River Blast! 2022 summer concert series heads to Belle Isle

Kaitlyn Luckoff
The Detroit News

The fourth annual "River Blast! 2022" is back with a summer concert series that begins June 29 featuring a different music group each week on Belle Isle.

Presented by the Music on Belle Isle Group (MOBIG),  the hour-long free concerts will take place Wednesday at 7 p.m. The Motor City Brass Band, Farmington Concert Band and the FCCB M-1 Jazz Collection are part of 10 community concert, jazz and cover bands scheduled to perform.

MOBIG was formed by local musicians in 2018 to bring summer concerts back to Belle Isle. All performances will take place at Sunset Point located at the Western tip of Belle Isle State Park.  

MOBIG President Craig Strain emphasized that the two goals of the group are to restore concerts to Belle Isle, as well as re-establishing the Remick Band Shell. Strain  explained how the group began its two missions. 

The Music on Belle Isle Group, aka “MOBIG,” is set to commence their 4th annual summer band concert series at Belle Isle State Park.

“We had a meeting four years ago of people interested in restoring the historic Remick Band Shell, which had sat dormant for decades,” Strain said. “There used to be wonderful concerts there. At the end of that meeting, I was picked to be the president and was already too busy, but I was so interested in having that bandshell restored that I took on that role and there really are two missions. One is to bring live music back, which we’ve been doing. This will be our fourth year I believe. And the other is to get the bandshell renovated.” 

The cost of the renovation is unknown until a final architectural assessment is completed, he said. However, the group expects the cost to be multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars, said Strain. In the meantime, MOBIG is raising money for their summer series as well as the renovation. Strain said the renovation funding will mostly come from donors and possible grants. 

Over the four years, the concert series has developed from featuring community concert bands to now including some pop and jazz groups as well.  

Looking forward to the series return after being off due to COVID, Strain shared that MOBIG is anticipating a great concert season.  

“We were off because of COVID, so just getting back is exciting,” Strain said. “Our audiences have grown each year and in fact each concert...we’re looking forward to good weather and we’ve got a terrific lineup of some wonderful bands, so I’m just looking forward to a fun summer with great music.” 

A full concert schedule and more information can be found at mobigmusic.org

River Blast! 2022 concert series schedule: 

Wednesday — Farmington Concert Band (FCB) 

July 6 — Motor City Brass Band 

July 13 — FCCB M-1 Jazz Collective 

July 20 — Canton Concert Band 

July 22 — Downriver Community Band 

Aug. 3 — Rock Bottom 

Aug. 10 — Warren Concert Band 

Aug. 17 — Professor Vincent Chandler and the WSU Jazz Warriors 

Aug. 24 — Dr Pocket 

Aug. 31 — Birmingham Concert Band