Big Artists Are Bringing Big Business to Lansing

Common Ground Music Festival uses its diversity to drive economic opportunities to the region

Common Ground is set to return to Adado Riverfront Park in downtown Lansing from July 6 -9. While the festival’s typically week-long engagement has been shorted to four days, there’s no shortage of big names set to hit the stage. This year’s roster includes country superstar Toby Keith, Michigan hip-hop icon Big Sean, rock alumni Shinedown and many more.

This year’s festivities were strategically planned to avoid clashing with the July 4 holiday, as it has in past years. A change made in hopes of drawing bigger crowds is surely set to do just that, as the shortened timeline has allowed planners to book one of the biggest rosters yet. Around 30 different acts are set to perform on two stages, sponsored by Auto Value and Sparrow respectively.

This year’s festival, like those in the past, is a catch-all in terms of genre, size and style. Ranging from the mega stars like Toby Keith and Big Sean to some of the brightest young names in music such as breakthrough artist Alessia Cara and indie standout AJR, there’s something for everyone.

Music festivals continue to be a driving economic force, supplying part-time positions to thousands each year in the form of stage hands, vendor tents, coordinators, security, first aid, planners, custodians and more. The influx of variety coming to the area will bring crowds to neighboring shops, restaurants and hotels who are sure to feel the impact of the long weekend of events. Many major music festivals, notably Coachella, cite that the profits of area businesses rise by roughly 20 to 50 percent during their festival run. Local organizations are sure to feel a similar impact this season when artists take the stage.

One of the crowning aspects of Common Ground is its inclusiveness. The name says it all – it’s a space that brings people from many divergent backgrounds together by placing them on the same level despite culture, economic and social background. The most important thing left behind is that all attendees have in common the good times to be had. To match this inclusive strategy is the attainable price point that is masterfully maintained with each iteration. At less than $100 for the entire weekend, unless you purchase your tickets at the last minute, the event is a steal for anyone on a tight budget. Alone, performing acts such as Big Sean and Keith can usually request anywhere from $100-$150, and sometimes even higher, for show tickets. Combining these acts with others for that singular price is often a no-brainer for residents who want to get out, hear some great music and not have to worry about the financial strain concerts and other major festivals typically yield.

Last year’s festival saw nearly 45,000 attendees across six days. Each year the festival receives city funding based on the given year’s fiscal budget, which is essentially a reinvestment into the local economy. Through sponsorships and partnerships, the festival continues to bring members of the community face-to-face with local brands to create exciting new relationships. Since its genesis, the festival has created an economic impact of nearly $60 million. 

Tickets for this year’s festival can be purchased individually by day or for the entire weekend. Single-day tickets range from $20-$70, while multi-day passes top out at $99. See a full lineup of performers, purchase ticket and begin planning your trip to the 2017 Common Ground Music Festival at



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