Great Wakes Festival 2013

Saturday, August 17, 2013
5:00 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Open Space, Traverse City, Michigan
$20 ADV, $25 DOOR • Ages 21+ • 5-11 PM



Paella in the Park, Great Wakes Festival, TC Waterman and New Tent Venue Set for August 16-17 on Open Space

The return of a popular local culinary event and an evening of bayside activities celebrating the region’s water-based sports and organizations is heading to the Open Space in downtown Traverse City August 16-17.

The weekend of events, produced by Porterhouse Productions, kicks off with the fourth annual Paella in the Park on Friday, August 16 from 5-11 p.m. The Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula (WOMP) and local craft beer and spirits will be featured at the summer culinary and music evening, paired with Spanish paellas prepared on-site by regional chefs from renowned local restaurants.

Each winery will host a station featuring 36” pans in which chefs will cook paella using featured wines from that vintner and fresh local ingredients. For the first time this year, the event will also feature a craft beer bar and a Bloody Mary bar featuring McClure’s Farmer’s Market Bloody Marys mixed with local spirits.

Chefs representing the participating local restaurants will prepare their own unique takes on paella at the event. Paella, a rice-based dish that boasts hundreds of variations using different ingredients, is one of Spain’s most popular food entrees. Festival attendees will have the opportunity to converse with local chefs about the art of making paella, as well as enjoy food and wine at each station.

The evening will be capped by live performances by Cuban orchestra Grupo Aye, renowned reggae band The Resolvers, champion beat-boxer Heatbox, popular local guitarist act Younce Guitar Duo and the amazing unicycling, juggling high energy fire twirling of global star Jason Divad.

The festival weekend continues in the Open Space on Saturday, August 17 with the second annual Great Wakes Festival and TC Waterman Stand Up Paddle Board Nationals (SUPs).  During the day see over 250 SUPs on the bay, roam over 40 booths, including many staffed by water-based non-profits, and enjoy great food and family fun. The evening events, which will take place from 6-11 p.m. for adults aged 21+, will focus on a community celebration of water sports, activities and conservation efforts in one of Traverse City’s most scenic waterfront venues.

Three-time Grammy-winning Latin hip-hop/rock group Ozomatli will headline the evening’s entertainment, which will also include appearances by The Resolvers Big Band Reggae, Polynesian Dancers, performer and movement artist Jason Divad and fitness gurus the Yoga Slackers. A Luau celebration will feature a traditional pig roast, fish tacos, and paellas. The bar will serve up local craft beer, wine, and McClure’s Bloody Marys.

Two other wonderful community events will take place in conjunction with the Great Wakes Festival – Paddle for Pints, TC Ale Trail’s Boardman River route, and TC Waterman, the Midwest’s premier stand up paddleboard event. For more information on how to participate in these two events, please click on their links above.

The weekend of back-to-back events will mark the public’s first opportunity to experience Spectacular Structures, a brand-new mobile venue structure owned by Porterhouse Productions capable of hosting 4,000+ capacity events. The customizable tent is the first of its kind in the Midwest and will expand the region’s programming and event capabilities by providing a four-season, high-capacity venue for concerts, conferences, festivals, performances and corporate and private events. More information on Spectacular Structures will be available soon at

Tickets to Paella in the Park are on sale now at and are $30 in advance or $35 at the door. Tickets include a commemorative wine glass, (5) wine pour tokens, (3) 4 oz. servings of paella and all entertainment. Additional food and wine tickets will be available for purchase at the event.

Tickets to the Great Wakes Festival are $20 in advance or $25 at the door and include all festival entertainment and activities. Tickets can be purchased at

Advance sales for both events are encouraged, as space is limited and previous events have sold out. Attendees must be 21+ for both evening events, no exceptions. For more information, visit


Porterhouse Productions Launching New Mobile Entertainment Venue in Michigan

Spectacular Structures – a high-capacity, four-season mobile venue – will be the first of its kind in the U.S.

Concertgoers, festival attendees, event planners and conference organizers in Michigan will soon have access to a resource that’s previously been unavailable to many communities in the state: a high-capacity entertainment venue capable of hosting year-round, four-season local and national events.

Porterhouse Productions in Traverse City is launching Spectacular Structures, a brand-new luxury mobile venue designed to host 4,000+-capacity events. The customizable, sophisticated tent structure is the first of its kind in the country and will dramatically expand the state’s programming and hospitality capabilities, particularly in Northern Michigan. The enterprise has secured an early investment partner in Start Garden, the Grand Rapids-based venture capital firm launched by entrepreneur and ArtPrize founder Rick DeVos.

Sam Porter, owner of Porterhouse Productions, says the mobile venue – which can be heated or cooled, enclosed or opened, and scaled in size to house both intimate and large-scale events – has the potential to revolutionize the event-planning industry in Michigan.

“Whether it’s local symphonies looking to play in an outdoor covered venue, chambers of commerce planning business expos, wedding planners looking for a unique event setting or national touring artists booking high-capacity stages in Michigan, this venue will allow us to cater to every single one of those demographics,” says Porter.

The mobile structure comes with a 53-foot semi-trailer that doubles as both transportation for the venue and a independent refrigeration unit that can be used separately for food and beverage service. Porter, who plans to offer sponsorship branding space on the side of the trailer, says the asset will allow the company to offer local food and beverage options at events and will provide much-needed infrastructure for small businesses and vendors who are otherwise restricted in service capabilities.

Porter plans to first put the venue to use in Traverse City, debuting the structure at a weekend of festivities in the Open Space August 16-17 that includes the fourth annual Paella in the Park event on August 16 and the second annual Great Wakes Festival on August 17. From there, the tent will be utilized on an ongoing basis for both Porterhouse concerts and festivals as well as for outside rental by communities, event planners, corporations and conferences throughout Michigan and the Midwest. The company will manage two interactive public brands: Spectacular Structures, the parent company and rental division, and Tent Venue, a fan-driven branch focused on concert and event updates, crowd-sourcing campaigns and marketing and social media outreach.

Porter says the launch of the venue is just the beginning for the business. In 2014, he plans to add an additional component to the structure that will expand its total capacity to 10,000. His ultimate goal – and that of his partners and investors – is to eventually take the business national, expanding its market reach into key cities across the country with high demand for event space.

“Our first priority is to build a market here in Traverse City, providing this venue as a resource for our community as well as other communities in the state,” says Porter. “By focusing on bringing tourism dollars, national partners and high-profile entertainment and business to Michigan, we hope to build a nexus of excitement and energy that can then expand outward to other states.”

Complete details on Spectacular Structures – including venue information, schedule of events and rental information – will be available soon at