An Open Letter To Our Community

Dear Citizens:

“Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.” — Maya Angelou

And perhaps we can understand each other right here.

We, the members of our state and local community, ask you, the members of our state and local community, to join us in making Saturday, July 9, 2011, a milestone.

So many of the conflicts we face on a daily basis arise from our differences: different opinions, different religions, different nationalities, different priorities, different emotions.

We’re setting aside one day. An entire day devoted to understanding and respecting those differences instead of using them as barriers. An entire day to celebrate the fact that we’re all human, put in this world together, able to enjoy what the rest of humanity has to offer.

The Twin Ports Bridge Festival is not simply another concert at Bayfront. Every one of the day’s attractions was selected for its ability to give the audience more than entertainment, whether it’s social awareness, education, inspiration, or support. This festival not only brings us a national headliner committed to helping us celebrate our community, but it also keeps the entire event affordable and accessible to the whole family.

But we need your help to make this day a success. By collaborating on this one common objective-by attending, contributing, or becoming involved-we can build the positive relationships necessary to effect change in our community, our nation, and our world.

Only when we truly understand each other can we bring about progress. Let’s kickstart that progress on July 9.


Mayor Don Ness, City of Duluth

Jeff Anderson, Duluth City Council, NU92 FM/Red Rock Radio

Senator Roger Reinert, State of Minnesota

Mark Rubin, St. Louis County Attorney

Terry Mattson, President/CEO, Visit Duluth

Xavier Bell, “X”, Community Engagement Program Manager, Community Action Duluth

Patricia Burns, President, Miller-Dwan Foundation

Ira “Mimmu” Salmela, Director of Development, Public Relations Director, KUMD 103.3 FM

Stephanie Love, Executive Director, Positive Energy Outdoors

Paul Lundgren, President, Perfect Duluth Day

Jodi Christensen, Deep Peace Wellness Studio & Yoga North, Yoga Instructor 500RYT, Somatics Educator

Molly McManus, Yoga North, Yoga Instructor 500RYT, IAYT, Somatics Educator

Hilary Buckwalter, Yoga North, Yoga Instructor 500RYT, Grad Student-Advocacy & Political Leadership, UMD

Becky Gourde, Communications Director, Laughingstock Design

Shane & Jenny Bauer, Design Directors, Laughingstock Design

Twin Ports Bridge Festival, July 9, Bayfront Festival Park



about 13 years ago

Thanks for the work everyone has done / will do to make this event happen.  I look forward to a great day of music and community in Duluth.


about 13 years ago

+1 B-Man

I am so happy this is happening.  It seems to be shaping up as a worthy substitute for the Duluth International Folk Festival which disappeared about 5 years ago after running for 50 or so years in Leif Ericson Park.  Hopefully it will take off.  Thanks and Congratulations to Shane and all the others on bringing such a great vision to fruition.


about 13 years ago

Is it me or does that ticket price seem a little high?

Paul Lundgren

about 13 years ago

Here's some other upcoming shows for comparison to the $29 tickets for Twin Ports Bridge Festival with Michael Franti, Cloud Cult, etc.:

TributeFest @ Bayfront -- $20 to $25 for single day
Jack's Mannequin @ Clyde Iron -- $24 to $26
Buffalo Valley Music Festival -- $25 to $75  
Steve Earle @ Big Top -- $30 to $48 
Nanci Griffith @ Big Top -- $30 to $48
Bayfront Blues Festival -- $43 for single day
Taj Mahal Trio at Big Top -- $45 to $65
Arlo Guthrie at Big Top -- $45 to $65 
Willie Nelson @ Bayfront -- $46.37
Wynonna @ Black Bear Casino -- $46.64 to $55.64
Kansas @ Big Top -- $55 to $75 
The Oak Ridge Boys @ Big Top -- $55 to $75 
Michael Buble @ Amsoil -- $62.56 to $103.59

So, is $29 too much? It depends on how much you like the bands. By comparison, it certainly doesn't look overpriced to me. (And let's not even discuss what people paid for Elton John.)


about 13 years ago

IMO, depends on how badly you'd like to see what's going on...


about 13 years ago

Bayfront Blues is $43 for a single day? I remember back in the day when it was like $25 for the entire weekend. We used to go, and we'd see tons of people we knew. Then they raised the prices and we'd go, but it had become "Cities people partying it up in Duluth" weekend. Now, we just check out the after concerts around town, don't bother with the Fest itself. Maybe we're just blues-ed out.

Barrett Chase

about 13 years ago

Actually, the Bayfront Blues Fest was originally free.


about 13 years ago

Not to obsess about this, but I guess what I was thinking was: $29 for a concert, okay but $29 for a community-building event only allows a certain part of the community to participate.


about 13 years ago

Wait, what? What certain part? Huh?

Paul Lundgren

about 13 years ago

I think Magus is referring to people with more discretionary income the others. Certainly some people can't afford to take out their family of five for $145. So Magus makes a good point. The obvious counterpoint is that shows like these cost lots of money to produce, but that doesn't negate Magus' point.


about 13 years ago

Maybe that's what I missed. 

If you've got 29 bucks, whoever you are, I'm sure they'll take your money with a smile.

[email protected]

about 13 years ago

Agreed.  It would be nice if some portion of the event (e.g the nonprofit showcase thing) were in an all-access area, while the pricey concert were in another area.


about 13 years ago

If anyone can teach us how to cry, laugh, eat, worry and die, it's the politicians.


about 13 years ago

Yes, the first Blues Fest was free, I was there (and have only missed a very few), and preg at the time, standing in the rain in ponchos - having come up with friends from the cities. 

Later, a canned good donation was the suggested entrance cost, then subsequently a very low fee for the whole weekend, as Claire mentioned.

Nothing ever stays free - even the Harvest Fest and the Fall Fest at Chester Bowl - which used to be like a fall Farmer's Market day, all have an entrance fee. The May Fest was eliminated, as was the Viking Fest.

As far as Blues Fest, back in the day, there were so many good bands, and over the last several years it's become so much lessor. Also, the types of vendors have become more limited, and the Fest became all for profit - totally losing the original feel of years ago. Less and less vendors are there each year as well - many can't afford the fees/cuts of the take to make it worth their while. That truly sucks.

And the headliners have sucked more and more each year, especially in regards to the cost of the tickets. The numbers of Fest-goers have dropped as well.

I do, however, agree that the after gigs are heaps better than the actual festival - making it hard to decide which venues to hit, as there are so many good gigs going - kinda like during Homegrown - so many bands, so little time to get to see each one, or they overlap each other time-wise at their various venues. 

But there's just something about sitting/dancing in the August sun, or under the stars, with a cold beer, and a group of your friends under your pirate flag or blinking nipple bra that can't compare to being inside any bar or arena.

I'm all for more festivals - so much more could be going on here throughout the summer. 

I paid $15 last Nov to see Cloud Cult at Scholastica - it was AWESOME, and so worth it. So getting a full day's Fest, Cloud Cult, plus Franti = WIN! It's still way cheaper than any arena concert, and you have two great acts in attendance.

I, too, miss the Folk Fest, as do many others I know. What happened YMCA?

The Maritime Festival is similar - you pay X amount to get into each day's event, more if you want to go aboard the ships or what not. But there are some super bands coming for that one too - so overall, the cost really is worth it for what part you choose  - for the bands anyway - the ships do nothing for me personally, but there are others who are very into it all. To each their own.

I can agree though, that it would be nice to be able to separate the pricing for checking out only the event stuff vs seeing the bands ( say wristbands for seeing bands only) at the various the Festivals, that or having some sort of 'family' pricing, making it more affordable for all. The Air Show and Reggae Fest are pricey as well, but people manage to attend.

PS. If cost is a factor - then consider volunteering for the various events you want to attend (check their websites). Often times you only work a few hours, and get a ticket/pass, and a t-shirt too.

Brent Eagleburger

about 13 years ago

Plus One for Ramos, again...


about 13 years ago

Ramos wins. Peace-for-profit?

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