Homeland Experience presented by Fox Communities Credit Union is a free, two-day music and visual arts festival and the newest addition to Cory Chisel’s festival series. The festival will take place in Green Bay on September 15 and 16 and will center on music and visual art pairings of nearly 40 national artists.
Chisel, a Fox Valley raised singer-songwriter and Mile of Music co-founder, says it’s going to take more than one successful festival to put Northeast Wisconsin on the map. In other words, don’t expect Homeland Experience to be Mile of Music made over.
“We knew walking into Green Bay that we needed to make [the festival] as unique as the city,” Chisel says. “There’s an authenticity in the downtown that really fits this. There’s also a vibrant visual arts scene, so it was a logical place to go.”
Performances will take place in about 12 locations throughout the Broadway, Olde Main and Downtown Districts of Green Bay, with the likelihood of some last-minute outdoor spots being added.
Jeff Mirkes, executive director of Downtown Green Bay Inc. and Olde Main, worked with event organizers on venue selections and promotions for the event.
“There’s recognition in our community that [downtown] is the place where cool things are happening for all ages. Part of it is the central location and good access to parking, and also the compatibility with nearby restaurants,” he says.
Chisel describes the festival as a “living gallery” where performances occur on rotation rather than a strictly-timed schedule. Attendees will float between experiences, perhaps lingering at some longer than others, and may have to wait to enter a venue as space becomes available.
“The bands are being paired with visual artists to create this living thing around the music being made,” Chisel says. “We are so scheduled in our everyday lives. Here, we are asking people to put that ‘programmed’ part of their brain away and come with a sense of discovery and exploration.”
The festival’s concept was inspired by the nomadic lives of many artists who feel untethered to any geographical location. Chisel says the goal of the festival is to cultivate a creative homeland for artists while creating unique experiences for attendees. Musicians might perform material that is vastly different from their usual sets and visual artists may dabble in mediums outside their typical repertoire.
Chisel says this kind of experimentation will give attendees an experience they won’t find anywhere else.
“There’s danger in it, there’s risk, and I live for that because that’s real art making,” he says. “I’m trying to free the artists to let them do what they want. I’m trusting them to take you on a beautiful ride.”
Visit homelandexperience.com for more information.