Earthwork Harvest Gathering, A Homegrown Music Festival in Our Backyard

A guest blog by Sean Niemisto. 

There is absolutely nothing better than live music by talented artists, and our state has a lot of it to offer. Constantly planning for the next great performance up on the Short’s Pub stage, concert out in Traverse City, or show elsewhere in Michigan – I love taking full advantage of our musical possibilities in the Mitten State. But of all the great opportunities, my personal favorite occurs on the third weekend of September, where a tradition of music and community has cultivated quite possibly the finest homegrown music festival in the state – The Earthwork Harvest Gathering.

For fifteen years, Harvest Gathering has combined the best of the Michigan grassroots music scene and agricultural community for a celebration of music and food. With over 90 bands, scores of local farmers, four stages, and a passionate music-loving crowd, the event convenes on Earthwork Farm, an operating farm, sawmill, and childhood home of Earthwork Music Collective founding member / regional folk hero Seth Bernard. Equally important to the Earthwork vision is its mission to build community and foster sustainability – using the power of music as a vehicle for social good.

Hosting the festival on a farm feels appropriate, there is a pervading feeling of growth and interconnectedness that is in some ways indescribable. Many of the artists onstage are our own, and others are from further away, but every performance seems to have a feeling of homecoming that’s shared with the audience. From the rolling twang of the Mark Lavengood Bluegrass Bonanza, the raw energy that is Gregory Stovetop, or the powerful heart from May Erlewine, it’s easy to find a great show to get lost in.

So this weekend, you’ll know where to find me, as well as a bunch of the Short’s Family – because this is the kind of thing that we as a company live for. The dynamic musical virtuosity, community-focused purpose, and reverence to the natural wealth that surrounds us are all qualities that make Earthwork Music a Michigan institution that the Short’s faithful are ecstatic to support. This is our home, and Harvest Gathering is a great way to experience what’s growing in our backyard.

Want to know more about Earthwork Harvest Gathering? Visit

Short’s Production Brewer, Sean Niemisto, hails from Empire, Michigan where he grew up making music with friends and family. After a stint in Ann Arbor, Sean returned to Northern Michigan to work for Short’s Brewing Company. In his free time, Sean enjoys eating doughnuts, trying new beers and ciders, and seeing live music.