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New at 10KLF this year

With over 50 bands set to perform on four stages, the sixth annual 10,000 Lakes Festival -- also known as 10KLF -- is shaping up to be one of the summer's hottest tickets.

DETROIT LAKES - Scheduled for July 23-26 at Detroit Lakes' Soo Pass Ranch, the 2008 lineup will feature the 10KLF debut of Oklahoma's premiere alternative rock bands, The Flaming Lips. Heralded as one of the strongest instrumental bands in the alternative rock category, the Flaming Lips have won multiple Grammy Awards for their instrumental virtuosity.

Dave Weissman, who serves as publicity and marketing director for the festival, says he has seen the Flaming Lips perform, and promises that they will "bring a performance like no other."

"They are very theatrical, very visual," he said, noting that the band has built up an impressive reputation in its two decades of existence. "They're an amazing band."

The Lips will take the stage on Friday night, July 25, at 10 p.m.

The legendary George Clinton and Parliament Funkedelic will also make their 10KLF debut this year, on Thursday, July 24 at 11:30 p.m.

It was 1956 when 15-year-old George Clinton formed the New Jersey doo wop group that morphed into Motown's The Parliaments in the sixties, Funkedelic in the Vietnam era, and eventually to Parliament Funkadelic, and then P Funk with the addition of superstars Bootsy Collins and Maceo Parker, among others.

Also new to the lineup this year is Michael Franti & Spearhead.

"It's kind of reggae-influenced rock," said Weissman of the group's musical style. But it's rock with a message, he added. "He (Franti) has been to all these warn-torn countries --Iraq, the West Bank and so forth -- armed with only his guitar, in an attempt to instill peace. There's very much a message in his music."

The group performs Thursday, July 24.

Also in the lineup this year will be both a Grateful Dead tribute band known as the Dark Star Orchestra -- and a couple of former members of the Grateful Dead.

"The DSO tries to re-create the Grateful Dead stage shows in their entirety," said Weissman.

Meanwhile, Mickey Hart, one of the founding members of the Grateful Dead, will be bringing his current band -- which features a "star-studded" lineup -- to the festival for the first time this year.

The Mickey Hart Band features Steve Kimock on guitar and George Porter, Jr., former bassist with New Orleans' seminal funk band, the Meters, among others.

Returning to the festival this year will be former Grateful Dead guitarist Phil Lesh, whose all-star lineup of band members changes from year to year.

The Dark Star Orchestra performs Wednesday, July 23 at 11 p.m., while the Mickey Hart Band performs Thursday, July 24 at 6 p.m. Phil Lesh & Friends will take the stage on Saturday, July 26 at 8 p.m.

In all, the 2008 version of the 10,000 Lakes Festival will feature over 50 bands on four stages -- one indoor, three outdoor -- in genres ranging from rock and jazz, to funk, blues and bluegrass.

"We're just all over the place in terms of genres," Weissman said, referring to the festival's "mission" of providing limitless music.

But in addition to the wide variety of music, one of the things 10KLF has become known for is its emphasis on caring for the environment.

The We B Green on-site recycling and composting program has been expanded this year, Weissman said. Grant funding has allowed the festival to introduce new recycling and composting stations in each campground, coupled with an increased focus on curbside recycling and sound source reduction practices including reusable event mugs for all beverages, all aimed toward the eventual goal of achieving a "neutral carbon footprint."

The Soo Pass Ranch provides the perfect setting for a musical celebration of this nature, including spacious campgrounds with multiple entrances for easy access. Camping amenities include permanent shower houses, 24 hour medical and security services, and daily trash and recycling collection.

These campgrounds are well-groomed and lit, with easy access to the stages via underground pedestrian walkways.

Though tickets will be available on-site, Weissman said, those planning to attend might want to take advantage of a substantial discount for early purchase.

"Tickets are at their least expensive right now," he said. "People can save at least $20-$25 over the gate price if they purchase them in the next week or two."

For information regarding tickets or camping permits please call the 10KLF ticket office at 1-800-493-3378, or visit the Web site at

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454