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.
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.