Water Is Life Music Festival Returns to Duluth

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The Water is Life festival is returning this fall for its second year. Hosted by Honor the Earth, the festival will take place at Bayfront Park in Duluth on Sunday, September 4 with production support from First Avenue. The one-day festival “celebrates water as the fundamental life-giving right and resource of Mother Earth.”

This year’s lineup so far includes The Indigo Girls, Allison Russel, Ani DiFranco, and Keith Secola, along with many others. More major artists will be announced in July.

Between sets and at tables around the festival grounds, Indigenous activists, speakers, poets, climate and social justice advocates and others will do brief presentations, hosted by Winona LaDuke, an indigenous leader and co-founder of Honor the Earth. 

“At the heart of this event lies the Indigenous, women-led environmental and social justice movement spear-headed nationally by Honor the Earth,” said David Huckfelt, the festival’s artistic director.

Last year’s festival raised awareness and funds to fight Line 3, a now-completed $9 billion dollar oil pipeline owned by Enbridge that cut through 337 miles of Minnesota wilderness and sparked fierce protests from indigenous and environmentalist groups. The festival was headlined by Bon Iver and Hippo Campus. 

Last year’s festival came together in less than a month but still drew 4,000 people to Bayfront Park, according to Huckfelt.

“We set a mighty precedent for one of the most radical and diverse music and resistance events in the country, and this summer we have time to grow and deepen this young and mighty festival,” Huckfelt said.

This year the festival will one again feature an assortment of artists who support the Indigenous communities of Minnesota who face new threats, and the ongoing threats we all experience as climate rapidly alters due to the burning of fossil fuels, according to LaDuke. 

All of the proceeds from the festival will go directly to Honor the Earth. Tickets for the event go on sale Friday, June 24, at 10 am.

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