Adam Marks

Nershfest 2017

Client: Nershfest, Inbound Brewco, Minnesota Music Coalition
Deliverables: public event, digital, promotional, social, email
Role: organizer, creative direction, design, strategy


The Story
I started Nershfest with two friends in 2012. In it's first form, the event was more or less a glorified house party with a Spotify playlist. Now only five years later, Nershfest is the fastest growing music festival in the Twin Cities. We've seen dramatic grass roots growth over that time, and are continually amazed at the positive response by both patrons and participants. The festival was first inspired by revered bluegrass guitarist, Bill Nershi and his legendary performance at Papa Charlie's bar in Lutsen, MN in the Spring of 2012. In 2015 we started a partnership with the Minnesota Music Coalition, helping to support and connect the Twin Cities' creative community of independent musicians. Since then Nershfest have raised nearly $50,000 for the nonprofit.

Since starting the festival in 2012, I have been responsible for branding the event and designing a fresh and new identity each year to help set the tone and mindset for the coming Nershfest. This includes our website, posters, social, t-shirts, swag and our monthly "eNershletters". I also work with Sam Gondeck and Griffin Roer (co creators) in booking bands, finding sponsors, working with venues and locking down food trucks and vendors. Together, the three of us have a hand in everything that goes into planning and executing a public event of this size. That said, we don't take home a dime. We see Nershfest as an ROI, ensuring a healthy future for the Twin Cities' music we get to throw this kick-ass party for our friends and family.

6 years later
In 2018 we welcomed over 2500 patrons to Nershfest at Inbound Brewco in the North Loop neighborhood of Minneapolis. The event featured local artists General B & The Wiz, Hustle Rose, Come Together and Black River Revue. The combination of incredible talent, a capable venue, supportive sponsorships and delicious beer and food trucks made 2018 the most robust and fun Nershfest to date. We'll see you there next summer!


"Nonsense and beauty have close connections."

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