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.

As part of a special Homegrown performance, members of New Salty Dog members Jacob and Owen Mahon visited The Local to perform 2 new songs as well a cut from their recent Pecan, Pecon album. They announced the plan to release a new album later this year, discussed their life as brothers, and expressed their desire to always play music no matter the circumstances. 

New Salty Dog will be performing at The Ripple Bar Friday, and Earth Rider Brewing both Saturday and Sunday.

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.

Man wearing a face mask standing in front of a wall of CDs and holding a guitar
Christine Dean for KUMD

  This Mississippi native lived in San Francisco for many years before finding his way to the Twin Ports, where he's quickly become a fixture on local stages. He's a part of Actual Wolf's touring band and frequently collaborates with other local and regional musicians. He joined us for a Homegrown session on May 6, 2021. He performed the same night at Earthrider Brewery's Starfire Unofficial Birthday Bash.

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

Man playing guitar and singing and woman singing in a radio studio seen through a glass window
Christine Dean for KUMD

Sibling duo Eric and Rachel Cyr are at the core of Cyr and the Cosmonauts. Their latest album, Songs to Sing Before We're Dead, is due out on May 14th. We got a sneak peek when they joined us for a Homegrown session on May 7, 2021.
Cyr and the Cosmonauts

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