We all have an idea of what a music festival is (or in Fyre Festival’s case, isn’t), but the Hamtramck Music Fest is reimagining that idea. Featuring hundreds of local acts in dozens of venues, restaurants and bars across the Hamtramck community, the festival features a ton of bang for your buck.
$15 gets you a wristband with access to shows across the three day festival beginning on Thursday, March 7. That one time fee gets you into any concert in any venue, and you can bounce from venue to venue during the day hearing a wide variety of acts. You can hear the electric pop sounds of Run From the Future at Trixie’s Bar one moment, then run across to the Polish Village Cafe for ethnic folk sounds of Oblique Noir, and finish the night at Whiskey in the Jar with the post-punk band Werewolves.
One of the things that makes the Hamtramck Music Festival stand out from other festivals is that it is run and operated by volunteers from the Hamtramck community. Many organizers are musicians wanting to give back; such is the case with organizer John Bissa. Bissa was formerly a member of Six and the Sevens, and is now part of an outfit called Wreckless Jane, and loves giving back to the Detroit music scene.
“Detroit has a ton of space and venues where you can play music, and is welcoming to all genres. It has created a petri dish of great music where new generations want to imitate it,” Bissa said.
Due to how things lined up and a schedule quirk, the sixth annual Hamtramck Music Festival lines up perfectly with eight great days in Hamtramck. The annual Packzi Run takes place on Saturday, March 2, while many other exciting events take over the community during the Packzi week. It is a great opportunity to experience the immensely unique city and it’s special culture.
Arguably the best thing about the Hamtramck Music Fest is that it raises money for the Hamtramck Public Schools’ Music and Art programs. All proceeds from this year’s event will help these struggling programs and help kids discover the beauty of music. Last year’s event raised over $10,000 for the schools, and Bissa said that’s one of the things that draws musicians to the festival.
“The musicians want to do something that is for good cause and we chose to give it to the schools. We want to help out the next generation of musicians and the programs that are struggling,” Bissa said.
From hearing the best of the local music scene, to experiencing Hamtramck’s uniqueness, and even giving back to local schools, there’s plenty of reasons to check out this year’s Hamtramck Music Fest. You can find more information on all of the bands performing at the Hamtramck Music Festival on the official website and Facebook page.