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Mission Creek 2021 Returns With Digital "Duos"

The two-day event will celebrate music and literature in a digital format April 29 and 30.

Mission Creek Festival will return virtually on April 29 and 30 with Duos. The two-day event will celebrate music and literature by pairing writers and musicians in conversation following their performances. To ensure the safety of patrons, this year’s festival will be streamed through outer/most and will not include in-person events. Organizers hope for a full return to the in-person format in 2022.

“When we designed the Duos concept in Fall 2020, it was clear that we wouldn't be able to host an in-person festival event in Spring 2021. Duos emerged as an opportunity to celebrate independent voices in literature and music through the digital sphere. Regardless of platform, our mission inspires us to support artists near and far and to connect those artists with our fans and supporters,” said Andre Perry, Mission Creek Festival co-founder and Englert executive director.

The program and passes will be released to the public Thursday, March 25 at 12:30 p.m. CT with early bird specials running until midnight on April 4.

There are four attendance packages outlined by the festival.

  • Community Access - $20 ($15 until 4/5/21) + community digital access.
  • Fan Package - $40 ($30 until 4/5/21) - includes community access and a Mission Creek t-shirt.
  • Creak Freak Package - fan package and a commemorative poster, a Spring '21 edition of Fools Magazine, and a limited-edition Elizabeth Moen vinyl album. $105 ($85 until 4/5/21)
  • Supporter Package - Creak Freak package and a "Friends of the Englert" membership. $195 ($180 until 4/5/21)

Read more details on the festival's website.

About The Lineup

Japanese Breakfast - Be Sweet (Official Video)

Japanese Breakfast (she/her) knew that she wanted to call her new album Jubilee from the moment she started writing it. After all, a jubilee is a celebration of the passage of time—a festival to usher in the hope of a new era in brilliant technicolor. Zauner’s first two albums garnered acclaim for the way they grappled with anguish: "Psychopomp" was written as her mother underwent cancer treatment, while "Soft Sounds From Another Planet" took the grief she held from her mother‘s death and used it as a conduit to explore the cosmos. Now, at the start of a new decade, Japanese Breakfast is ready to fight for happiness, an all-too-scarce resource in our seemingly crumbling world.

SASAMI - Mess (Official Audio)

SASAMI (she/her) has been making music of every kind in Los Angeles for the last decade, from playing French horn in orchestras and studios to playing keys and guitar in local rock bands (Dirt Dress, Cherry Glazerr), and playing on albums by and doing arrangements for artists like Curtis Harding, Wild Nothing, and Vagabon. Sasami released her solo debut album, "SASAMI," in March 2019 on Domino Records, and NPR called it “impressive: finely crafted and introspective, elegant and bruised.” She has been named an Artist to Watch by the likes of Stereogum, The FADER, and The Guardian, and has toured supporting Mitski, Soccer Mommy, Snail Mail, and more.


Billy Dean Thomas (they/them), AKA “The Queer B.I.G” is a Hip-hop recording artist and producer born and raised in Harlem, but currently residing in Boston. Billy Dean challenges the music industry with quick-witted punchlines that highlight intersectional feminism, social justice and growing up in a gentrified city. Recently named one of NPR’s 2020 Slingshot Artists to Watch, Billy Dean Thomas has been described as a blend between “The Roots and Rage Against the Machine." After sharing their story on ABC’s The View they were nominated for four Boston Music awards and were recently featured as a songwriter for a grammy nominated album titled “The Love” by the Alphabet Rockers. They have been featured in the Boston Globe, WBUR, WGBH, and have performed at venues such as The House of Blues, Grand Point North Festival, The Brooklyn Museum, and Spotify. Brandon Taylor (he/him) is the author of the novel "Real Life," which was a New York Times Editors’ Choice and a finalist for the Booker Prize. Their work has appeared in Guernica, American Short Fiction, Gulf Coast, Buzzfeed Reader, O: The Oprah Magazine, Gay Mag, The New Yorker online, The Literary Review, and elsewhere. They hold graduate degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where they were an Iowa Arts Fellow.

Andrea Gibson - Homesick: A Plea For Our Planet (Official Video)

Andrea Gibson (they/them) is one of the most stirring and influential spoken word artists of our time. Best known for their live performances, in which they regularly sell out large capacity rock clubs and concert halls, Gibson has changed the landscape of what it means to attend a “poetry show” altogether. Gibson’s poems center around LGBTQ issues, gender, feminism, and mental health, as well as gun reform and the dismantling of oppressive social systems. Gibson is the author of six books, including "Lord of the Butterflies" (Button Poetry), which has sold over 25,000 copies worldwide, was the winner of the Independent Publisher’s Award in 2019, and was a Goodreads Choice Awards Finalist. In addition to their publishing accolades, Andrea has released seven full-length albums, combining their socially active spoken word with musical collaborations. They are the winner of the first-ever Women’s World Poetry Slam Championship (2008) and frequent World Poetry Slam Finalist.

Kiese Laymon: Heavy

Kiese Laymon (he/him) is a Black southern writer from Jackson, Mississippi. Laymon’s bestselling memoir, "Heavy: An American Memoir," won the 2019 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction, the 2018 Christopher Isherwood Prize for Autobiographical Prose, the Austen Riggs Erikson Prize for Excellence in Mental Health Media, and was named one of the 50 Best Memoirs of the Past 50 Years by The New York Times. Laymon is a Contributing Editor at Vanity Fair and Oxford American. A graduate of Oberlin College, he holds an MFA in creative writing from Indiana University. Laymon is at work on several new projects, including the long poem, "Good God," the horror novel, "And So On," the children’s book, "City Summer, Country Summer," and the film "Heavy: An American Memoir." He is the founder of “The Catherine Coleman Literary Arts and Justice Initiative,” a program aimed at getting Mississippi kids and their parents more comfortable reading, writing, revising, and sharing.