series. The popular concert and camping venue located just south of
Pentwater (two hours from Traverse City) is back after a long hiatus. The
16-week concert series kicked off in May with the return of Pop Evil, from
neighboring Ludington that has hit the big time, and concerts will
continue through the end of August.
We are excited to be back, said Ned Timmer, concert promoter who is
working with new owners Brian and Mary Lowing. Right now people are just
figuring out we are offering concerts once again.
This years line up includes everything from hip-hop to country with
plenty of classic rock in between. They will take a two-week-break around
the Fourth of July during the Muskegon Summer Festival and the Electric
Forest Festival (formally Rothbury) that traditionally offer several
national touring acts.
Val Du Lakes got its start in the early 70s and quickly found itself part
of the summer concert circuit, attracting the top touring acts in between
Detroit and Milwaukee or Chicago gigs. Such artists as Aerosmith,
Guns-n-Roses, Metallica, Bon Jovi and Stevie Ray Vaughan among others
graced the Val Du Lakes stage. By 1995 crowds had dwindled as new concert
venues started popping up in Grand Rapids; Val Du Lakes focused on camping
and recreational offerings and gave up on concerts.
Ned Timmer, who retired from a successful telecommunications career a few
years ago decided to start a second career around his passion for music.
He became a concert promoter.
I was running my own business and the similarities were there from
marketing, to planning to management, said Timmer. After paying off all
my debts I hired .38 Special to play a private party and it was awesome,
so I decided I wanted to become a concert promoter.
A GOOD FIT
Timmer connected with the Lowings a couple of years ago to partner with
them by taking on the concert end of the operation. The response has been
We are hearing from people that are saying they are so happy Val du Lakes
is back because of all the fond memories they had, said Timmer. But I
also heard people say that towards the end Val du Lakes was not a great
place to go. There were lots of issues but we have corrected those; we
kept the name but made all the improvements. We have a totally new venue.
Way back they were doing 10,000 plus and we have restructured the venue
to keep shows between 1,500 and 6,000 people. It is very gorgeous now.
People who havent been here in 20 years are going to be very impressed.
Val Du Lakes is also trying to be all things to all people. In addition to
the concert venue and camping facility it offers a full bar and
We had a very aggressive line-up last weekend. We held a hip hop festival
with 50 artists that went over huge, said Timmer. We are also offering
several free shows throughout the summer, some big names like The Tubes,
Starship, Toad The Wet Sprocket.
Timmer feels that Val du Lakes will become a concert destination and that
the current economy bodes well for what they have put forward.
Besides the free shows all the concerts are affordable; we have show
tickets starting at $10. I think with gas prices and the economy people
are looking for inexpensive getaways and see Val Du Lakes as that
opportunity. Plus with the camping aspect we create an environment to keep
people from drinking and driving.
WHERE ITS AT
Val du Lakes is located near the Silver Lake Sand Dunes and Lake Michigan
with several outdoor amenities in the region from kayaking to mountain
One of the first big shows of the summer was .38 Special and Molly Hatchet
a few weeks back. Timmer and Lowings are excited about the Classic 80s
rock weekend coming August 5-6.
We have Cheap Trick, Patty Smyth and Scandal along with Robin Zanders
son of Cheap Trick on Friday night, said Timmer. On Saturday we have Dr.
Hook at 3 pm doing his full show followed by Donny Iris and the Cruisers
along with Tom Cochrane and Red Rider with Meat Loaf closing out the
For additional information on Val Du Lakes check out www.valdulakes.com or
call them at (231) 425-8704 or (231) 873-4901. Theare located at 1573 N.
Wilson Road, in Silver Lake,MI.
Summer Concert Schedule:
Fri. Jun 24 EVE 6
Sat. Jun 25 THE GIN BLOSSOMS
Sat. Jul 16 BUCKCHERRY w/Loaded, Taddy Porter
Sat. Jul 23 BIG & RICH with
Fri. Jul 29 TOAD the WET SPROCKET
Sat. Jul 30 Bad Company
former singer Brian Howe
Fri. Aug 5 CHEAP TRICK
with Patty Smyth & Scandal
Sat. Aug 6 MEAT LOAF w/Dr. Hook
Fri. Aug 12 THRIVING IVORY
with The Vandrie
Sat. Aug 13 LIFEHOUSE
with THRIVING IVORY
Sat. Aug 20 PAT BENATAR AND
Fri. Aug 26 FEE WAYBILL and the TUBES