This year is a milestone for Bled Fest. On Saturday, May 24, the festival will be celebrating its ten year anniversary. Bled Fest started as a local event in 2004 by musician Ben Staub that catered to 30 or 40 friends in a basement show. Today, the event has grown into one of the most featured do-it-yourself festivals in the Midwest, and features 70 bands of different genres on 6 stages with zero barricades.
Over the past nine years, Bled Fest has featured nationally touring acts including Michigan's The Black Dahlia Murder, Andrew WK, Every Time I Die, Whitechapel, Anti-Flag, Eisley, Norma Jean, For Today, The Early November, Trash Talk, As Cities Burn, The Early November, and The Wonder Years. Bled Fest also features unsigned and small label acts from the Midwest and east coast, and is very active in helping to support the local Michigan music scene.
Although a little untraditional, the venue for Bled Fest is the Hartland Performing Arts Center, better known as old Howell High School. While it may seem a little odd, especially for a six-stage festival, the building not only provides plenty of areas for both band merchandise and festival sponsors, but also the intimacy of musicians to fans. That means concert-goers can crowd surf, stage dive, join in the mosh pit, or choose to stand off to the side and just scream along with their favorite lyrics.
This year's Bled Fest line up includes:
Title Fight - Kingston, PA
The Menzingers - Philadelphia, PA
Man Overboard - New Jersey
Bane - Worcester, MA
Hawthorne Heights (performing 2004's "The Silence in Black and White" in its entirety) - Dayton, OH
Transit - Stoneham, MA
The Flatliners - Toronto, ON
Cruel Hand - Portland, ME
Self Defense Family - Cohoes, NY
Dads - Piscataway, NJ
Pentimento - Buffalo, NY
Direct Hit - Milwaukee, WI
Old Gray - New Hampshire
Knuckle Puck - Chicago, IL
Dr. Manhattan - Wauconda, IL
The Saddest Landscape - north east
Grey Gordon - Fort Wayne, IN
Maps For Travelers - Kansas City, MO
Endeavors (for a one-time reunion) - Livingston County, MI
Tickets for Bled Fest, including the price, will be released on Saturday, March 1. They will be available for purchase online, or in person at Hartland Community Education in Hartland Township, UHF Records in Royal Oak, Flat Black and Circular in East Lansing, and Vertigo Music in Grand Rapids.
For more information on Bled Fest, including the opportunity to win tickets and an updated list of bands as they are announced, keep an eye on their Facebook and Twitter pages. Sponsorship information is available here.
Bled Fest is Saturday, May 24, 2014 at 11:30 a.m. at the Hartland Performing Arts Center. The building is located at 9525 Highland Road Howell, MI 48843.