Castle Farms Music Theater

Music Theater and Community

Last month we learned about Arthur and Erwina Reibel’s vision for the property after purchasing it from John VanHaver.

It soon turned into a premier music venue for rock concerts. For two decades, well known acts such as Tina Turner, Metallica, The Beach Boys, and Stevie Nicks performed before crowds numbering up to seventeen thousand people. Rock fans could not be more thrilled to have a venue so close, rather than having to trek five hours south to Detroit or other far-away venues to hear their favorite groups.

The problem was that others weren’t so thrilled. The Castle was often cited for health complaints, noise violations, litter, violation of local zoning ordinances, and many Charlevoix residents weren’t happy with the high decibel castle. Since the late 1800s, the quiet little town had gained a reputation as an exclusive summer resort community that catered to the best of families; now Charlevoix was becoming known for huge traffic jams and a sex-drugs-and-rock’n-roll atmosphere that seemed to invite trouble to the area.

Oftentimes, concert goers would end up drunk, stoned and fighting in public so local police were frequent visitors to The Castle. The community was relieved when the last concert was performed in the early 1990s but sadly, the death of the music seemed to also bring a death claim to the buildings. The Castle fell into a state of disrepair again. Extensive roof and foundation damage occurred during the years of neglect.

Arthur Reibel passed away in 1999, putting the land and buildings up for sale once again…

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