10-day music festival ‘The Eddy’ hopes to give rebirth to Grand Rapids riverfront

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.--  The Eddy, a new 10-day music festival that kicked off in Grand Rapids Friday, and is expected to draw thousands of visitors.

Traverse City's Porterhouse Productions chose to go all out  The Eddy, and are having their first-ever music, food, and art festival on a downtown riverfront site that in the past has been used for parking.

There are national and local acts, silent discos, food trucks and craft beer at the festival.  The Eddy is hosted inside a massive, one-of-a-kind "quadraspan" tent that fits nearly 4,000 people.

Sam Porter, the owner of Porterhouse Productions, considers himself one of the new "artists" at Art Prize this year. He’s bringing the venue and production logistics for 200 musicians who are set to perform on their stage.

“We are artists as well, that’s how we see ourselves,” said Porter, “we paint with people. We create this walk-through, activation experience.”

The Eddy’s canvas is set with a diverse pick of artists from Blue Grass and Americana to Indie Rock, just to name a few. They are also bringing some new experiences like their silent disco. It requires people to wear special headphones and there’s three different types of music to choose from so people can switch and dance to whatever they are listening to, but it’s all happening at the same time.

Porter hopes this becomes a perennial event, but he says the kick-off night didn’t  have the attendance he expected.

“We’ll probably lose money tonight [Friday], but we will get our feet wet and ready for tomorrow, which will hopefully sustain us,” said Porter.

Porter wouldn’t give us an exact number, but did say an event like this cost upwards of six figures.

Porter has been running his company and putting on events for 20 years.  His company just got back from doing a Hack-a-thon in San Diego, and a Microsoft event in New York City.

Porter recommends people coming to the events prepare for colder weather.

“Leave your heels at home, and go get your vintage hunting suits, said Porter.

If you want tickets to their shows, you head to their website for more information.

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3 comments

  • NetworkingDiva

    Good Luck Eddy….you’re going to need it! Shorten the 10 days and move it to a warmer month! It will take at least 3 years to grow. @ 6 figures a year, I am not sure how sustainable that is. Too bad because the event sounds awesome. I will ne down to support and check it out. If you expect a return on your money…DON’T! Wishing you all the best!

  • Joe Mama

    This article sucks. A diverse pick of artists? Those are genres. How about name dropping a few actual bands/performers. Not really selling yourself here.