As most Metro Detroiters know, southeast Michigan is a diverse landscape, and for the past 26 years the area has had a festival which represents that diversity in the form of Concert of Colors. Taking place in Midtown Detroit, the free festival is the place to experience a wide range of musical artists, speakers, food, and more from cultures all over the world.
This year’s festivities will kick off at Third Man Records this Wednesday, July 11 with performances from local punk rock band Tile and Detroit soul band Cousin Mouth. That’s not all, as the Detroit Film Theater at the Detroit Institute of Arts will be screening rarely-seen video recordings of legendary Detroit artists as well as those performing at this year’s Concert of Colors All-Star Revue. Grammy-Award winning producer Don Was and WDET Essential Music host Ann Delisi will host the special event.
Wednesday night is just the tip of the iceberg as the festival has plenty more exciting events planned throughout the week. Spanning from spoken word performances, to jazz trios, to forums on community, Concert of Colors is more than just your typical music festival. Ralph Valdez, a coordinator for this year’s festivities, said that keeping things diverse has always been the festival’s goal.
“One of the things I’m proudest of is that [Concert of Colors] is a celebration of diversity and has stayed true to its roots for 26 years,” Valdez said. “It remains the largest free festival of its kind and has an overwhelming support from the local music community that helps us celebrate Detroit and its diverse cultures.”
The Arab American National Museum is producing this year’s diversity-themed music festival with many events taking place at the museum and a number of Midtown Detroit venues. Valdez said that experiencing this kind of event in Detroit allows festival-goers to experience the best Detroit has to offer.
“As Detroit is going through a rebirth, we believe it is important to partner with some of its best institutions,” Valdez said. “The festival allows you to move from place to place and feel the growth of the city.”
Besides showcasing local and national talent, the festival will also be showcasing some of the area’s best diverse restaurants and retailers. The Eat and Shop will highlight independently owned dining and retailers creating a one-of-a-kind marketplace.
There is so much more to experience than ever before at this year’s Concert of Colors. The five day celebration of Metro Detroit’s diversity will surely have something for everyone and will help you and your family experience something new.