by Gina Myers

The 4th White's Bar Summer Music Fest A-G-Go takes place on Saturday, June 26. This year features music all day on two stages, food, fun, Yes, pro-wrestling. But music has always been the focus and it continues to be this year, with a combined total of 17 bands and acoustic acts that will create twelve hours of continuous music. Organizer Monte Nothelfer says, "Musical styles range from the big band, orchestral sounds of The BayTones to the high energy punk rock of Smiley Face, to the gypsy-lounge dance rock of Cincinnati's Buckra, to the indie rock of Detroit's Cougar the Tiger. All in all, there's something for every musical taste."

What began as more-or-less a Banana Convention show featuring some other bands, has grown considerably over the years. The first show was a fundraiser for The Banana Convention, who was about to embark on a west coast tour, but Nothelfer, who sings and plays percussion for The Banana Convention, decided to make the event more about the local music scene. "I do book bands that I like personally, but I don't book the whole show just for me. [This year] people were contacting me wanting to play the show, which shows that I've been doing something right the last few years. I actually had to turn bands down who wanted to play the show! A buzz has been created around it and now, rather than me have to almost beg our friends to play it, I have people coming to me because they know it's going to be a good time."

While the event still places a heavy emphasis on the local music scene, there will also be out of town and nationally touring acts performing this year. Through his travels with The Banana Convention, Nothelfer has been a lot of places, but he thinks Saginaw has a lot going for it. "I truly believe Saginaw has one of the best local music scenes around, and I want to showcase that. But I also want to expose Saginaw to other bands from outside the area, not to mention expose bands from outside the area to the Saginaw scene." In addition to local acts, there will be bands from Detroit, Cincinnati, Dayton, and Washington DC. Nothelfer explains, "The more out-of-area bands that come to Saginaw and see the community we've developed around our music and how supportive they are of everybody, hopefully the better the buzz that travels back with them, and they will tell everybody what a great place Saginaw is to play." 

New to this year's Summer Music Fest is the acoustic stage. Acts will be playing acoustic sets on the stage inside White's Bar, while the bands will rock out on the main stage in the parking lot. Also new this year, wrestlers from PPW Pro-Wrestling will provide some between-band entertainment outdoors with a number of grudge matches. Although the Summer Music Fest is still in its infancy, Nothelfer sees great potential for it. "One of my favorite things about it is the fact that it's becoming something that people are starting to look forward to every summer...Who knows, maybe in another four or five years, it'll be the size of DirtFest."

White's Summer Music Fest A-Go-Go is on Saturday, June 26, from 2 pm to 2 am and takes place rain or shine. Admission is $5 and tickets can be bought in advance or at the door. For more information and to see a complete list of scheduled acts, visit

© Gina Myers, 2010