Woodruff’s doesn’t just close out the year, they close it down. On the subject of local music events in Ypsilanti, Mittenfest is the final word. It’s a five day Michigan music marathon that fills the pesky gap between Christmas and New Year’s parties that you might otherwise (horror of horrors) have to spend with your family. Banish the thought and clear your calendars, dear readers! With dozens of bands, hundreds of your closest friends and enough booze to float the Ark, Woodruff’s in Depot Town is going to be the only place to be December 28 through January 1.
There is always a particular excitement surrounding Mittenfest because admission is never a guarantee. Woodruff’s minimal square footage and obstructed views galore means it reaches capacity pretty much every night of the ‘fest, and a good view probably involves a bit of jostling. With that being said, you have three options. You can pay the $10 one night admission price at the door, come early and stake out your spot, you can shell out a whopping $82.60 for a V.I.P. pass (available now on the Mittenfest website), which guarantees you entrance to each night or you can roll up right before your favorite band is about to play with $10 in your fist and say a prayer.
Now in its seventh year, Mittenfest has moved around a bit. In past years it has occupied venues from The Corner Brewery to The Blind Pig and The Elbow Room (R.I.P.), but Woodruff’s has been home since 2010. A skim of past performers reads like a who’s who of Mitten music luminaries. Names like: Childbite, The Juliets, The Sights and Misty Lyn bring music to your ears. 2012 promises the usual wealth of talent, and at the present time confirmed acts include newcomers Jamaican Queens and Shigeto as well as perennial favorites (and notable towheads) Matt Jones and the Reconstruction and Lightning Love.
The acts may change, but one thing that never does is the charitable heart of Mittenfest. Since its humble beginnings, it has been a benefit for 826 Michigan. 826 is an Ann Arbor based organization that helps children and young adults hone their writing skills. They provide drop in tutoring, after-school workshops and publishing assistance among other things. So you can feel good about dragging everyone you know out to Woodruff’s to share in the Mittenfest madness.
Mittenfest is cramped, crazy and the antidote to awkward family gatherings – and I think you and I both know that it couldn’t hurt to come to Woodruff’s and dance off those pounds the eggnog and cookies put on.
For more info, the full lineup and to purchase your tickets visit mittenfest.org.