Music, Art and Community Define Mo Pop Festival

Music, Art and Community Define Mo Pop Festival

The heat didn’t stop Detroit’s Riverfront Park from filling a couple weekends ago for the fourth annual Mo Pop Festival.

Two stages rocked the river with artists like HAIM, M83, G-Eazy, and Matt and Kim performing at the event that expanded to two days and made Detroit its home last summer. The weekend offered far more than music, though. Heavily art-oriented, murals around the park were changing throughout the weekend as artists added new touches. Mo Pop is a hands-on endeavor, too, and attendees could participate by painting a van at the festival.

Mo Pop Festival 2016 - The Awesome Mitten
Festivalgoers leave their mark on the Pabst Blue Ribbon van. Photo courtesy of Mo Pop Festival.

Fans could even record their own song and have it made into a vinyl record onsite. Focusing on the city, a display featuring dreams for Detroit showcased what festival goers hoped for the city. If the heat was too much, there was also an air-conditioned tent featuring nostalgic arcade games, all free to use.

A craft bazaar at Mo Pop showed off handmade products by Michigan artists and creators for purchase. Reware Vintage featured recycled items, such as jewelry made of old records. All Things Grow included prints of Michigan and nature, drawing many shoppers to the canvases of the state. This was my favorite table by far; all the vendors were great to see at the festival, not only giving attendees something to do besides watch the performers, but also by presenting talent and allowing creators to share their work and expand their audiences. There were also handmade lip balms, cosmetics, clothing and stained glass nightlights underneath perhaps one of the best tents at the festival.

Mo Pop Festival 2016 - The Awesome Mitten
An arcade tent provides a place to relax and cool off during the weekend. Photo courtesy of Mo Pop Festival.

While attending Mo Pop, fans could fuel their weekend at the Food Truck Rally Alley. There was everything from noodles to tacos to chicken and waffles. After plenty of pondering and taking in all the smells, I settled on Delectabowl. Serving up bowls of comfort food, I chose the Fiesta Bowl, full of rice, chicken, corn salad, and pico de gallo. If you ever see this food truck around the state, I highly recommend you check them out.

Mo Pop Festival 2016 - The Awesome Mitten
Mo Pop attendees’ dreams for Detroit on display at the festival. Photo courtesy of Amber Ainsworth.

While not food, Jack White’s Third Man Records also had a truck selling music memorabilia.

This being my third time attending Mo Pop, it is a festival I suggest you check out next time around. Whether you are a fan of the musicians performing or not, there is something for everyone. As a festival that continues to expand each year, Mo Pop is far more than a concert. Mo Pop is a celebration of Michigan — its art, its food, and its people.