Duluth’s Homegrown Music Festival had humble beginnings. According to local lore, Scott “DJ Starfire” Lunt decided over a game of cribbage that he wanted to throw a raging birthday party to outdo his 30th. Two years later in 1999, the first annual Homegrown saw 10 bands play in the now-defunct NorShor Theater. Since that inaugural year, the music festival has grown to 167 bands in over 30 venues across Duluth. It has grown from one rocking birthday party to a staple for all Northland music fans. The Homegrown Chicken, the festival’s official mascot, has grown in popularity alongside the festival. Cord Dada drew the first two chickens, first in 1999 for that year’s poster and again in 2000. Dada described it is as a cocky chicken, defending its brood — representative of the festival’s attitude. Chris Monroe drew the next series of chickens beginning in Homegrown’s third year. Monroe injected her own style into the mascot; she wanted to give a more edgy, “degenerate” look. Since these two chicken pioneers, countless local artists have tried their hand at the farm animal.
Although the founders never thought the chicken would become the brand of Homegrown, the iconic mascot has come to represent the annual citywide party. I mean, the chicken has almost 4,000 Facebook friends!
Listen to our audio story featuring the original chicken artists and view our slideshow to witness the evolution of Duluth’s favorite fowl.
(By the way, Chris Monroe did the cover art for Sparhawk's Mix)
Here's what else you can see/hear on Sunday:
- 5 p.m. | Opening reception for Homegrown: Visual Arts Edition art exhibit
- 6 p.m. | Tim Kaiser
- 7 p.m. | Homegrown Hempen Ale Cask Release
- 8 p.m. | Mayor’s Proclamation
- 9:30 p.m. | The Underwriters
- 10:30 p.m. | Bradical Boombox
- 11:30 p.m. | The Brothers Burn Mountain