It’s with a heavy heart that we send this issue to press. In the final hours of our deadline, sad news reached The Marquee offices that “Michigan Mike” Torpie, who for 14 years ran NedFest, passed away on Thanksgiving Day.
I didn’t know Mike well. We weren’t buds who called each other regularly, but we did work together for the last nine years, collaborating on coverage for his festival.
In those brief times with him, I felt the passion of a man who had bucked the system, gone against the grain, and still managed to keep his dream of an independent festival alive — a damn tough struggle in this day and age, but one that Mike seemed like he was winning, especially considering that this year brought an original member of the Grateful Dead into the fold. That had been a dream of his since he started the festival, and we’re glad that he got to see it happen.
Mike wasn’t without his faults (who among us is) but we wish now that he’s at peace, and we really hope that one of his friends can come to the forefront and carry on the legacy that Mike tried so desperately to keep going all these years.
RIP Mike. We hope Mountain Girl (Mike’s old dog who passed a couple of years ago) is again at your side.
See you at the shows.