Ongoing Dispute with UpNorth Music Festival Venue

UpNorth Music and Arts Festival was supposed to take place at Twisted Trails Offroad Park in Copemish, MI on August 18th, 19th and 20th. However, with only two weeks until the festival is supposed to take place, the venue released a public statement on their Facebook page that the festival will not take place on their property.

UpNorth Festival 2016. Photo by Elv8

On August 4, 2017, Twisted Trails Offroad Park released the following statement on their Facebook page regarding UpNorth Music Festival:

Twisted Trails states that they are required to follow all local state and federal laws in hosting events on our property; if these rules are not followed, it jeopardizes their business. They could not come to an agreement with the management team at UpNorth. Twisted Trails was told that a new venue would be announced on Monday, August 7th.

Dale Kowalkowski, who was the Manistee county sheriff last year, said that last year’s festival took a toll on the county. He said the event cost his department more than $6,000 dollars in personnel costs. His department made nearly 150 traffic stops, more than a dozen felony arrests and responded to more than 40 medical calls last year. As a result, the department has required the festival to hire a security force this year.

Twisted Trails also had their special event permit revoked by the township last year for failure to follow a township ordinance. They will have their event permit reinstated on August 25th conditionally that they do not host UpNorth Music Festival this year. It appears that their livelihood is at stake and that is their reason for not hosting the event this year.

UpNorth Festival 2016. Photo by Elv8

UpNorth festival planners stated they were only given two weeks to time frame to comply with the new regulations, but the county sheriff claims they had a year to plan.

About four hours after Twisted Trails announced that the festival will not take place on their property, UpNorth Music & Arts Festival also released a statement announcing the venue change. The festival offered a different explanation, stating that the venue is up for sale and that future growth of UpNorth was in jeopardy.  Their statement can be read below:

Yesterday morning, UpNorth Music Festival has released a new statement on their Facebook page: They stated that they have come to an agreement with a new venue after a meeting with the township that took place last night at 6 PM. They did not announce the new location for the event, citing that they have been advised not to as it could compromise approval, and that they will announce the new location by the end of the week. Their statement can be read below:

Many people are anxiously awaiting an update on the new location of the venue. There is also skepticism among fans and ticket purchasers as to whether or not the festival will actually happen this year. The festival has not issued any refunds and there are claims that Ticketfly was also unaware of the venue change. There have also been numerous complaints on Facebook that the festival is deleting comments from people asking about updates. There have also been complaints from artists and staff who worked the event last year about not being paid for their work.

The festival is supposed to take place in eight days. We have reached out to the UpNorth Music Festival management team for comments and so far we have not received any response.


Update: As of today, UpNorth has officially been cancelled. UpNorth management has released the following statement on their Facebook page:

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