Red Sky Stage LLC

445 East Mitchell Street

Petoskey, MI 49770

Phone: (231)487-0000


Red Sky Stage is a coffee house style performing arts venue in Downtown Petoskey’s Gaslight District featuring live music, poetry, comedy, drama, painting, and other arts.

Featured Art

High Banks - Indian River

Original oil by Rick Kolb

Schedule of Coming Events

Lee Dyer of Kellerville Entertaining the Red Sky Stage Audience

Our schedule is filling up with exciting performances including a variety of musical styles, plays, poetry, benefit concerts, more jam sessions and much more!  Become a part of our growing audience as we increase the entertainment options in Downtown Petoskey and bring more local, regional and national talent to our stage




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Monthly Events

Every Sunday 1:00 to 4:00 pm   Blissfest Jam Session  -- Yes, this is the same event that was formerly at the Grain Train. So bring your guitar, banjo, fiddle, mandolin, harmonica, kazoo, washboard, penny whistle or what ever you play. You don't play an instrument? Come anyway and listen in awe or sing along.  We encourage musicians of all skill levels to attend this friendly and informal opportunity to play together.




The First Monday Every Month 6:00 pm  Petoskey Poets --  Red Sky Stage  offers an open mic for poetry, prose and stories.  Join in the fun every month.  So far, lots of poets have attended and gotten the courage to get up on stage and read their work in front of a very supportive audience of fellow poets.  Write something, bring your creation along and join the fun!




The First Saturday Every Month Blissfest Old Time Country Dance Series

The Blissfest Music Organization's Country Dance Series takes place on the new one thousand square foot dance floor of Red Sky Stage throughout the fall and winter.  This great way to experience an evening of old-time fun for the whole family is now a regular once a month feature on our entertainment schedule. 

The old time square dancing features a live band and a caller.  All dances will be taught.

Admission:  $3/person, $5/couple or $7/family.  Children are welcome. 


The Second and Fourth Monday Every Month 

Blissfest Ukes for You Club

7-9 pm, Uke Jam

The goal of the club is to bring together adults and families who are interested in learning the ukulele and want to play and sing songs with others.  All levels are encouraged to attend.   Blissfest has a number of baritone ukuleles available for members to use if they do not have an instrument already.  If you have a soprano or baritone ukulele, please bring it with you.

  No Admission.  Refreshments available.





Final Friday of Every* Month 7:30-10:30 Up North Big Band

Dance Lesson 6:30

Northern Michigan's premier concert and dance big band presents a night of music and 30's and 40's Swing and Big Band Dancing dancing offering tight ensemble playing combined with exceptional solo features and live vocals.

*  There are some irregularities in the schedule so be sure to check the individual monthly listings. 

Admission: Adults $10, Students $5.

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December 2017

Friday December 1, 6-9 PM  Downtown Petoskey Holiday Open House

Join Red Sky Stage, Northern Michigan Artists Market and all the other merchants of Downtown Petoskey for the Holiday Open House, the region's premier holiday season event!

The Holiday Open House begins with an appearance by Santa Claus, who flies in to town to light the giant Christmas tree in Pennsylvania Park!  After the tree lighting Santa will sit in the Gazebo and listen to children's holiday wishes.

The Mitchell Street Sax Quartet (the Sax section of the Up North Big Band) will be performing free of charge at Red Sky Stage during the open house.

This is the night when the streets close down and the merchants open their doors to offer warm holiday greetings and hospitality. The streets are filled with merry entertainment!  Come Downtown and enjoy the smiling faces and Christmas fun with your family with this evening that is a holiday tradition on the first Friday in December every year!


Saturday December 2, 7:30 - 10PM Blissfest Saturday Night Community Dance

We have a new name but it is the same wonderful family fun monthly dance we have had for years.  Formerly called the Country Dance, this community event is a great way to experience an evening of old-time fun with dancing, roots music and good time family entertainment. All dances are taught and there is a live band and caller. No special skills, clothes or shoes required.  The Blissfest Music Organization and Red Sky Stage  present this monthly series as part of our commitment to sharing cultural heritage and providing a great way to socialize like folks used to do.

This month, the band will be Harbor HoeDown and the caller will be Larry Dyer

Admission $3/person, $5/couple or $7/family.  Children are welcome.



Sunday, December 3, 7pm  Petoskey Improv Troupe (the PIT)

Live Comedy for Downtown Petoskey

They are back to continue their highly popular run of monthly performances at Red Sky Stage as the uniquely Petoskey comedy show. 

Dean Tahtinen and Sally McCoy (from Laugh and Disorder, Petoskey's long standing improv troupe that performed from 2004 through 2009 at the City Park Grill, Blissfest and the Perry Hotel), Julie Stoppel (who taught improv performance to dozens of school kids through her group Acting Up),  Carol Balouse . (one of those kids parents), Mara Klco (creator of the Dread Pirate Improv Troupe with her high school classmates) and  friendly newbie  Aaron Steppe.

Petoskey now officially has its own improv comedy troupe!  Of course it is  home grown and home style comedy created just for Petoskey.  And of course, in true Petoskey comic fashion, they call themselves the PIT -- the Petoskey Improv Troupe.

Don't miss the Petoskey Improv Troupe's next performance at Petoskey's perfect place for family friendly comedy.

Tickets:  $10 in advance at the Northern Michigan Artists Market, (231) 487-0000 or online at My North Tickets (click the Buy Tickets Now link). Tickets are available at the door the night of the show for $15, students $8, Kids 12 and under  $5.     


Monday, December 4,  6 pm  Petoskey Poets

Join our very supportive poetry reading group, hosted and organized by  Dar Charlebois on the first  Monday of every month.  Bring something you wrote, a poem , a story, a skit or anything else original and creative.  Get up in front of the group and receive thunderous applause.  Not ready for that yet?  Just show up and get inspired by the other talented writers.  Had fun?  Come back next month with something to read.  We are building a talented, creative, fun-loving and supportive collection of folks.  As we gain experience and confidence, we will work on other opportunities and a growing variety of ways to explore creative writing and reading.

Admission Free, Snacks available.




Monday, December 4 and every Monday, 7-10 pm  Fun Blues Harmonica Class

Instructor:  Steve August

It may be a tiny instrument but the Blues Harmonica is BIG on sound and style!  Practice the basic moves and patterns that bring your harmonica to life, including sweet single note melodies, foot tapping rhythms, blues scales and riffs and bending note secrets.  Get an intro to major harmonica players and their styles, from the early originators to the contemporary players.  Small class size insures that you get lots of individual attention.  No prior musical experience is needed.  Any harmonica in the key of "C" is acceptable for class.  Open to ALL harmonica players from raw beginner to legendary bluesman. 

Cost for six sessions, $145.  For more information or to register, call Steve August at  231-838-6419.  Email 


Friday December 8, 7 pm  Folk for Food

Singer/Songwriter Dennis Palmer

Benefit for Manna Food Project

Blissfest Folk and Roots Mini-Concert Series

Dennis Palmer obtained his “15 minutes of fame” in 1988 by winning a National songwriting contest for the song Bird of Prey. With his CD Still Waters, which was released in 1999, Dennis has shown his eclectic side with 10 original songs ranging from Acoustic Blues to Contemporary Folk. His song Life's Highway was also included on the Northern Michigan Songwriters  compilation CD Risin' Shine. On his latest CD Dennis has arranged a combination of Instrumental and Lyrical Songs to paint an Acoustic Landscape which is "Upland". Dennis continues to pursue the craft of songwriting while living in Leelanau County Michigan.

The Manna Food Project, a local non-profit organization established in 1987, helps feed the hungry throughout Northern Michigan.  Manna is funded entirely through donations from individuals, the generosity of local community groups and the food distribution operation.  Dennis is donating all of his proceeds from this concert to help Manna help feed hungry people in Northern Michigan.

Tickets:  $10 in advance at the Northern Michigan Artists Market, (231) 487-0000 or online at My North Tickets (click the Buy Tickets Now link). Tickets are available at the door the night of the show for $15, students $8, Kids 12 and under  $5.    



Monday, December 11,  7-9 pm   Blissfest Ukes for You Club


This group of Ukulele enthusiasts meets the 2nd and 4th Monday of every month at Red Sky Stage to learn,  play  and  discuss ukuleles.  The goal of the club is to bring together adults and families who are interested in learning the ukulele and want to play and sing songs with others.  All levels are encouraged to attend.  

Blissfest has a number of baritone ukuleles available for members to use if they do not have an instrument already.  If you have a soprano or baritone ukulele, please bring it with you.

Admission free.  Snacks available. 


Tuesday, December 12, Hanukkah Starts


Friday, December 15, 7 PM  Rivertown Jazz Band

1890-1940 Vintage Jazz

Blissfest Folk and Roots Mini-Concert Series

*** Postponed ***

Unfortunately this event must be rescheduled due to the illness of one of the band members.  Tickets already purchased may be held and used at the rescheduled concert or may be returned for a refund.  The new date will be announced as soon as it is scheduled.


We welcome The Rivertown Vintage Jazz Band to our stage for the first time and invite you to listen to their music or better, to dance to it on our big dance floor.

The Rivertown Vintage Jazz Band is a group of like-minded individuals dedicated to the performance and preservation of New Orleans style, vintage jazz. Their repertoire of this timeless music ranges from the late 1800’s through the 1940’s. Sharing a passion for this music is what brings them together from all over Northern Michigan.

Lately, there has been resurgence in this music, also known as Trad Jazz. Originating in New Orleans, it was also known as Hot Jazz. In most of the major cities today, you can find young musicians playing this vintage music with passion and fire, attracting listeners and dancers alike. The below musicians have been performing this music since the 60’s and bring a lot of skill and excitement to their performances.

Doug Houseworth (Alanson): Trumpet/valve trombone & vocals. Growing up at the knee of his Ragtime Grandma, he developed a love of the lively Ragtime rhythms and syncopations of Traditional Jazz. He studied music at MSU, and has been part of a number of big bands and small combos in Northern Michigan. Both Doug and Susan have been members of many instrumental and choral groups.

Susan Houseworth (Alanson): Banjo and vocals. She began performing music in high school as part of a folk trio. Noted for her impeccable ear and stylized vocals, it was an easy transition for her to join husband Doug’s Rivertown Jazz Band. Her rock steady banjo playing lays down a great foundation.

Jim LaCross (Alpena): Clarinet/soprano/tenor saxophone. Jim studied jazz at Berklee School of Music in Boston. He later toured the country doing USO shows. While stationed at Fort Knox, KY., Jim was part of an R & B group. Jim played for over 20 years in the Petoskey/Charlevoix area in a variety of venues. He is equally at home playing clarinet in a Traditional Jazz setting, or as a big band vocalist doing Sinatra standards. He offers a special treat for listeners with his impersonations of Louis Armstrong, singing jazz classics. Jim is always a crowd pleaser.

Eric Dunckel (Harrisville): Upright Bass. Eric grew up in Ossineke, Michigan; after high school he worked his way out to the Pacific Northwest where he became a commercial fisherman, married the love of his life and obtained a musical education. Returning to his roots, he bought a farm in Alcona County in 1994, where he raised two daughters with his wife Kathleen and opened a cabinet shop. A chance meeting with a lovely old Kay Upright Bass re-ignited Eric’s Muse, and he’s been playing the low notes ever since.

Tickets:  $10 in advance at the Northern Michigan Artists Market, (231) 487-0000 or online at My North Tickets (click the Buy Tickets Now link). Tickets are available at the door the night of the show for $15, students $8, Kids 12 and under  $5.   



Saturday, December 16  Special Holiday Hip Hop Event

Details TBA


Thursday, December 21, Winter Begins


Monday, December 25  Christmas


Tuesday, December 26 Kwanzaa begins

Saturday, December 30 7pm Breathe Owl Breathe and Seth Bernard

This will  be an amazing of a concert.  These performers with great local roots team up for one fantastic show on New Years weekend.  Lyricist and guitarist Micah Middaugh  and percussionist/multi-instrumentalist Trevor Hobbs of Breathe Owl Breathe return to our stage for a special performance.  Their show last winter here was a big hit and we are thrilled to have them back The music of Breathe Owl Breathe has always been steeped in magic. Their songs occupy the hazy space between wakefulness and dreaming, where the tangible world meets the transcendental. 

This pair of friends began making music a decade ago in a remote cabin tucked away in a Northern Michigan river valley. There, by the heat of a wood stove, they became Breathe Owl Breathe and honed their sound—a wild rumpus of harmony and rhythm. Breathe Owl Breathe's flare for pop-addled melodies flips the contemporary folk aesthetic, eschewing freakiness in favor of charm. It’s a dynamic built on coupling clever arrangements with lyrical whimsy.Despite the growth and experience that they have gained along the way, recording five albums, releasing a children's book and logging several cross-country tours, the band's sound is still rooted in the mysticism, warmth and wide-eyed wonder that imbued their earliest songs. Their visual art plays an equally prominent role. Micah is a visual artist and printmaker, and is largely responsible for the band's aesthetic; child-like, timeless and whimsical.

Seth Bernard will make his Red Sky Stage debut in this concert. 

Born and raised on Earthwork Farm in rural Northern Michigan, Seth Bernard is a local musical treasure. He was brought up in the folk and farmstead culture with an enriching integrative experience of the arts, agriculture, and community. In 2001, Seth founded Earthwork Music, a Michigan-based collective of independent musicians who focus their efforts on environmental advocacy, social justice, creative empowerment and community building. Seth is on staff at Interlochen Arts Academy for the summer high school singer songwriter program and presents assemblies at schools across Michigan through On Stage 4 Kids.

Seth has traversed the many worlds of music collecting hints of jazz, blues, traditional folk, straight up rock and even old spirituals, carving a unique place for himself in the Americana music of today. His lyrics are compassionate, truthful, loving and hilarious, touching on everything from the beauty and irony of living on earth as humans, to the troubles of the world and the journeys we take through time and understanding. His sound is rusty and refined, his playing thoughtful and powerful, sung with potent heart-felt honesty. He is a prolific songwriter, a pragmatic performer, a multiple Jammie award-winning recording artist and producer. He was educated at Lake City Schools, Interlochen Arts Academy, and the University of Michigan and though he did not graduate from the latter, he has returned as a visiting instructor and performer on multiple occasions.

Tickets:  $15 in advance at the Northern Michigan Artists Market, (231) 487-0000 or online at My North Tickets (click the Buy Tickets Now link). Tickets are available at the door the night of the show for $15, students $8, Kids 12 and under  $5.        





Sunday, December 31  New Years Eve

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