Formerly known as “Ancillary Arts Night,” Homegrown Monday now features most of its programming in Duluth’s Lincoln Park Craft District. But the evening begins downtown at Zinema 2 with the premiere of the 2019 Homegrown Music Video Festival. Sean Zarn is coordinating and predicts a spike in entries. There’s outreach to colleges and high schools this year to recruit student participation. After the multimedia experience comes a learning opportunity. The first ever Homegrown edition of Nerd Nite will feature several pre-sentations, a HGMF-themed game as well as door prizes

The remainder of Monday’s festivities take place at a cluster of venues in Lincoln Park, several of which are new and had a test run during the Homegrown Winter Fiasco. Bards of the Twin Ports will assemble at the Duluth Folk School for the annual Homegrown Poetry Showcase at 7 p.m. An estimated 30 wordsmiths will recite works, with musical accompaniment by guitarist Richie Townsend.

Tina Higgins Wussow is excited to organize the event again and “happy to get to host and hang out with this awesome community of writers.” Lake Superior Brewing’s odd double bill includes robots and old-timey music. Bent Paddle hosts a French horn choir, of all things, as well as bluesy rock and bluegrass. On tap at Duluth Cider is a tasty mix of rhythm and blues, psychedelic rock and ska. Music runs latest at the Caddy Shack, where Rick McLean and crew cap off the night debuting material from an upcoming EP. McLean says the band is progressing in an “electric/energetic direction” and fans can “expect a few rippers in there.


The onset of the Homegrown holiday week happens earlier than ever this year. The World Beat Drummers jump start the Children’s Music Showcase at 10:30 a.m. at Lake Superior Zoo, an appropriate new venue for wee wild ones. The family-friendly extravaganza features six back-to-back acts and a slate of kid-appropriate activities. The adult beverage portion of the fest begins at Blacklist Artisan Ales at 5 p.m. Go there to peep at pics from Homegrowns past and get swept up in the swanky sounds of Owls Club Big Band. At 7 p.m., the official kickoff and mayor’s reception happens in the expansive beer hall at Hoops Brewing. Master Brewer Dave Hoops is hyped to host again. Hoops will be crafting a hoppy brew for the occasion to honor Mayor Emily Larson. Mayor Larson takes the role of opening the fest seriously and intends to usher it in Marie Kondo style, sparking joy in festival goers with a method not yet determined at the time of interview. Larson offers some practical advice for Homegrown novices. “There will always be the big shows everyone knows about. Be open to the unexpected magic that happens when you walk into a venue you’re not quite sure about to see a band you don’t know.” Post mayoral proclamation, Cyr and Kitchen Shoes will entertain taproom patrons. Teatro Zuccone and Blacklist will host an eclectic trio of bands and brainiacs can flex their knowledge at Carmody Irish Pub with the Homegrown Pub Quiz. Per usual, Pizza Lucé is the place for the Sunday’s late-night scene with a diverse bill of newbies, from polka punk to hip-hop and garagicana.

2019 Volunteer Spotlight – Jevne Billiet


Jevne is new to the Homegrown festival volunteer team as of the 2018 festival season.  

Her favorite venues are Sir Ben’s and Clyde Ironworks. Weekends are her favorite because there is just so much to choose from with great lineups all over town!

Pro Tip: Embrace the unknown/unfamiliar/brand new and just enjoy it.

Jevne’s DO NOT MISS band is the Latelys.

Best Homegrown memory?  The Retribution Gospel Choir’s secret surprise show at the Red Herring in 2016.

Sign up for your HGMF volunteer shifts today:

2019 Volunteer Spotlight – Robert Kajer


Robert joined the Homegrown volunteer team in 2016 as a “broke college student” and hasn’t looked back.  His college years are behind him but the broke not so much 😉

He says the trick to being a stand out venue in Duluth is to name your venue something that starts with a B because his faves are Blush, Blacklist and Beaners.

Robert’s Pro Tip for new volunteers: Trying to yell over the band is fruitless.  Be prepared to communicate all the common questions you’ll get non-verbally. Have a price guide on hand to point at, plan to tap your finger on your own wristband to get folks to show you theirs, and make sure the set list for your venue is displayed prominently at or near your table.

Robert’s “don’t miss band(s)” for 2019 are MRS and the Sordid Affairs – they are simply everything he could want in a band – Queer as hell, unafraid to go all out, and some absolutely killer music to back it up.  We all certainly agree!

Robert proved that volunteering for Homegrown is possible while still a college student and so we know you can do it too! One time he volunteered the night before a big final and had successes both with the festival and his grade!

Thank you for all you do for Homegrown Robert!

Sign up for your HGMF volunteer shifts today: