally performing solo. The singer/songwriter has announced a new solo EP due out on May 7, 2021. She joined us in the studio for a Homegrown session on May 4, 2021. Her band performed a livestreamed show from Sacred Heart Music Center on the first night of Homegrown as part of the Minnesota Music Coalition's 2021 Music Summit.

Superior Siren

Woman wearing face mask standing in front of a wall of CDs
Malachy Koons for KUMD

This year's Duluth Homegrown Music Festival guide documents how this musician went from being an ensemble player in the six-piece band NorShore Summit to a solo artist at the beginning of last year. Abukhodair played multiple shows throughout 2020's outdoor music season, and is currently preparing to release her first solo album. We'll find out more when she joins Malachy for a Homegrown session on Monday, May 2 at 2pm. She'll perform at Earthrider Brewery's Starfire Unofficial Birthday Bash on Saturday, May 8.

Man playing guitar and singing in a radio studio
Malachy Koons for KUMD

This Americana singer/songwriter was known more for his work as a local environmental educator and activist before he decided to take his singing and guitar playing off the couch and on stage. He's releasing his debut album, Smoky Gold, on May 14; it features contributions from members of The Infamous Stringdusters, Kind Country, Feeding Leroy, and others. He joined us for a session in honor of Duluth's Homegrown Music Festival on May 3 , 2021.