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Fern Fest

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Fern Fest
CountryUnited States
InauguratedAugust 9-14, 2022
FounderAbra Wise

Fern Fest is a women’s music festival held near Hart, Michigan each year. The festival is held on “The Land,” which was the location of the Michigan Women’s Music Festival (MichFest) until 2015. The first Fern Fest was August 9-14, 2022.

Fern Fest was created and curated by Abra Wise with support from Goldenrod Music and others.

Fern Fest is an inclusive festival for all women — including trans, non-binary, straight, lesbian, and cis women. While departing from the unofficial “women born women” attendance policy of MichFest, Fern Fest retains the centrality of women’s experiences, gifts, health, safety, and power during the week.

Fern Fest includes scheduled activities each day such as movement opportunities, meditation practice, group games, skill workshops, music, and comedy. Some events and facilities are designated for women of color only. There is no alcohol served by vendors. Participants RV or tent camp in one of several designated camping areas on roughly 650 acres that comprise The Land. Community fire pits are located adjacent to dispersed camping areas, as campsite fires are not allowed. Only “portajanes” exist on the land (no indoor/permanent toilets). However, hot water is plentiful in the community shower area, which is outdoor and “open air.”

The festival is staffed entirely by women. Participants may contribute their time/skills by completing a 2-4hr volunteer work shift during the week (e.g., shuttle driver, kitchen help, front gate crew).

Festival attendees include women and girls of all ages. Almost all activities are interpreted (ASL) and the majority of facilities are accessible to people who use a wheelchair.

The festival is named after a unique feature of The Land: Ferns growing as far as the eyes can see in most areas not cleared for facilities.


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