I had the pleasure of seeing one of my favorite bands,Vampire Weekend, play live at the Meadow Brook Music Festival on Friday, June 6th. When I had originally bought the tickets, I wasn’t paying close attention to the show’s venue and had never heard of Meadow Brook Hall. Needless to say, I was elated when I discovered that the festival was an ongoing outdoor concert series on Oakland University‘s beautiful campus. I truly could not believe my luck and I really couldn’t imagine a better way to finally see Vampire Weekend live: outdoors, surrounded by the rolling hills and forests of Michigan’s east side. Yes, please!
I was only able to score lawn seating, but I arrived early to claim the best possible spot and was completely satisfied with my cheaper location. The lawn is stretched wide, on an incline that affords a great view of the stage no matter where you’re standing and a blanket on the grass only further completed my concert experience. Add to the picture a craft beer and a warm pretzel from the well-stocked concession stands, and the long wait for the show to begin suddenly became pleasurable. The deep green forest was proudly illuminated in the vibrant sunset when Vampire Weekend finally made it to the stage. Front man Ezra Koenig even made a point to comment on the venue’s picturesque beauty multiple times throughout the night. Meadow Brook is the place to be if you’re craving an outdoor music experience!
The Meadow Brook Music Festival gives attendees a taste of festival season without all of the hassle and money that can sometimes turn trips to larger festivals into more of an endeavor. Tickets for other Michigan music festivals like Electric Forest in Rothbury can range from $200 to $250, but Meadow Brook tickets are significantly cheaper, especially if you go the “lawn route” and get the $25 tickets like I did. Although bigger festivals can provide a solid day’s worth of entertainment (because let’s be honest- who wouldn’t want to go to Electric Forest?), there’s definitely something to be said for single-show events and their more personal, quality sound. If you plan your trip to a Meadow Brook show correctly, you can certainly find enough to do to make it a complete day trip!
The drive from Grand Rapids to Rochester is a long one, so I decided to stop for lunch right when I got off the road. I did a little research on Yelp and found that Buddy’s Pizza, a staple of the metro-Detroit area, got great reviews. I can now testify that those reviews were completely accurate and I can safely recommend this mouth-watering pizza to you. The “Great Lakes Pizza Collection” will especially excite fellow foodie fans of my favorite mitten state. Each Great Lake’s namesake looked delicious on the menu, but I knew I could only choose one and settled on the Lake Superior pizza. It came out steaming hot, bathed in the house Motor City cheese blend, fresh basil, pine nuts, and seasoned with Buddy’s Sicilian spice blend. The restaurant also happens to be right down the road from Meadow Brook, making it a simple and delicious beginning to a lovely night.
Meadow Brook’s upcoming concerts include Ray Lamontagne, Sarah Mclachlan, Panic! At The Disco, and more! Why not plan a day trip and treat yourself to the stunning scenery and sounds of the Meadow Brook Music Festival? What are some of your favorite outdoor concert venues? Do you have any festival trips planned this summer?