Steel Bridge Songfest ’08 marks the fourth year of bringing musicians and songwriters together around the preservation of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin’s Michigan Bridge.
The two-lane structure spanning the Sturgeon Bay was built in 1930, and is one of two bridges of its structure (an upper rolling lift bascule bridge) in the United States of America. The bridge is listed on the Wisconsin Register of Historic Places and recently was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Such a magical and historic bridge drew the attention of songwriting great Pat mAcdonald. He and fellow co-founder Christie Weber created the festival to help establish preservation for the historic bridge, and establish friendship and comradery through songwriting and music.
The 2008 Steel Bridge Songfest will feature singer/songwriter Jackson Browne, musician/singer Jane Wiedlin (of The Go-Go’s) and co-founder Pat mAcdonald. mAcdonald will host a weeklong workshop for 25 invited songwriters. These songwriters will be paired with arousing game of spin the bottle, and will go on to work up material about steel bridges. They then will perform at venues around town throughout the week. Other included artists range from Eric McFadden, Freedy Johnston, Kim Manning, Victor DeLorenzo (Violent Femmes) and much more.
As well the songwriters well-crafted material will be considered for inclusion in the Steel Bridge Songfest CD. The host hotel will provide accommodations for recording, and Vol.1 and 2 will be released this year at the festival.
The festival will also include the “Take it to the Bridge” all day benefit concert on June 14th at the Great Lakes Yacht Services Boatyard. Jackson Browne will headline the event, and appearances by Jane Wiedlin and many others will also round out the day.
The efforts of the Steel Bridge Songfest help Citizens for Our Bridge Inc. continue works with the Federal Highway Commission and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to preserve and monitor bridge developments. The organization’s aim is to raise awareness and funds to preserve the bridge. Aside from preservation the money raised helps with educational efforts, and is held in a special National Trust and Historic Preservation fund earmarked for expenses related to the conservation and enhancing of the historic bridge.
More can be learned about the bridge, as well as the festival at www.steelbridgesongfest.org