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Big Turn amping up for a big first weekend

Showing off the lineup of the inaugural Big Turn Music Fest. Sarah Hansen / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 4
Beautiful log books, free around town, detail the acts who will perform at Big Turn Music Fest. Sarah Hansen / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 4
Window clings that announce Big Turn Music Fest can be found throughout downtown Red Wing. Sarah Hansen / RiverTown Multimedia3 / 4
Brooke Herling and Sam Brown share their excitement over Big Turn at the Red Wing Innovation Incubator. Sarah Hansen / RiverTown Multimedia4 / 4

Just days away from the inaugural Big Turn Music Fest, founder Sam Brown and assistant director Brooke Herling are exhausted but excited.

They've sold 330 tickets online and expect to sell more before the music starts on Friday night. Along with the crowd of show-goers, 250 musicians will perform that weekend and 120 volunteers will help keep it all on track.

"It's gonna be a hip-hoppin' time," Brown said with a laugh.

Big Turn may lead the pack with 700-plus attendees this weekend, but other fun events are happening around town as well.

Downtown Main Street will revive Shiver River Day on Feb. 17 and Girlfriends Day Out will be held out at Sargent's Nursery that day as well.

Musicians and fans coming for Big Turn might also want to check out Minnesota State College Southeast's instrument swap meet happening at the college 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. This free event is hosted by the Student Music Association and attendees can find instruments, supplies, parts and accessories.

With activity buzzing all around town, Brown said he is happy about the critical mass surrounding Big Turn's first festival weekend.

Herling said, "I'll just be excited to people watch and watch people fall in love with Red Wing. I'm just so excited for the potential this has for our town."

Elected officials said they look forward to seeing what Big Turn add to the city as well. Goodhue County Commissioner Paul Drotos and Red Wing Mayor Sean Dowse will offer their support as festival volunteers and Red Wing City Council member John Becker will host music at his business, Red Wing Framing & Fine Art Printing.

"This may be an effort to have a late night Red Wing for a change downtown," Becker said at the Feb. 12 council meeting. "A lot of people are very excited about that."

Big Turn kicks off Friday with a drum circle at the Red Wing Public Library hosted by Universal Music Center. This event is free.

While much of Big Turn requires a wristband to attend, there are a few places to get your music fix at no cost. A showcase of UMC students will perform at Mandy's Coffee & Cafe 6-9 p.m. Saturday, and Red's Savoy will host an open mic those same hours both nights.

No matter the work involved, Brown and Herling said they feel energized by the love coming out of the community and they are ready to enjoy the weekend.

Brown will play ambient music under his stage name bo.monro for a wristband-only yoga class at the YMCA on Saturday. Herling will check out music after she's settled in musicians and volunteers on Friday. She said she was most excited to hear music inside Christ Episcopal Church because of the acoustics.

Then, after the fun is done Saturday night, the crew will start planning for next year. So mark your calendars for Feb. 22-23, 2019, and get ready for the inaugural event happening this weekend, Feb. 16-17, 2018.

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