Roundup of Common Ground 2016
By Jaimie Bozack
For The Lookout
The Common Ground Music Festival concluded July 10 after six long days of music, food and activities at the Adado Riverfront Park across from LCC. This was the festival’s 17th year.
The festival brought in thousands of festival fans each day despite rainstorms that plagued two of the days.
The first night of the festival brought headliner AWOLNATION “sailing,” into Lansing. Lead singer Aaron Bruno said prior to the show that he planned to give a high energy, rock ‘n’ roll performance for festival goers.
“When you come to see us everything you see is what you are hearing at the same time,” Bruno said. “It is a much more raw version and it’s definitely a much heavier version of the record. It is a more rock ‘n’ roll or punk rock experience, I think.”
Alternative band Irontom played on the festival’s Sparrow Stage that night. Irontom is an up-and-coming rock band from Los Angeles.
Drummer for Irontom Dyl Williams said his band is currently on tour. The band does a lot of driving to shows where it plays half-hour sets. Common Ground was one of those shows.
“It is like camp,” Williams said. “We are all good friends and we have known each other for so long. Our shows turn into a lot of I don’t know what.”
Night two of Common Ground brought in rock lovers from all over the state. Rise Against headlined the festival’s rock night.
Night three brought a slice of country to Lansing with headliner Tim McGraw. As people came pouring in for the sold out night the rain came pouring down.
Heavy rain forced people to be evacuated from the festival. After a half hour attendees were let back inside to continue the show.
Festival goer Pat Walton said he waited outside while the rain poured down on him just to see McGraw. A soaking wet Walton said the performance was worth the wait.
“I had heard that this will be Tim’s only Michigan show,” Walton said. “I wouldn’t let a tornado stop me from watching it.”
Friday night of the festival brought in another huge crowd for A$AP Rocky. The start of the day was washed away by storms that hit the festival grounds around 5 p.m.
People took shelter underneath tents as winds as high as 63 miles per hour hit the area. Wind sent tables, chairs and tents flying down Common Ground’s main walkway. People stood huddled together under tents as hail started hitting the area.
Once the storm let up it was easy to detect the damage it had done to the festival grounds. The Sparrow Stage had been torn apart by the hail. It took festival volunteers an hour to get some stages running again.
Saturday night featured another huge country artist. Dierks Bentley had audience members moving to his country sound.
The final night of the festival came to a close as headliner Jason Derulo came out with flashy dance moves, over 20 backup dancers and lights that lit up the night sky.
Festival attendee Brian Klaus said he went to every night of Common Ground because he wanted to support a local festival.
“There are so many festivals out there but Common Ground is the most important,” Klaus said. “It is important because it is local. If we don’t keep supporting it there will be no festival and no chance for music to prosper.”