If the weekend's news is any indication, the third annual Mo Pop Festival will reshape the event into something entirely new, into something much, much bigger - and this has plenty of Detroiters excited.
Festival officials made the massive announcement late last week that the Mo Pop Festival would be leaving the nearby Detroit suburb of Sterling Heights after two years and moving to its new location downtown. Previously, the Mo Pop Festival was held at Freedom Hill, a smaller outdoor venue. Starting this year, and in the coming years, the Mo Pop will be held at the brand new West Riverfront Park in downtown Detroit along the riverfront on July 25-26.
The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy has been working for over a decade to revitalize and develop the Detroit River waterfront in downtown Detroit along the Jefferson Corridor for some time. With the opening of the West Riverfront Park, the organization feels that many new concerts and venues will be held downtown and can draw new businesses and investments from the surrounding community in the process. The move of the Mo Pop Festival to the new park is one of the biggest and most exciting bits of news to come out of the weekend's announcements.
The Mo Pop, too, is also stepping up its game, with a massive new lineup of top-tier musical acts and a new two stage set up, the festival aims to be bigger and louder than ever before. The Mo Pop Festival has celebrated the best in indie rock for the last two years and this year, they've got a couple of amazing headliners to help build excitement for the event's new downtown location.
Popular indie rockers Modest Mouse will headline this year's show, which has been extended to a two-day event. Modest Mouse returns to form with their first brand new album release in eight years, Strangers To Ourselves, which has already earned plenty of critical acclaim. Also co-headlining the show will be pop rock group Passion Pit, as well as Iron & Wine (with special guest, Ben Bridwell, from Band of Horses). Others also performing are Chromeo, James Bay, Saint Motel, and Detroit's own Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas. In all, more than 25 bands are currently signed up to play at this year's shows.
Back in 2013, local staffers of the national music promoter AEG Live organized the first Mo Pop Festival. This year, they joined forces with local Detroit promoter Crofoot Presents in order to finalize and hammer down details to make the move from Sterling Heights to Detroit's riverfront. Festival officials say that they hope the new setting for the event will help to promote a sense of an established urban identity.
"We were thinking of where we'd want to be on a summer weekend, and one place is on the waterfront down in the city," said Jason Rogalewski of AEG Live. "The acreage is there, the layout is nice, and it totally works for what we were looking for."
Many fans and residents compare the new 20 acre setting of the West Riverfront Park to that of Chicago's Grant Park, where Lollapalooza is held each year. The urban park setting, with the backdrop of the spectacular Detroit skyline along the river, can help to create just the type of excitement that the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy has been trying to promote for nearly a decade.
The Mo Pop Festival will also feature plenty of Detroit businesses looking to take part in the festival, from many Motor City craft beer and spirits companies, to a selection of local food trucks, to many of the arts and crafts that small independent Detroit businesses are producing these days. Art and food from local business people will certainly be in good supply.
Tickets are currently on sale for a pre-sale price of $79.50 (+ taxes) until April 10. After that, tickets go up to $99.50 (+ taxes). VIP tickets are also available for $199. More information is available on the official website.
For more information on Modest Mouse, please check out our artist homepage here.