Music Fest promises eclectic lineup for a good cause

Delores Flynn
Special to The Detroit News

An eclectic lineup of more than 200 live bands promises to rock two-square miles of Hamtramck in a grassroots music extravaganza starting next Thursday.

The third annual Hamtramck Music Festival will celebrate Metro Detroit musicians in 25 of Hamtramck’s notable venues March 3-6. A kick-off party is slated for 8 p.m.-1:30 a.m. March 3, at the Fowling Warehouse, featuring nine live bands on two stages.

Patrons can expect to hear everything from rock, folk, blues, electronic and Bengali to garage bands throughout the weekend. Among the groups are the Hentchmen, Terrible Twos, Radio Burns, Tabcat Detroit, Outrageous Cherry, Cosmic Light Shapes, the Bangla School of Music and more.

A $10 wristband, on sale at several area locations, gives patrons access to every band.

“One nice surprise of the festival is that you might come to see a certain group and end up discovering your favorite new band,” said Eugene Strobe, co-organizer of the festival that’s run by community partners. “It’s a fun weekend and it benefits a great cause.”

John Panich, a hip-hop artist from Hamtramck, will be playing with his band, Jp from the Hp, on Friday night at the New Dodge Lounge. This will be his second year playing to the crowds with his drummer, Dan Patterson, and DJ Petty Cash.

“It’s a really cool experience because you to get reach out to people with your music that might not have otherwise heard of you,” Panich said.

“As a music lover, it’s also the best bang for your buck because you’re in this really great bar town, and the sheer volume of all the bands you get to see in one night is pretty incredible,” he said.

Proceeds from the festival benefit Ben’s Encore, a nonprofit that provides music lessons, instruments and scholarships to young inspiring musicians, as well as grants to underserved school music programs in metro Detroit.

“If a child’s family doesn’t have money for say, guitar lessons, they can seek our help,” said Jamie Donoghue, marketing and public relations director for Ben’s Encore. “We try to fill needs whenever we feasibly can.”

Donoghue said the largest scholarship given to date was $2,500 for a child to study music at a school in Boston.

The organization was formed in honor of music lover Benjamin Borowiak, who was hit by a drunk driver driving the wrong way on westbound I-696 during his freshman year at University of Detroit Mercy. But his shattered bones and brain scarring didn’t deter him from learning to play any instrument he got his hands on. He died in March 2011, after complications from an epileptic seizure.

Ben’s Encore has sponsored the Hamtramck festival since its inception. Last year $12,093 in festival earnings were donated to the nonprofit. A drum set also was donated to Hamtramck Public Schools.

The festival was born in 2014 in response to the void left in the city when the four-day music festival Blowout, traditionally held in early March since the late ’90s, pushed its event to late April and expanded to other cities, Strobe said.

Roughly 100 unpaid volunteers help with the showcase and each band donates its time, Strobe said.

Each of the festival’s music venues is within a half mile of each other, making it easy for guests to navigate performances. Free shuttle transportation is available 9 p.m.-2:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

And this year, organizers added food trucks like the Mean Weenie and Rollin Stone Wood Fired Pizza, along the shuttle routes to enhance the experience.

Delores Flynn is a Royal Oak-based freelance writer.

Hamtramck Music Festival lineup

March 3

Fowling Warehouse

(stage 1)

12:15 a.m.: Moonwalks

11 p.m.: James Linck

10 p.m.: Belterra

9 p.m.: Le Voyage

8 p.m.: The Walking Beat

Fowling Warehouse

(stage 2)

11:45 p.m.: The Belle Isles

10:30 p.m: The Erers

9:30 p.m.: Cosmic Light Shapes

8:30 p.m.: Five Pound Snap vs. White Bee

March 4

7 Brothers

12:30 a.m.: Dirty Copper

11:30 p.m.: Tin Foil

10:30 p.m.: Sros Lords

9:30 p.m.: Dear Darkness

Baker Streetcar

12:30 a.m.: Cold Men Young

11:30 p.m.: Palaces

10:30 p.m.: Dude

9:30 p.m.: D’Coolette

Bank Suey

9 p.m.: Barbarossa Brothers

7:45 p.m.: Tahnz & the Filthy Animals

5:30 p.m.: open house


Midnight: John Bardy & the Keys to Your Heart

11 p.m.: The Whiskey Charmers

10 p.m.: Black Shampoo

9 p.m.: Mike Galbraith

Cafe 1923

7:15 p.m.: Bingo Mama

6:30 p.m. Old Man

5:45 p.m.: Ryan Dillaha

5 p.m.: Eye See


12:15 a.m.: Interfaith

11:15 p.m.: Lt.baD

10:15 p.m.: Ancient Language

9:15 p.m.: Halfcrash

Detroit Threads

Detroit Techno Militia

Hamtramck Public Library

8:30 p.m.: Air is the Arche

7:30 p.m.: Genevieve MacPhee

6:30 p.m.: Arianna Bardoni & Nick Martin

5:30 p.m.: Emma Islands


12:15 a.m.: Detroit Party Marching Band

11:15 p.m.: Lac La Belle

10:15 p.m.: Audra Kubat & Tamara Finlay

9:15 p.m.: Athena Akram


12:45 a.m.: Carjack.

11:45 p.m.: Decisions

10:45 p.m.: J. Walker & the Crossguards

9:45 p.m.: The Fiegers

Lo & Behold

1 a.m.: Dehydrated Vitamin DJ set

Midnight: Wooden Pipe

11 p.m.: Jura

10 p.m.: Pocket Candies

9:30 p.m.: Adam Pierce

9 p.m.: Attack Ships On Fire

Metro Pub

12:30 a.m.; Rogue Satellites

11:30 p.m.: Pewter Cub

10:30 p.m.: The Landmarks

9:30 p.m.: Unlimited Head

New Dodge

1 a.m.: The Imaginatron

Midnight: Jp from the Hp

11 p.m.: Satan Face

10 p.m.: Beekeepers

Painted Lady

12:15 a.m.: Sugarcoats

11:15 p.m.: Growwing Pains

10:15 p.m.: Prude Boys

9:15 p.m.: Sex Police


12:45 a.m.: Scott Morgan

11:45 p.m.: Willa Rae & the Minor Arcana

10:45 p.m.: Crazy Toy

9:45 p.m.: The Sugar Bombs

Plav Post #6

12:15 a.m.: Flowers Bloom

11:15 p.m.: Blakdog

10:15 p.m.: Bermudas

9:15 p.m.: Mango Lane

Plav Post #10

1 a.m.: Outrageous Cherry

Midnight: Pretty Ghouls

11 p.m.: Feelings

10 p.m.: Paint Thinner

Polish Sea League

12:15 a.m.: Two Cheers

11:15 p.m.: Howlin Mercy

10:15 p.m.: Zombie Jesus & the Chocolate Sunshine Band

9:15 p.m.: The He Bops

Polka Dot

12:30 a.m.: Detroit CYDI

11:30 p.m.: LXL

10:30 p.m.: Destroy This Place

9:30 p.m.: Poor Player

Rock City Eatery

12:15 a.m.; Reunion

11:15 p.m.: The Blueflowers

10:15 p.m.: Kelly Elizabeth


12:30 a.m.: Radio Burns

11:30 p.m.: Cheerleader

10:30 p.m.: Golden Torso

9:30 p.m.: Dirtwolf

Temptation Lounge

12:15 a.m.: Casual Sweetheart

11:15 p.m.: The Deadly Vipers

10:15 p.m.: Blood Stone

9:15 p.m.: AM People


Midnight: Roxolydian

11 p.m.: Inn

10 p.m.: The Garden of Soul

9 p.m.: The 44 Territories

Whiskey In The Jar

Midnight: Tart

11 p.m.: Phosphor Elephants

10 p.m.: Market

9 p.m.: Taxon Clade

March 5

7 Brothers

12:30 a.m.: Choke Chains

11:30 p.m.: Caveman Woodman & Bam Bam Moss

10:30 p.m.: The Britemores

9 p.m.: Leah Diehl

Baker Streetcar

12:30 a.m.: Siamese

11:30 p.m.: Jeecy & the Jungle

10:30 p.m.: Go Tiger Go

9:30 p.m.: Jet Black Blonde

Bank Suey

8:30 p.m.: Ornamatik

7:30 p.m.: Stella’s Ghost

6:15 p.m.: Klezmer DetrOYt

4:30 p.m.: Bangla School of Music

3:15 pm: Tabcat Detroit

2 p.m.: Flaquito Hernandez

1 p.m.: Sean Blackman ~ In Transit

11:30 a.m.: open house


Midnight: The Scrappers

11 p.m.: Craig Brown Band

10 p.m.: The Drinkard Sisters

9 p.m.: Jay Clark Reid

Cafe 1923

5:30 p.m.: Dr. James Cornish

4:45 p.m.: Jenny Junior

4 p.m.: Venusloc

3:15 p.m.: Stef Chura

2:30 p.m.: Emily Rose


12:15 a.m.: Odd Hours

11:15 p.m.: Catty Club

10:15 p.m.: Jack Oats & the Wardsmen

9:15 p.m.: Soft White

Detroit Threads

Alex Jackson

Brent Scudder

Brian Borsa

Bryan Trusmoke

Jeffrey Woodward

Theresa Chavez

Warren from Warren

Hamtramck Public Library

8 p.m.: Aster

7 p.m.: The Doozers

6 p.m.: School of Rock Farmington

5 p.m.: School of Rock Rochester


12:15 a.m.: Border Patrol

11:15 p.m.: Escaping Pavement

10:15 p.m.: Jibs Brown & the Jambros

9:15 p.m.: Corn Potato Duo


12:45 a.m.: Terrible Twos

11:45 p.m.: Mexican Knives

10:45 p.m.: Fake Surfers

9:45 p.m.: K9 Sniffies

Lo & Behold

2 a.m.: 78 rpm dance party

8 p.m.: Folk Blues Night

6 p.m.: Phil Leslie’s Story & Song Hour for Children

Metro Pub

12:30 a.m.: Duende!

11:30 p.m.: George Morris & the Gypsy Chorus

10:30 p.m.: VSTRS

9:30 p.m.: Trancers

New Dodge

1 a.m.: The Hentchmen

Midnight: Jimmy Ohio

11 p.m.: Best Exes

10 p.m.: Mountain Babies

Painted Lady

12:15 a.m.: The Kickstand Band

11:15 p.m.: 3FT

10:15 p.m.: Johnny Ill Band

9:15 p.m.: A Love That Forgives


1:00 a.m.: Stikyfut

11:45 p.m.: The Volebeats

10:45 p.m.: Cameron Jones

9:45 p.m.: Blue Black Hours

Plav Post #6

12:15 a.m.: The Creepos

11:15 p.m.: Vnesswolfchild

10:15 p.m.: Shady Groves

9:15 p.m.: Young Punk

Plav Post #10

1:00 a.m.: Danny & the Darleans

Midnight: Duane the Brand New Dog

11 p.m.: Colorwheel

10 p.m.: Primitiv Parts

Polish Sea League

12:15 a.m.: Blue Snaggletooth

11:15 p.m.: Malo Konjche

10:15 p.m.: Disinformants

9:15 p.m.: Steve Harvey Oswald

Polka Dot

12:30 a.m.:Wasabi Dream

11:30 p.m.: Old Empire

10:30 p.m.: Lipstick Marquee

9:30 p.m.: Eric Allen

Rock City Eatery

12:15 a.m.: Bronze Mambas

11:15 p.m.: Nina & the Buffalo Riders

10:15 p.m.: Carmel Liburdi


12:30 a.m.: Valley Hush

11:30 p.m.: Warhorses

10:30 p.m.: Yum

10 p.m.: Shadow Klan

9 p.m.: The End Electric

Temptation Lounge

12:15 a.m. Deadbeat Beat

11:15 p.m.: River Spirit

10:15 p.m.: Junk Food Junkies

9:15 p.m.: Missionary


Midnight: Sick Smile

11 p.m.: Mountain Club

10 p.m.: 1592

9 p.m.: Doctor Pizza

Whiskey In The Jar

Midnight: The Ill Itches

11 p.m.: The Q

10 p.m.: The Idiot Kids

9 p.m.: Six & the Sevens

M A R C H 6

Plav Post #10

11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. HMF “Hangover Brunch”

12:30 p.m.: The Detroit Square Dance Society