For the most part, music lovers will have to enjoy Duluth's Homegrown festival from home this year.

"We hate being so lame, but we don't want to kill anyone," organizers sheepishly explain in the handy Duluth Homegrown Field Guide.

The popular music and arts festival — whose 22nd year kicks off Sunday — was sidelined altogether in 2020 by COVID-19, and now it's returning as an almost entirely virtual event.

However, some "unofficial" in-person events have been emerging. Foremost is Homegrown pioneer Scott "Starfire" Lunt's outdoor birthday concert series with Black Eyed Snakes, Charlie Parr, Lanue, Father Hennepin and more starting Wednesday at Earth Rider Brewery in neighboring twin port Superior, Wis.

"There are other unofficial things that are popping up daily," fest director Melissa La Tour said. "People are encouraged to check in regularly."

The official online schedule:

Sunday: Children's music (noon), mayor's reception (4 p.m.), MN Music Summit showcase (7 p.m.) and kickoff to a scavenger hunt, which requires virtual proof of such important tasks as picking up garbage and shotgunning a beer.

Monday: Poetry showcase (7 p.m.).

Tuesday: Crunchy Bunch / Embassy DJs (8 p.m.), music video showcase (7 p.m.).

Wednesday: Homegrown on YouTube with performances by Teague Alexy, Torment, Amy Abts, the Duluth Dolls and more (7 p.m.).

Next Saturday: Duluth Symphony Orchestra's "From Beethoven to Milhaud" (6 p.m.).

Info:, where donations can also be made in lieu of the nonprofit festival's usual $30 pass.

Chris Riemenschneider