Your Guide to Michigan Summer 2022 Music Festivals and More

Beach at East Bay Park, Traverse City, Michigan. Photo courtesy themetdet.com
Beach at East Bay Park, Traverse City, Michigan. Photo courtesy themetdet.com

With warmer weather right around the corner and the winter semester wrapping up, it’s time to start making plans for the summer. Many upcoming festivals will be returning for the first time since the pandemic. A sense of normalcy is making a comeback, and I think it is safe to say that most of us are ready to live it up this summer.

Electric Forest Festival photo courtesy We Rave You
Electric Forest Festival photo courtesy We Rave You

The Electric Forest Festival will be returning June 23-26 in Rothbury, Michigan. If you haven’t been to this camping musical festival yet, it’s an experience that you will never forget. People from all over the country come together to celebrate love, unity, and electronic music. However, you don’t need to be a fan of that genre of music to have a good time there. As you step foot into the Sherwood Forest, you will be blown away by how magical it is. At night, the forest comes alive with beautiful color light installations and the tranquility of nature all around you. It’s a sensory overload. You are accepted without judgment, a place where free spirits unite, regardless of whether you show up dressed as a fairy wearing stilts or casual clothes and flip flops. If you go, I suggest you bring a hammock, you’ll love being able to put it up and relax in the trees. Some of this year’s headliners include The String Cheese Incident, GRiZ, Porter Robinson, Louis The Child, Disclosure, The Disco Biscuits, Big Gigantic, SLANDER, Fisher, and Sylvan Esso. Check out the official festival website for the full list of performers.

Wristbands are limited, but the festival is offering a way on their website for those that cannot make it to sell their wristbands and lodging packages for the price they paid. Canceled 2020 ticket holders can exchange their tickets for 2022 wristbands or sell them on the site.

For more information, visit electricforestfestival.com.

National Cherry Festival in Traverse City, Michigan runs through July 2 - 9, 2022 photo courtesy Associated Press
National Cherry Festival in Traverse City, Michigan runs through July 2 - 9, 2022 photo courtesy Associated Press

The Traverse City National Cherry Festival runs from July 2-9. One of Michigan’s most beloved festivals draws around 500,000 people annually. The U.S Navy Blue Angels will kick things off with an airshow on July 2 and 3. There is so much to experience at the Cherry Festival; you could go all eight days and still not be bored. There is a vast array of local food vendors, family-friendly activities, a carnival, and live entertainment. The Bayside Music Stage Venue features different artists daily, including Sheryl Crow, Dwight Yoakam, Collective Soul & TESLA, Nelly, ZZ Top, and Boyz II Men. To purchase tickets and get more information about the Cherry Festival events, visit www.cherryfestival.org.

Faster Horses country music festival will be July 22-24, Brooklyn, Michigan. Photo courtesy fasterhorsesfestival.com
Faster Horses country music festival will be July 22-24, Brooklyn, Michigan. Photo courtesy fasterhorsesfestival.com

Faster Horses country music and camping festival kicks off July 22-24 in Brooklyn, Michigan. If you love country music, this is the place you want to be this summer. It’s one great big party the entire weekend. There are carnival rides, water slides, big inflatable slides, and plenty of games and activities to enjoy. Headlining the show will be Morgan Wallen, Eric Church, and Tim McGraw. Some of the other performers on the main stage will be Lauren Alaina, Brothers Osborne, Jordan Davis, Larry Fleet, Chris Janson, Ashley McBryde, Jake Owen, Caitlyn Smith, Cole Swindell, Michael Ray, Jameson Rodgers, Runaway June, and Morgan Wade. For more information and to purchase festival wristbands and camping passes, visit fasterhorsesfestival.com.

Mo Pop Festival July 30 - 31, 2022 Hart Plaza, Detroit photo courtesy mopopfestival.com
Mo Pop Festival July 30 - 31, 2022 Hart Plaza, Detroit photo courtesy mopopfestival.com

Mo Pop 2022 returns July 30 and 31 to a new location at Hart Plaza in downtown Detroit. Mo Pop festival combines pop, rock, and hip-hop music with crafts and great food. This event will entertain the whole family, and kids under the age of 6 get in for free. Detroit rapper Big Sean and Jhene Aiko will be performing on July 31. Other featured performers are Glass Animals, Khruangbin, Kaytranada, and Beach Bunny. The complete list of performers is on the official website.

Be sure to check out the Mo Arcade, which will be an air-conditioned tent featuring Detroit’s Offworld Arcade games. You can play all the classic games, and there will be some prizes for the winners. Also, go to the Craft Bazaar and support local artists’ work. There will be plenty of great food and locally crafted beer. To purchase tickets and learn more about the event visit mopopfestival.com.

Photo courtesy of the city of Dearborn After a two-year hiatus, Dearborn Homecoming will return in August, at a new home, the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center on Aug. 5 - 7, 2022.
Photo courtesy of the city of Dearborn After a two-year hiatus, Dearborn Homecoming will return in August, at a new home, the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center on Aug. 5 - 7, 2022.

The Dearborn Homecoming will be returning to a new location, the Ford Community and Performing Arts Center, from August 5-7. What prompted this change in venue was concerns of recurrent flooding at Ford Field and logjams in the Rouge River since the major flood that took place there in June of 2021. While the city is still working out final details, they are committed to maintaining the same events festival-goers are accustomed to.

The news of moving Homecoming from its forever spot at Ford Field received plenty of negative comments from residents on social media. Some mentioned that the change of venue would impact the local businesses on the Michigan Avenue strip. The new location does not offer the convenience of walking to bars and restaurants that Ford Field offers. Others brought up the parking situation at the new venue and how it will be too cramped to have all the rides and tents at the Ford Community and Performing Arts Center grounds.

The Homecoming fireworks on the Ford Field hill brought people from all over the metro-Detroit area. There is no doubt it will be a different experience this year for those watching the fireworks. The tradition of getting out the blankets to lay on the hill while listening to Lee Greenwood’s God Bless the USA over the loudspeakers is a memory many of us hold dear to our hearts and will be missed. There are also concerns over the loud fireworks upsetting the animals in the animal shelter next door.

I, for one, am disappointed in this change. There has been so much money invested over the years at Ford Field to accommodate the festival, and it would be a shame for that to go to waste. I hope that the flooding issues can be addressed and corrected, and that the Dearborn Homecoming will return to its original place where it belongs.

The Dearborn Homecoming musical entertainment has yet to be announced but the city will be updating more details when they are made available at cityofdearborn.org.

If festivals aren’t your thing and you’re looking for some peace and quiet to get away from the city, I highly suggest heading up north. As they say here, going north is not a direction; it is a destination. And no matter where you end up, there is no better place to be, in my opinion, than in northern Michigan by one of our great lakes.

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