EAST LANSING – Mason’s annual Sun Dried Music Festival has been confirmed for August 2016 and members of the Mason community are buzzing with excitement.
Former mayor, now councilmember, Leon Clark, is very active in the production of the festival.
“The Sun Dried Music Festival will be taking place Aug. 26-28. It is a family music festival that is free for all, and features around 15 bands and a multitude of vendors, all strictly from the Mason area,” said Clark.
The festival takes place within Mason’s Courthouse Square, and offers festival goers music, dancing, alcohol and an area for kids. Sun Dried brings in around 10,000-12,000 visitors, allowing festival goers to breathe in Mason culture and enjoy local business.
“It is crazy busy here, Saturday [of the festival] is one our busiest nights of the year,” said The Daily Ice Cream Shoppe owner Shawn Sodman. “I look forward to the business all year.”
Sun Dried is paid for by sponsors, allowing the festival to be free for all to enjoy.
“So there are different levels of sponsorship,” said Downtown Development Authority, or DDA, member Jaime Robinson. “The beverage tent, for example, allows you to put your businesses logo on the tent. There are a variety of sponsorships besides that.”
Mason as a whole benefits from this festival. With the influx of people attending the festival from out of town and from town, businesses see an increase in profit. With many outsiders attending, it allows Mason to advertise itself as a city.
Clark and his team begin planning for the event as early as January each year. The group seeks out sponsors, talent and vendors. Within the group there are two subcommittees that deal with acquiring alcohol licenses, stage insurance and recruiting volunteers.
“We want to make sure they [vendors] are a success, so in turn we can be a success,” says Clark. “Vendors will sign-up for the next year before the current year is even completed.”
Vendors and bands have not been announced for this year’s line-up, but Clark assures attendees that the festival will live up to its standards.
The D.D.A. went on to discuss the growth of the festival.
“We looked for ways to bring more people downtown,” said Robinson. “The first year it was just one day, and it has grown to become a weekend-long event.
Robinson goes on to state how much the residents of Mason have grown to love and look forward to this festival every year.
“People plan things around this weekend,” said Robinson. “We have canceled business trips because we know it is Sun Dried weekend.
Over everything, Clark hopes people just have a good time.
“I love when I am able to see, after months of hard work, families having fun and enjoying all that Mason has to offer,” said Clark.