No Hamtramck Music Fest in March, but Corktown Music Fest instead 

click to enlargeThe Muggs will perform at Corktown Music Festival. - JEFFREY SMITH, FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

There won't be a Hamtramck Music Festival during its usual timeslot in early March this year. Instead, organizers have created a new event around the same time, located in a different part of Detroit.


Organizers announced details for the Corktown Music Festival on Tuesday. The event, scheduled for Friday, March 4 and Saturday, March 5, will see more than 70 acts perform across four venues, including PJ's Lager House, Nancy Whiskey, The Gaelic League, and Two James Spirits.

Organizer Kristin Lyn said it's all about timing.

In 2020, the Hamtramck Music Fest narrowly missed the shutdown spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, but in 2021, the organizers moved the event to the summer. But due to the summer move, the Hamtramck Music Fest board of directors voted against resuming the fest in Hamtramck in March.

"The consensus was that the majority of the board of directors wanted to take a break, because we put one on in the summer and we didn't want to turn around and have to start booking again for March," she says. But the organizers wanted to keep the momentum going, she says, so they decided to throw a similar yet smaller event in Detroit's Corktown instead.

"It just happened to be the time available was the first weekend of March, which is normally when we would have Hamtramck Fast," she says. "So it kind of looks like [it moved], but it wasn't intended to be."

Still, she acknowledges, "it's sort of a fill-in for [Hamtramck Music Fest] because [we were] missing having something going on."

Artists announced so far include the Muggs, the Whiskey Charmers, Warhorses, Lu Fuki & Divine Providence, the Strains, the Scrappers, Ladyship Warship, Mike Ward, Alison Lewis, Carolyn Striho/Scott Daily, Ancient Robots, the Cult of Spaceskull, and Emma Guzman.

Like Hamtramck Music Fest, the event will serve as a fundraiser, this time for a nonprofit called 4 Paws 1 Heart, which raises money to help rescue and give medical treatment to homeless dogs and cats.

Wristbands are $20 and are available to purchase online or at the festival at PJ's Lager House. They can also be purchased ahead of time at record stores like Found Sound in Ferndale, Village Vinyl in Warren, Solo Records in Royal Oak, and Dearborn Music in Dearborn and Farmington.

Lyn says the organizers hope to do another Hamtramck Music Fest, but they also may continue to do the Corktown spin-off, though it might move to the summer with more outdoor venues, and it might be called a different name, she says.

"At this point, we're thinking we might do something again next year, because we did get some really good feedback from the venues," she says. "We went to one of the Corktown business association meetings, and there were some other venues that are kind of popping up, some breweries, and they expressed interest."

She adds, "We're just hoping that people will want to come out of their shell and have a good time, support a great cause, and see some great bands. We don't want that live music to go away."

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