Cannabash Festival 2023 at Softball World in Muskegon, MI

The second annual Cannabash Festival took place at Softball World in Muskegon, Michigan, drawing main stage acts Ludacris, Sada Baby, Rehab, RBL Posse, and Foesum.

For most of the year, Softball World in Muskegon, Michigan, is just an array of softball fields hosting leagues and tournaments. One weekend per year, the four softball fields make up the venue for Cannabash Festival. Cannabash is a, now annual, cannabis festival with open smoking allowed, dispensaries, cultivators, and a wide assortment of food vendors on site. The event is restricted to those 21 and over but that did not stop a large crowd from showing up to soak up some sun while enjoying some amazing live music in the smoky atmosphere.

For the event, there were two stages, a main stage and a local artist stage. There were a wide variety of artist genres including hip-hop, rap, and blues just to name a few. When festival-goers arrived at the festival grounds, they were greeted by music from DJ Jodi Dro. Sharing the stage with DJ Jodi Dro on the main stage between artists was also DJ Prim. In addition to both DJs, there was also entertainment throughout the day from MC Willy J Peso, who was hyping up the crowd, handing out free samples from the dispensaries, and hosting the 420 Ceremony right at 4:20 pm.

The local artist stage was going strong all day with acts starting a bit earlier than the main stage. Local artists included Mike Dubs with Chxtta Zoomin, both from Red Cliff, Wisconsin, Mells B, a rapper from Detroit, Michigan, Outlaw Country rapper Blake Banks from Davenport, Iowa, Americana rockers, Hunter Root, from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and others.

Long Beach native hip-hop group, Foesum, was the first act to play on the main stage. The three-member group greeted the crowd at 2 pm, just as the vibes of the event were starting. The two MCs, T-Dubb and MNMsta, kept the raps flowing while DJ Glaze took alternating roles as both the DJ and as a third MC for some songs. When the set started, there were rain clouds overhead with a light mist but by the end of the set the sun was out and the field had a larger crowd. Overall, their sound made for a great way to start out the day.

The next act on the main stage was the San Francisco group RBL Posse, short for Ruthless By Law Posse. When they took the stage, all signs of the earlier rain were long gone and the field was filling up. The artists on stage included long-time RBL members Black C and DFolks. Stunnaman02, Alias Anonymous, and DJ Jodi Dro also joined them on stage to make for an entertaining stage show to go along with the good beats.

The third act on the main stage was the southern hip-hop group Rehab from Warner Robins, Georgia. While they were a contrast to the musicians before them, the crowd really seemed to enjoy the vibe of the show that mixed rap metal, southern hip-hop, and country rap. They also brought a mix of instruments including electric and acoustic guitars, a DJ mixer, drums, and a bass. The group members on stage for the festival were singer Danny “Boone” Alexander, guitar player Sebastian LaBar, bassist Brandon Dover, drummer Ian Corabi, and DJ Austin “Dj Uh-Oh” Sanderson.

After an extended break for the 4:20 PM celebrations, Detroit’s Sada Baby was the next artist to take the main stage. He was joined by DJ Midnite and friends. Just 10 years into his rap career, Sada Baby has made a huge impression in the current hip-hop scene. His on-stage presence is only matched by his fun-loving off-stage presence. From the moment his set started, the crowd came alive and it was official, there was a party going down in Muskegon.

After a quick changeover it was time for the headliner, Ludacris. He started the set with fan favorite, “Welcome to Atlanta.” Anyone who was not already in the field for the set quickly made their way to see the performance from the hip-hop legend. He interacted with the crowd throughout the set and gave several shout-outs to his long-time touring partner, DJ Infamous. As he worked through the set, he included several old-school classics such as “Area Codes,” “Number One Spot,” “Act a Fool,” and “What’s Your Fantasy.” He also included several covers including Taio Cruz’s “Break Your Heart,” but the song that had the whole crowd, stage, and side stage dancing and singing their hearts out was the cover of Justin Bieber’s “Baby.” He took a brief break and let DJ Infamous spin several songs before returning and closing out with a six-song encore including iconic songs like “Move B*tch” and “Get Back.”

The festival saw a huge increase in attendance over the inaugural year, increasing from 8,000 attendees for the first year to an estimated 12,000 attendees for the 2023 edition. This increase in sales and enthusiasm for the festival should leave both organizers and attendees excited for the 2024 edition!

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About Jessica Trail 27 Articles
Jessica is based in Hamtramck, MI. She is an engineer who is also passionate about photography and live music. When she is not researching new shows and festivals to attend she enjoys playing with her dog and rooting for her favorite sports teams.