Wilco Upset After Homegrown Rejection!

Paul Whyte

Every year for the last 19 years the Duluth-Superior Homegrown Music Festival has celebrated Twin Ports area bands. In 2010 Wilco was declared an “honorary Duluth band” by former Mayor Don Ness. This year Wilco decided to make good on their honorary Duluth band status and applied to play the festival as every band does. Unfortunately, the band was turned down, and now their feelings are hurt. 

“It’s not fair,” said singer Jeff Tweedy. “Don said we’re a Duluth band and this is just disappointing.” The Grammy Award winning band has taken to social media to express how upset they are about not being allowed to play the festival. “We were called an honorary Duluth band, and we expect to be treated as such. If they let that guy Rick McLean play, we should be able to as well!,” said Wilco in an internet post. The backlash has spread to other bands insisting that they too should be able to play the festival. “U2 is the best rock band ever. If they don’t let us play, we’ll have our own show and play every night for a week in…where is this place? Oh yeah, Duluth will be U2 crazy for that whole week. We’ll play for half of what that festival costs per ticket! Wait, how much is the festival? Really? How are we supposed to play for that? We, um, might do that,” said Bono, front man of the Irish rock band U2. 

Festival director Melissa La Tour responded to the band’s rejection. “While we all appreciate Wilco, they’re from Chicago and it would detract from the local artists to have them play. On top of that, there’s no way for Homegrown to pay for their ridiculous rider. All bands get paid the same and there’s no way we’re giving the band 200 brats with relish on 100 of them and onions on the other 100. There’s also no way we’re going to close down Superior Street so they can have a parade held in their honor. Also, their request to headline at the Kom-on-Inn was a little strange,” said La Tour. 

The band has threatened to not play any more encores when in Duluth if they can’t at least get a decent slot at Thirsty Pagan and extra drink tickets. 


Paul Whyte

A South Shore native and University of Wisconsin-Superior journalism graduate. Lifelong musician, and former open mic host. Passionate about the music scene and politics.

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