Two local bands have dropped out of the inaugural MI Fest on Saturday, Sept. 17, to protest the cutting of one of the event's three stages and nine other bands.
Both Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas and Whitey Morgan & the 78s posted Facebook messages on Friday saying that, "Out of solidarity and respect to the other great Michigan artists that have been canceled from the event, we have opted out and will not be playing the MI Fest event this weekend."
The day-long festival takes place at noon Saturday at the Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. On Thursday, Sept. 15, organizers eliminated one of the three stages that was planned for the show.
George Gikas of Farmington Hills-based TGIF Entertainment, which is co-producing MI Fest, said the management for both Hernandez and Morgan told him of the decision on Friday morning. "We're very disappointed to hear that bands would drop out," Gikas said. "We wish they woudl reconsider. But we understand their feelings."
Gikas said he was "reaching out" to some of the previously canceled artists -- including Alto Reed, the saxophonist in Bob Seger's Silver Bullet Band who's managed by TIGF, and area favorites such as the Howling Diablos, Jill Jack and Bear Lake.
The festival is being headlined by Sheryl Crow, the Raconteurs and Ronnie Dunn and also features the Rockets, Mitch Ryder, the Romantics, Jeff Daniel and 11 others.