Country music artists Joe Nichols, Diamond Rio and Jordan Davis will be the featured performers at the annual Happy Harry’s Rockin’ Up North Fest on Aug. 19-21 in downtown East Grand Forks.
Other special guest artists will be Tigirlily, the Jensen Sisters, Dariann Leigh – all of whom have ties to this region and are pursuing music careers in Nashville – and Paint the Town, Matt Aakre and The Dirty Little Secret, and Junction 281. The Jensen Sisters are from Goodridge, Minn.; Dariann Leigh, Karlstad, Minn., and Tigirlily, Hazen, N.D.
The music festival also features food trucks, beer tasting, vendor booths, a cornhole tournament, games and more, said Justin LaRocque, owner of The Spud Jr., a co-promoter of the event, along with HB Sound and Light.
Each day, the first act takes the stage from 5:30 to 7 p.m.; second act from 7:30 to 9 p.m.; and headliners perform from 9:30 to 11 p.m.
A complete schedule can be found at www.rockinupnorthfest.com .
Food trucks will be on hand serving classic fair food starting at 5:30 p.m. daily, LaRocque said. Vendors include Brat King, featuring sausages and brats; Loatian-Asian-inspired food by Sap Sap Kitchen of Warroad, Minn.; and Bjerk Concessions of Roseau, Minn.
Attendees are welcome to bring their own lawn chairs.
Tickets may be purchased at The Spud Jr. in East Grand Forks, both Happy Harry’s Bottle Shop locations in Grand Forks, or online at https://rockinupnorthfest.com .
Tickets are available at $30 for single-day admission or $75 for three-day admission. The VIP tickets are $50 for a single day or $120 for all three days. A fee and sales tax are added to each ticket sale.
With a VIP ticket, the attendee is admitted to a special enclosed section near the stage, with its own bathrooms and bar. Beer tasting will be provided by Anheuser Busch craft breweries Goose Island, Golden Road and Kona – one of the breweries will be featured each night.
The event will take place rain or shine at 415 Fourth St. N.W., one block north of The Spud Jr. Tickets are nonrefundable, LaRocque said.
The event runs from 5 to 11 p.m. each day. Tickets will be sold on site, but there is a cap to the number of attendees. More than half of the VIP tickets already have been sold, he said.
Because of the pandemic, some guidelines will be in place. They have not yet been fully determined, but will be in line with those in place for other recent events of this kind, LaRocque said.
He encourages guests to wear a mask or take other steps that they personally feel are necessary, and hand-sanitizing stations will be available, he said. “If you don’t feel well, please don’t come; give your ticket to someone else.”
For this, the fourth Happy Harry’s Rockin’ Up North Fest, LaRocque and HB Sound and Light have worked with the Downtown Development Association to pair it with the Downtown Street Fair, which is set for Aug. 20-21, to carry out “the two-festivals, one-weekend concept,” he said.
“We‘re hoping we can get a good turnout during the day at the Downtown Street Fair and then, hopefully, people will want to come out and listen to some music at night,” LaRocque said.
“We just thought it was kind of a neat way to highlight the Grand Forks-East Grand Forks communities and, for anybody that was maybe thinking about making their way to our communities, this would be a great weekend to showcase them.”
After the pandemic forced the cancelation of last year’s fest, LaRocque and his co-promoters are “excited” that the event can once again be held.
“Obviously, with the year and half that everybody’s had, it’s made making plans and fulfilling plans pretty difficult,” he said, “so just knowing that it’s coming and it’s going to happen, it’s almost just a sigh of relief that we can actually get to do it ....
“We’re hoping people can get out and enjoy themselves outdoors in the best environment for any gatherings at this point.”