FERN FEST 2023 - August 1st-6th Hart, Michigan on The Land
TICKET SALES AND REGISTRATION ARE CLOSED - tickets cannot be purchased at the gate.

All sales are final and refunds are NOT available.
Culture and Vision:

Fern Fest is a music focused women's festival specifically curated to drive connection and foster community and belonging. Fern Fest aims to expand the music genres represented on The Land, engage new performers across the country, bring the experience of the land to more women and re-energize those who attended festivals in the past. We feel committed to honoring the tradition of The Land which holds sacred space for women and girls and provides the opportunity for healing connection and growth.

The Land:

Nestled on Anishinabe, Odawa, Potawatomi, Menomi lands within the Manistee National Forest, at the headwaters of Ruby Creek, "The Land" is 650 acres of pristine undeveloped woods, open meadows and fields of ferns. It was home to the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival (michfest.com) for nearly forty years, and is now a venue for multiple smaller women’s events every summer. The Land is a site of profound historical, spiritual, and emotional significance because of its deep association with this event that incubated, created, and held lesbian and women’s culture in the United States and beyond for four decades.

After the final Michigan’s Womyn’s Music Festival in 2015, a determined and dedicated group of women formed the nonprofit WWTLC (We Want The Land Coalition) with the vision of securing and preserving this sacred land for women and girls for years to come. WWTLC continues to raise funds in order to pay for the land by 2025. With every successful event, WWTLC furthers their mission of providing women and girls with unique programs, events, and experiences that celebrate women’s history, promote healing and empowerment, build women’s community, and encourage education and growth. For more information about WWTLC, please visit wwtlc.org.

Commitment to Race Equity and Anti-Racism:

As Fern Fest organizers, we are committed to the learning and unlearning required to dismantle white supremacy and live out our anti-racism values. We have work to do as individuals and as a community that aspires to create a safer environment for women of color. Our anti-racism commitment is as much a statement about who we aspire to be as it is a call to action for us as organizers and everyone attending Fern Fest. Those of us who are white identified, including members of the organizing team, have a greater responsibility to lean into this work.

What does this look like? Fern Fest is curated to reflect the broad diversity of our community and this is represented by the racial diversity of the organizers, performers, programming, staff and volunteers.
Fern Fest commits to providing spaces for the BIPOC community, organized by and for the Global Majority as well as other spaces for conversation about dismantling racism at the structural, interpersonal and personal levels.

What does this feel like? Fern Fest endeavors to focus on the impact and outcomes of our choices, decisions and actions. Being an accountable community means we will seek out feedback about the experience of the BIPOC community at Fern Fest, acknowledge harms, and work to repair and adapt our approach in response to feedback.

Commitment to Accessibility:

Accessibility at Fern Fest for the Deaf /HOH and women with disabilities community is a priority. We will provide interpreters for all live music performances along with some visual art throughout the festival. We will capture as much communication in writing as possible via signs and centralized message boards. WWTLC has worked diligently to improve the physical accessibility of the land by providing paved and rubber mat paths. We welcome feedback on how we can continue to support ongoing improvements.
Gender and Language:

Fern Fest is a women’s festival that is intentionally inclusive of all cis, trans, and non-binary women. Language is important and we’d like to speak to the intention behind the language we have chosen to describe Fern Fest and the space we are creating.

Why “women”? While we honor the history of our community reclaiming “women” and transforming it into “womyn, womxn, wimmin etc.” as a way to decentralize men from our collective identity and/or specify inclusion for trans folks, Fern Fest embraces the term “women” to include all who identify and live in the experience of being a woman and/or possess the feminine spirit.

We are dedicated to the sometimes messy work of learning and stretching our understanding of language to ensure Fern Fest is affirming for those whose identity does not align with binary gender definitions. Increasing our awareness around pronouns and other gendered language is one way we can center inclusion within our community. Trans, non-binary and other individual identities and expressions of gender under the umbrella of “women” belong at Fern Fest.

Because we know that every person’s gender identity is unique and how someone connects to a community that is defined by gender may vary, we support individual assessments regarding their identification with this event. If you have questions and would like to speak to an event organizer, please contact us at [email protected].
Community Guidelines:

One of the core tenets of the vision for Fern Fest is to create an experience where all people can feel safe to show up as authentic individuals. This means building trust within our community, being aware of how our actions impact others and holding ourselves accountable to community guidelines that foster that environment.

Fern Fest has a zero tolerance policy for violence, harassment, hate speech and/or any other behavior that threatens the safety and wellbeing of any community member. Those who violate this policy will be removed from the festival without refund. Fern Fest reserves the right to deny entry to anyone based on this policy and/or community guidelines.

Be open. Be kind. Be respectful.

For those of us with white, cis and other dominant identity privilege…
No matter where you are in your individual journey of anti-oppression (racism/white supremacy, transphobia, ableism etc.) everyone on The Land has a role to play in our collective anti-oppression work and is responsible for their actions. So many of us feel drawn to women’s spaces and festival culture because of the safety and healing it can bring. It is important to also acknowledge that not everyone in our community is afforded the same privilege. If you are given the gift of feedback that something you said or did has impacted someone negatively, aim to center the experience of the person harmed, especially when they are BIPOC, trans, and/or other marginalized identity or ability status. Utilize the CPR Reparative Response Model* – Calm Yourself, Practice Humility and Repair.

*Created by Kira Manser, Jaymie Campbell & Shannon Crintini www.accessmatters.org/cpr-the-racial-microaggressions-reparative-response-model/ (geared towards racial microaggressions but applicable for all identity difference)

Festival Organizers
Abra Wise
Abra is a Michigan native singer/songwriter and music enthusiast. She has attended countless music festivals over the last 20 years in many different capacities, including working on crews and as a professional music manager. She is delighted that her personal and professional experience, and her passion and inspiration are all culminating in the creation of this unique festival in a space that is so close to her heart.
Susan Doss
Project Manager
Susan first attended Michfest in 2009 and has continued to learn and grow with the community and family she found there. Professionally, she works in non-profit management and leadership, specializing in staff development, training, process improvement and change management. The joyful work of bringing Fern Fest to life leverages her love of planning and organizing. Susan is thrilled to be a part of the ongoing legacy and evolution of the festival experience on the land. 
BIPOC/Global Majority Collective

Sprouting at the first Fern Fest in 2022, the BIPOC/Global Majority Collective honors the legacy of the WOC Tent in this space on The Land and endeavors to continue the rich tradition of reflection, healing and growth.

Crafts and Vending
MEAL PLAN: We are happy to share that we have partnered with Lake Effect Kitchen out of Grand Haven, MI to offer a meal plan of 4 catered dinners (Wednesday – Saturday) including meat, vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options.

Meal plans must have been pre-purchased by 7/14 and will not be available for sale on The Land. 

We have done our best to accommodate a variety of dietary options, substitutions are not available and we are unable to offer single meals. Please review the menu below before you purchase to ensure it meets your needs. To reduce waste, meals will be served buffet style and you will need to bring your own reusable container and utensils.

WednesdayTaco Bar (Ground Beef, Refried Beans, Spanish Rice, Shredded Cheese, Salsa, Sour Cream, Lettuce, Tomato, Onion, Flour and Corn Tortillas)

Thursday: Pasta Bar (Gluten Free Penne Pasta, Red Sauce, White Sauce, Roasted Chicken Breast, Steamed Broccoli, Pasta Salad w. Two Dressings, Parmesan, Dinner Rolls and Butter)

FridayBaked Potato Bar (Baked Potato, Vegan Chili, Bacon, Sour Cream, Chives, Broccoli, Shredded Cheese)

Saturday: Mediterranean Buffet (Grilled Chicken Breast, Italian Farro Salad, Garbanzo Salad w. Parsley, Lemon Zest, Walnuts and Dried Cherries, Garden Gazpacho, Hummus, Feta Spread, Pita and Crackers, Sliced Melon and Berries)

FOOD TRUCKS: In addition to the meal plan, we will have two exciting food vendors offering Indian (Jamber Wine Pub/Tasting India Collaboration) and Mexican tamales (El Cardenal). 

COMMUNITY KITCHEN: The Community Kitchen will be available for basic cooking and storage needs if you you prefer to bring your own food. 

Fern Fest stocks the community kitchen with FREE COFFEE! If you are an early bird and enjoy supporting others caffeine needs, sign up for a volunteer work shift in the community kitchen to help with the morning brew. Reminder, please bring your own reusable mug. 

The community kitchen has tables for food prep, shared coolers and dry bins, propane grills and stoves, coffee and hot water urns and a bleach bucket for sanitation.

If you've never camped before, we recommend simple meals and snacks that are easy to prepare or assemble in rustic conditions. Sandwiches, granola bars, pre-assembled salads, fruit, cans of soup and other meals that are easy to reheat or enjoy cold or at room temp are great choices.

Bagged ice will be available for purchase on the land.

Hop onto the
Fern Fest Community Forum on Facebook to tap into others' go-to camping meals and ideas.
The Land is located in West Michigan near the town of Hart.
It is approximately 100 miles Northwest of Grand Rapids, the most utilized airport for travel. Specific directions and more travel information will be sent out to festival attendees after tickets are purchased.

The BIPOC/Global Majority Collective & Sanctuary
(Women of Color Tent/WOC Tent)

From 1984-2015, this space has represented a sanctuary for all women of color across the intersections of culture, race, and inter-generations. Its current location is where it’s been since 1985 and some of our WOC Tent ancestor’s remains rest in this location with their spirits watching over us.

Described as a place to gather in safety and build community to heal ourselves, the WOC Tent has been a place for us to listen, to speak, to learn and to honor each other, a sacred place of reflecting our grace and power among us, for us.

Sprouting at the first Fern Fest in 2022, the (QT)BIPOC/Global Majority Collective honors the legacy of the WOC Tent in this space on The Land and endeavors to continue the rich tradition of reflection, healing and growth. As we shape our shared vision for this sanctuary space, our language is changing to welcome and include additional facets of our identities while also acknowledging and centering black and indigenous – embracing the terms BIPOC/QTBIPOC (Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color), and Global Majority. Within this space, we work to lift up intersectional identities and address the compounded impact of multiple oppressions. While The Collective coordinates with and is supported by Fern Fest as well as other accomplices/allies, we operate independently to foster this special and critical space for healing connection and safety.
Invitation and call for BIPOC sisters and siblings – come experience the sanctuary, attend a workshop or gathering; find out more about your communities who welcome you and join The Collective as we build the space together. We are what we make of the space, so if there’s something you’d like to see, hear, experience or be a part of, we must create it together.

If you'd like to contact The Collective or contribute to the Sanctuary space planning, please email [email protected] 
We will be updating this throughout the year as different information becomes relevant.

What is Fern Fest like?

Check out the Fern Fest Culture and Vision section in the About section.

How long is Fern Fest?

Fern Fest is almost a full week! 6 days, 5 nights. The gates will open on Tuesday at 11am on August 1st, 2023 and every attendee must be off the land by 2pm on Sunday, August 6th, 2023.

What are the accommodations?

Camping: Fern Fest is held on a secluded section within 650 acres of beautiful West Michigan woods. It is a special camping experience to be had, a week of living amongst the ferns and old Oak and Maple trees. There are 3 designated camping areas for tents that are all centrally located to the main festival area where all the activity happens. While many people choose to camp rustic style in a tent, you may also choose to bring an RV for an upgraded camping experience. Please note that there are not water or electric hookups (we do have limited electric to accommodate those with medical needs i.e. CPAP machine, insulin machines etc.) RV's will be parked out at treeline, near the front gate. There will be bathrooms (portajanes) and a spigot of clean land water for your water needs. The tent camping sections are much closer to the main festival area, but it only takes about 10-15 minutes to walk from RV (treeline). If you are unable to walk or just don't want to, there will be shuttles running back and forth.

Showers: There are 7 total outdoor showers (5 open, 1 accessible with a curtain and 1 private with a curtain) with plenty of hot water! If you've never taken an outdoor shower, you're in for a real treat. We recommend a nighttime shower under the stars.

Restrooms: There are portajanes toilets located in all main community and camping areas of the festival. Hand sanitizer is available in each portajane and there are multiple hand washing stations in various locations throughout the land.

What about children on The Land?

While we welcome children on The Land, childcare will not be available and there will be limited activities geared towards children.
Ticket pricing is based on age on the last day of the festival. On 8/6/23, attendees that will be 18yrs. must purchase an Adult Ticket, 5yrs.-17yrs. must purchase a Child Ticket, and 0-4yrs. must be registered under the Infant/Toddler Free Ticket.
All children MUST be accompanied by a parent/caregiver.
Children 6yrs. and under are welcome regardless of gender. Children 7yrs.-17yrs., please refer to the gender section above.

Are pets allowed?

Although we love animals, only trained and certified service animals are allowed.

2021 Fern Fest LLC. 
Interested in supporting Fern Fest but are unable to attend? Donations help ensure that the festival is sustainable for years to come.
Questions and all other inquiries, please email:
[email protected]

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