The Porterfield Country Festival Spurs Interest In Other Festivals Over The Past Three Decades

Twenty years after Hank and Linda Green struggled to honor tickets to the first Porterfield Country Music Festival, they launched a second music festival, and this year, that festival was 11 years old.  The Porterfield Crusin’ Oldies Festival which was started as a result of requests from friends and fans, wrapped up its annual three-day event on July 22.

Porterfield Crusin' Oldies Festival grounds

Green’s Green Acres Campgrounds, the location of the Porterfield Country Music Festival, also hosts the Porterfield Crusin’ Oldies Festival every July. (Photo by: Laurie Caebe)

With a popular oldies music format, the festival includes vintage car, motorcycle and tractor shows, as well as other 50’s type activities on the grounds.  Running about a month after the country festival, Porterfield’s Crusin’ Oldies Festival draws many of the same audience members.

Spokesperson for the Porterfield Corporation, Linda Green, says the Oldies festival is about a third of the size of the more established Country Music festival and continues to grow every year. Green says that the long-term success of both the Porterfield Country Music Festival and Porterfield Crusin’ Oldies Festivals, has led to requests for various types of festivals over the years. The most recent request is for a polka festival, which has been a successful format for other festivals in the region and which appeals to some of the same audience demographic of the country and oldies festivals.

Although both the country and oldies festivals have been successful and managed to stand the test of time, a Christian music festival held on the Porterfield grounds did not fair as well.

In 2000, local resident Shelly Kanyuh of Godthing Productions, worked with Linda Green to produce a Christian music festival on the Porterfield grounds.  Kanyuh set a date for the festival, selected a Christian Booking agent to provide talent, and negotiated with various concessions operators to take spots at the festival.  With volunteers from her church, donations of food and well-known local and regional niche market talent, Kanyuh and Godthing Productions launched the, Joyful Noise Christian Music Festival, at Green’s Green Acres.

After two years, lower than anticipated attendance, higher than estimated expenses and other unforeseen complications lead to cash flow problems for the fledgling festival. Local Christian radio station WPFF took the festival and produced it under the name Powerfest, for another two years, before shutting it down altogether.  Both Green and Kanyuh believe that one of the main areas affecting festival attendance was advertising and promotion and feel that it might have had a greater opportunity for success if it had been handled differently.

The Christian music festival format was eventually successful in the Marinette and Menominee area though. WPFF now sponsors an annual event called Harmony by the Bay Festival in downtown Menominee.  The well attended one-day festival is free to festival-goers and offers various concessions and merchandise in the more central downtown location.

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Country Music Styles Have Deep Roots


Country Music Style Guide

Country Music Styles as defined by the Country Music Hall of Fame. (Image by Laurie Caebe)

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Cat Country 95.1 Logo

Cat Country 95.1 is the official radio of Porterfield Country Music Festival.

Marinette and Menominee’s Cat Country 95.1, the Official Radio Station of the Porterfield Country Music Festival, will once again be giving away great prizes at the Cat Country Club House booth.

Porterfield, WI, June 8th, 2013. Bay Cities Radio, Cat Country 95.1 and the Cat Country Club will once again have a booth set up at the Porterfield Country Music Festival and be giving away great prizes to fans that register all week long.

Cat Country Press Release from Laurie Caebe on Vimeo.

Cat Country has been the official radio station of the festival for all 31 years, although the station was under a different name in the beginning. It is also a major sponsor of the event, and recently has been the emcee for much of it.

Radio DJ, Kit Donaldson says it’s a win, win situation for Porterfield and Cat Country, with the festival right in their back yard. They promote the festival and in return they receive exposure to the thousands of country music fans that attend the show every year.

The Cat Country “Country Club” is a membership that offers discounts to local business and chances to win prizes. The card is FREE with registration at the office or at the Cat “Country Club House” at the Porterfield Country Music Festival.

Cat Country 95.1 located in Menominee, Michigan and their business offices are located in the Pine Tree Mall Building at 2800 Roosevelt Rd., Marinette, WI. It is a member of Bay Cities Radio, an Armada Media Corporation Station.

Stop in at the Cat Country business offices, or at the Cat County Club booth at Porterfield Country Music Festival, to register for the Cat County Club card and other chances for prizes.

Bay Cities Radio
413 10th Avenue
Menominee, MI 49858
Phone: 906-863-5551
Fax: 906-863-5679
Sales Fax 715-732-0125

Armada Bay Cities

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The First Mother’s Day

Anna Jarvis, who conceived the idea of a special tribute to mothers, is shown in this 1928 file photo. Jarvis began a crusade for a national holiday to honor mothers in 1907 after the second anniversary of her mother's death. Her campaign resulted in a Congressional resolution in 1914, signed by President Woodrow Wilson, proclaiming Mother's Day as a national holiday to be celebrated on the second Sunday in May. (AP Photo/File)

“Anna Jarvis, who conceived the idea of a special tribute to mothers, is shown in this 1928 file photo.”  (AP Photo/File)

In 1908 they went to the Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia,in memorial of Anna May Jarvis’ mother. Mrs. Jarvis, a feminist and temperance activist, honored all 400 people in attendance with a gift of her mother’s favorite flower, a white carnation, and she gave two carnations for each mother there that day.

That May 10th in 1908 was the first celebration Mother’s Day, the day we honor mothers with flowers, cards, and gifts. US Congress voted for a National Mother’s Day in 1913. President Woodrow Wilson declared the second Sunday of May “Mother’s Day” in 1914 and this holiday has been celebrated as a national event since that time.

This year Mother’s Day is May 12th and the time to honor mothers is upon us, but a March 2013 article “Reclaiming Mother’s Day” reminds us of the social activist roots of Mother’s day and suggests we look for socially proactive alternatives to the traditional card and flowers.

The Last Mother’s Day?

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital's May 2013 Patient of the Month. Apollos. (Photo Screen Shot of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital)

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital’s May 2013 Patient of the Month. Apollos. (Image Courtesy of  St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital video)

This is 1-year-old Apollos and this year his mom Tatau has a very special reason to celebrate Mother’s Day.  Apollos is St. Jude’s  May, 2013,   “Patient of the month,”    one of the children diagnosed with cancer worldwide every three minutes. Apollos is one of the children whose mothers will celebrate this Mother’s Day, with possibly only one wish on their mind, finding a cure for childhood cancer.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is a savior children to many children like Apollos and their families, by creating a safe haven to those dealing with cancer, offering treatment without payment and continuing basic and clinical research into childhood cancer and other diseases. This research has increased survival in the most common form of childhood cancer by nearly 90% since 1962, while continuing the research for other forms of cancer that right now have little hope for a cure.

This year, 100 years after the US Congress recognized the philanthropic holiday of Mother’s Day, LaurieCaebe.Com is challenging you to add $5.00 to your Mother’s Day budget and make a difference in the life of a child with cancer. Please share this article and challenge your friends and family to help these children. With just a $5.00 donation this Mother’s Day we can all make a difference in the life of a child. Together, we can make sure that this Mother’s Day and every subsequent one helps take care of Mothers who are least able to take care of their children and themselves. Just text the word JUDE to 50333 to donate $5.00.

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An Invested Audience Increases Likelihood of Engagement

The Tools That Tell The Tale

The Porterfield Project will weave insights from festival producers Hank and Linda Green, national country music artist and fan commentary on what it takes to maintain a successful music festival that creates an important financial impact on the community. I did not receive any personal comments or questions on either my Lit Review video or my survey so I relied on Social Metrics to analyze the effect of the Lit Review and Porterfield Project Survey.

Overall, when considering the performance of the multimedia pieces promoting my capstone/thesis project, YouTube and Google Analytics were the most helpful, but until I defined my goals it was difficult to correctly read my results. I might be able to see what happened that day, but in terms of the big picture, I couldn’t tell what was happening if I didn’t know what was I doing, and why.

In my situation, when deciding what to do my capstone project about, I had used a combination of my YouTube traffic and Twitter followers to find my most engaged audience. After producing multiple multimedia productions on various topics over the course of the year, I could see by monitoring my online videos where I was getting most of my traffic. As my online video content gained recognition in the country music community I began to see a steep increase in country music genre Twitter followers.

As an independent online entrepreneur, I felt that capitalizing Screen Shot 2013-05-05 at 10.57.34 AMon a receptive audience was important and I decided at that point in my goal setting that I would continue to build my online presence in the country music industry. Using Google analytics, I have noticed that since my decision to focus on country music my traffic has not only increased in general, but also has remained steady. I am satisfied to see that not only am I gaining new viewers but I am retaining them as well.

The Porterfield Project

With regards to this project I did get a relatively decent number of views on the week two Lit Review video. I found it somewhat surprising that the majority of the views were on the YouTube viewer page insteadScreen Shot 2013-05-05 at 12.49.26 PM of embedded on my website because I primarily tweet with the shortlink to the website to push traffic there, so I’m either getting word of mouth, or SEO traffic and either is good.

I did get what I consider good feedback on my project survey, but I also really got out and pounded the pavement in entertainment groups, Facebook and Twitter, over and over. From personal experience I do know that a dedicated campaign can produce results and it did. This was most noticeable on Google Analytics and my website.

I believe that I did have achieve Screen Shot 2013-05-05 at 1.14.28 PM the audience engagement I did, because I chose the topic that I did, and because I did have an existing fan base interested and invested in the subject matter, as artists, producers and fans. Also, the subject matter I chose may account for the 70% search engine source traffic, since my SEO can be relatively broad, regardless of my hyper-local focus of the subject matter of the specific project.

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The Porterfield Project Survey

Grabbing a spot as one of the most popular leisure activities in 2011, music festivals are supported by ticket sales as their main form of revenue. Festivals are big business and provide more then $25 billion in economic impact to North America. Promoters are hosting an increasing amout of festivals in 2013 and Billboard’s, “The Festival Gamble” believes that producers of music festivals need to provide unique fan experiences to remain competitive. Creativity and good business practices can make the difference between success and failure.

Hank and Linda Green of the Porterfield Country Music Corporation, say they are faced with producing their annual festival within their budget and that sticking within that budget can dictate what level of star power is booked for their shows. They say that featuring new artists and iconic favorites has been a successful format and in addition to helping launch the careers of today’s super stars, they have offered a unique and intimate fan expereince that they believe has kept them going for the last 30+ years.

Now though, with at least 5 country music festivals to choose from within the region annually, and more added all the time, residents in Northeast Wisconsin are faced with a wide range of possibilities to choose from when spending their recreation dollars on music festivals. Some of these  festivals are backed by  huge corporate sponsors and rock a budget able to afford to book the super “star” talent.

With growing competition available, and economic conditions affecting spending,  fans are faced with decisions on what matters when deciding which music festivals to attend.  Producers fight for fan loyalty and every ticket sale in today’s economic climate, so procuring talent, creating a competitive fan experience, and addressing economic issues continue to make a difference in how and what fans decide when choosing their music festival experiences.

As we continue to make our way through this new economic reality, consumer dollars continue to hold increasing power. Knowing what you do with your leisure time, and money, and why, provides valuable insights for those involved in the music industry. This survey is an attempt to gather information on what helps influence those decisions.

Fill out my online form.

Thank you for taking the time to give me your thoughts and please make sure you subscribe to LaurieCaebe.Com to get updates about The Porterfield Project coming this summer. Make sure you take a moment to view the video to find out more about the project.

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The Porterfield Project

It happens every year.

According to Billboard’s 2011 article titled the “Business of Country”, “Country music appeals to middle America, and middle America buys product.” On the weekend of June 13 thru 16, a field in northeast Wisconsin will be transformed into a Nashville experience. National and local country music artists will come to play music and sell their merchandise, which  include everything from CD’s and T-Shirts to Coozies, and an abundance of food and genre appropriate vendors will be on hand. This is the place to be if you’re looking for something country.

Drawing thousands of fans from around Wisconsin, the nation and the world, Porterfield becomes a destination vacation where tourist choose to spend their time and money. In addition to the money spent at the festival, studies show that festivals like Porterfield Country Music Festival, impact local communities by spending money on groceries, food, alcohol, lodging and gas, making the success of local music festivals important to many in the community.

Music festivals generate 60-75% of their revenue from ticket sales , 15-30% from sponsorships  and 10-20% from concessions,  and apparently there is fresh interest in getting a piece of this pie, because according to Ray Waddle’s “The Festival Gamble” “More new U.S. festivals will launch in 2013 than any other year in history.” and he says, ” Some will fail.” the article’s “Takeaway” was that, “Those that’ll win will give fans something unique” and that it is important to “do the research and choose the market carefully.”

This multi-media documentary style project will examine various emerging production and marketing issues in country music festivals with insights from the producers, musicians and fans..

The Plan

Porterfield Country Music Battles for Fans Leisure Time and Money from Laurie Caebe on Vimeo.

The Show

The line up for this year’s Porterfield Country Music Festival will include:

    • Jo Dee Messina
    • Randy Houser
    • Jason Michael Carroll
    • Marty Stuart
    • Katie Armiger
    • Lo Cash Cowboys
    • Collin Raye
    • Kristen Kelly
    • Maggie Rose
    • Cooter Jones
    • Jon Pardi
    • Florida Georgia Line
    • Plus more to come and local entertainment

Please subscribe and let me know if you’re gong to be at this year’s Porterfield Country Music Festival. I’d love to see you if you’re there, and I’d love to hear what you have to say. If you won’t be there, but still want to participate in the project, subscribe and let me know what you’re thinking, I’m sure country music and Nashville will be happy to know.



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Piper’s Rescue Ranch – nowhere to go

Piper’s Rescue Ranch – nowhere to go from Laurie Caebe on Vimeo.

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Local Student Musical Group Creates Crowdsourcing Campaign

Axatse shakers are one instrument the group plays in their performances. (Photo by Lauie Caebe)

The Afro-Cuban Taiko Project

Paul Okray is a music teacher at Marinette Middle School, and is the leader of the Afro-Cuban Taiko Project. The group is composed of Marinette middle and high school students involved in the “World Music” scene.

Okray formed the group as a result of  his involvement with his World Drumming unit at the middle school. Playing on a mixture of  Kpanlogo Drums from Ghana and Marimbas from Zimbabwe that Okray builds himself,

These drums and marimbas were handmade by group leader Paul Okray. (Photo by Laurie Caebe)

the group plays authentic music from around world, including Africa, Cuba, the Caribbean Islands, the Bahamas and Japan. You can see and hear an example of their Marimba performance on YouTube.

The Road to Miami

Every other year the group takes a trip to tour and attend conferences. This years trip is to Miami Florida, and is scheduled for June 9 through June 15. Okray believes the trip to culturally diverse Miami, will allow the students to gain deeper insights into the cultures that affect the music they play.

The group is not funded by the school, even Okray’s time is volunteered, so they do a lot of fundraising to make sure the trips are possible. Traditionally, they hold an annual brat and rummage sale, and local businesses and residents in the area pre-order brats that are delivered to the business. This year, they’ve added a new source of fundraising to their toolbox, they’re reaching out to the world, by crowdsourcing. The group has created a Indiegogo  Campaign to help them raise the $8000 they need to get to Miami.

Crowdsourcing and Indiegogo

Indiegogo is a crowdsourcing organization that helps businesses and individuals reach a global audience of people who are interested in helping others reach their goals. The word crowdsourcing was developed in 2006 although in theory its been around a long time. Crowdsourcing was used in by the French and the British who used a series of competitions in the 1700’s, to solve complex scientific problems. The Internet has really brought the concept of Crowdsourcing to a whole new level and in 2010 the White House  suggested Federal agencies consider using public challenges and prizes to tap the public for innovative answers to Federal issues. Crowdsourcing can be used in many ways, from crowd competitions, crowd collaborations, crowd voting, crowd labor and crowd funding. Crowdsourcing is changing the world, and the world is responding, friends, family, strangers and business, are reaching out to help these campaigns reach their goals.

Okray said he became intrigued when he heard about a Indiegogo campaign to buy the land that Nikola Tesla laboratory was on. The campaign raised $1.3 million in three days and said if they could do that he should be able to raise $8000 for the groups trip to Florida, so he put together the Afro-Cuban Taiko Project Indiegogo campaign to see what happened. The campaign launches this Monday. Crowdsourcing frequently offers perks to contributors at various levels and for the Afro-Cuban Taiko Project there are currently some ringtone perks available with more perks to be added later. Okray hopes that by adding in the Indiegogo campaign he can stop working so hard at fundraising and get down to building more instruments which he plans to give away.

Upcoming Scheduled Events

The group will be playing at the Porterfield Luthern Church April 7, at the Oconto Falls Middle School for their All Arts Day, on April 12 and at the TEDx Conference at the Marinette Middle School, April 22.

To learning more about crowdsourcing go to the Indiegogo website website., and if you are interested in helping the Afro-Cuban Taiko Project make their way to Miami, you can find their campaign at starting this Monday, March 18, 2013.

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