10 essential festivals this summer
Summer weekends are tailor made for festivalgoing. Here’s a Top 10 list — in no particular order — of The Detroit News entertainment staff’s suggestions.
Of course, Metro Detroit has dozens of festivals to choose from, so stick with us throughout the summer as we continue to showcase them.
Craftcom : Part beer festival and part comic convention, this new event also throws food trucks, live music, robots and costumes into the mix. If you decide to come dressed as your favorite super hero or other pop culture figure, don’t hold back, there’s a contest for best-dressed. 5-11 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday. Free. Downtown Clawson. craftcomfestival.com
Art in the Park: Downtown Plymouth’s charms are on display for this three-day art festival with over 400 artists and is billed as Michigan’s second-largest art fair, now in its 38th year. 11 a.m.-8 p.m. July 7, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. July 8 and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. July 9. Central Plymouth. artinthepark.com
Ann Arbor Art Fair: The big chimichanga of the state’s summer art festivals offers four days of high art, cute crafts and unparalleled people-watching on 29 blocks throughout the City of Trees. Over 1,000 artists will take part, and conservative estimates project at least 400,000 visitors. The 58th-annual Ann Arbor Art Fair runs 10 a.m.-9 p.m. July 20-22, noon-6 p.m. July 23. Downtown Ann Arbor. theannarborartfair.com
Faster Horses: The three-day country music festival turns 5-years-old this year and celebrates by looking back, gathering three headliners who have played the festival before: Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert and Dierks Bentley. But the music is only part of the fun at this “hillbilly sleepover” — the real action is in the campgrounds, where fans party all day and all night, from the time they get there until it’s time to leave. July 21-23. Weekend passes $199. Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn. fasterhorsesfestival.com
Mo Pop Festival: The two-day indie pop fest celebrates its third year at West Riverfront Park, along Detroit’s riverfront, with a lineup that includes Alt-J, Tyler the Creator, Solange, Foster the People, Phantogram and Run the Jewels. The fest also features an array of craft beers and food trucks and an on-site arcade. July 29-30. Advance tickets $75 per day or $109.50 for the weekend. West Riverfront Park, Detroit. mopopfestival.com
Maker Faire Detroit: Get down with Detroit’s DIY spirit, and check out the American inventiveness on display during this two-day fair at The Henry Ford. As the museum’s website notes, it’s “24 acres of imagination meeting determination.” 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. July 29-30. $28-adult, $26-senior and $19 kids (3-11). The Henry Ford, 20900 Oakman, Dearborn. detroit.makerfaire.com
Summer Beer Festival: Celebrating 20 years this summer, this is Michigan Brewers Guild’s longest-running beer festival. Sample brews from more than 100 Michigan beer-makers, plus cider, mead and other craft beverages. Besides beverages, the outdoor event has live music from the Reefermen, Black Jake and the Carnies, Billy Brandt and the Sugarees and more. 5-9 p.m. July 21 and 1-6 p.m. July 22. $40-$45 in advance. Riverside Park, West Cross near North Huron, Ypsilanti. mibeer.com/summer-festival
Detroit Jazz Festival: Jazz legend Wayne Shorter is the artist-in-residence at this year’s four-day free music festival at Hart Plaza and Campus Martius. Sept. 1-4. Jefferson and Woodward, Detroit. (313) 469-6564 or detroitjazzfest.org
African World Festival: A Detroit tradition for 35 years, this cultural festival is presented by and held at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. Around 150,000 people are expected to attend this free, family-friendly event to enjoy live music, food, poetry, shopping and arts and crafts. 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Aug. 18-20. Free. 315 E. Warren, Detroit. thewright.org/african-world-festival
Hamtramck Labor Day Festival: Eastern European and Middle Eastern flavors mix at this no-frills street fair that has live music, food and vendors at one end and a carnival at the other. One highlight is a patriotic, all-inclusive parade on Labor Day. Sept. 3-5. Jos Campau north of Caniff, Hamtramck. hamtownfest.com