The annual summer series Street Musique returned for its third week in downtown Harbor Springs on July 15.
Hosted by the Harbor Springs Chamber of Commerce, Street Musique allows a weekly variety of Michigan-based artists to perform on the streets of downtown Harbor Springs every Thursday throughout the summer. All of the artists and performances are curated and managed by Blissfest, an organization from Petoskey that hosts its annual music festival of the same name in Harbor Springs.
For fans and viewers, Street Musique offers a great way to enjoy an evening and explore new artists, but for Caroline Barlow, the volunteer and outreach manager at Blissfest, it’s all about building a stronger community.
“It’s really community driven,” said Barlow. “We’re here doing work for the community year-round, not just the festival and we want to show the community that. All of the money is raised locally by the community and we always try our best to feature local artists.”
Last summer, while many major and local events shuddered due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Street Musique remained. Barlow said keeping Street Musique going during the pandemic was an important choice.
“It’s really important because it’s outdoors and it provides a buffer for people coming out,” said Barlow. “Last year it was one of the only live things (shows) in the area and we were really fortunate to still be able to give opportunities to musicians, as well as the community an opportunity to come out.”
Street Musique isn’t just important to the community, it’s also important to the artists. The Lonely Lovers, a band which appeared in the July 16 Street Musique lineup, is composed of Mark Blaauw-Hara and Jen Schaap, who are Street Musique veterans.
“We love playing in bars, festivals and traditional music-playing spaces, but this is really cool because it gets music out to the public, you get people who you probably wouldn’t see at a music festival like kids and families,” said Blaauw-Hara. “Music is very powerful and ideally it is community building and so I think Street Musique does that. It provides a sense of community and ethos that Northern Michigan needs.”
“For the city, the chamber, and Blissfest to support this is really important for local music to continue to grow up here,” said Schaap.
Street Musique will continue this summer every Thursday from 6:30-8:30 pm until Aug. 20
. Those interested in updates, info, and future Street Musique lineups can check out their Facebook.