As Metro Detroiters continue to mask up and get vaccinated as the coronavirus pandemic continues, music venues and musicians have searched for ways to perform and create connection with their audiences. This means virtual events, and DETROIT by DETROIT plans on holding one of the biggest online music events of the years.
Known as DETxDET, the local, virtual music event will stream online April 30 with a new concept – DETxDET: Originals. Fifteen local artists will play one original song in a show that celebrates the “crazy amount of talent we have here, both past and present,” said organizer Melissa Rowe of Oh Snap! PR. Traditionally, the event features artists playing a three-song set highlighting music from other Detroit artists.
To bring things full circle, the house band from School of Rock will kick things off with the first set – “they never cease to amaze,” Rowe said – and all net proceeds from the event fund a special scholarship at School of Rock. There also will be a donation link available for all of the participating bands. Dan MacDonald, who hosts the local music round-up HEAR + NOW on AM800, will be the virtual emcee.
“I always aim to build a bill that’s a combination of DETxDET veterans and DETxDET first-timers, and that’s true with DETxDET: Originals as well,” Rowe said. “It’s always a pleasure to team up with strong, reliable artists, while also keeping your eyes open to fresh faces who can bring in new sounds, energies, and audiences.”
What makes DETxDET a special moment in Detroit music is that it honors the Motor City as well as its musical heritage, Rowe said.
“This event has always been about celebrating Detroit music – and the incredible music community we have here in Detroit,” Rowe said. “I hope that each person that tunes in to our virtual event this year feels that sense of community and can experience that bright-eyed wonder of hearing a new artist that they may not have encountered before, as our roster of talent welcomes us into their homes and practice spaces with their performances.”
Going virtual might add to the challenge of putting together such an event, but it still has all of the same fun and energy, Rowe added.
“While we’ll still be featuring ‘more bands than you can count on two hands,’ one of the biggest differences this year is that artists will be performing originals, not cover sets. Our DETxDET series is known for Detroit artists playing three-song sets of songs by other Detroit artists,” Rowe said.
“But with the pause on so many album-release shows and other in-person gigs this past year, we wanted to give our artists an outlet to showcase some of their originals,” Rowe added. “Anyone that’s been to one of our DETxDETs knows we have a quick pace with our short sets and dual stages – and to keep that quick-paced feel in the virtual space, we opted to have each artist stick to one original song. Think of it as one big Detroit playlist, on shuffle – you’ll know who’s playing, but you won’t know which song or where they might fall in the line-up until you’re listening.”
This virtual event won’t be ticketed, but organizers will be collecting donations to fund a special scholarship at School of Rock for a future Detroit rock ‘n’ roller, just as they do at our in-person events. Viewers will also have the opportunity to virtually tip the bands during the stream.
“We’re also excited to be partnering with some friends at Specs Howard School of Media Arts who are helping us behind-the-scenes with the production of this year’s virtual event – we couldn’t do it without them,” Rowe said. “We’re so excited for the return of live music – but while we wait, we hope you’ll join us April 30th for DETxDET: Originals.”