Your Guide to This Summer’s Music Festivals

10 local concerts to check out this season


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Concert of Colors, 2017, Courtesy of Doug Coombe/Concert of Colors

From R&B and jazz to hip-hop and folk, music festivals across the metro Detroit area are showcasing a range of local and national talent this summer. Here are 10 lineups you won’t want to miss.


Concert of Colors: Metro Detroit’s 26th annual festival continues its mission to represent diverse communities and ethnic groups with its world acts. The five-day series features Detroit-based musical talents like Tile, a group of rockers, cross-culture musician Sean Blackman, and more than 30 other acts. July 11-15. No cost. Various locations, Midtown Detroit; 313-582-2266; concertofcolors.com

Pig and Whiskey: Along with an impressive selection of cocktails, whiskey, and barbecue, enjoy sounds from Bear Vs Shark, Laith Al-Saadi, Electric Six, and more at this annual Ferndale festival. Nearby, the Loving Touch will host after parties with even more performances. July 13-15. No Cost. Downtown Ferndale on Nine Mile Road and East Troy Street; pigandwhiskeyferndale.com 

BackWoods and Bonfires Music Festival: Listen to live hip-hop music from DJ’s and over 20 local performers, watch fireworks, and enjoy free beer and pancakes at this independent music festival. For adventurous adults, there’s also a slip-n-slide and bouncy house. July 14 and 15. $13+. 3733 McKinley St., Detroit; eventbrite.com 

Vans Warped Tour: Bid farewell to the largest traveling punk-rock festival in the country as it makes its final Michigan stop this summer. The Detroit show will feature artists like electronic duo 3OH!3, hardcore punk group Beartooth, Detroit-based hip-hop band Twiztid, along with nearly 50 other music performances. July 20. $45. Meadow Brook Amphitheatre, 234 Festival Dr., Rochester; 248-377-0100; vanswarpedtour.com

Summer on the MOCAD Homestead: The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit and El Club have teamed up for an ongoing summer concert series with a diverse lineup of local and national artists. Kicking off the outdoor summer series was feminist rapper Princess Nokia and Detroit-based indie rock band Flint Eastwood. Expect to see the talents of Raphael Saadiq, Tunde Olanirian, and Ali Shaheed Muhammed in the months to come. July 22 and Aug. 24. $25. Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, 4454 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-832-6622; mocadetroit.com

Sterlingfest: Rock out to The International Rolling Stones Tribute Show, nine jazz acts, and Smash Mouth, a band best known for their hit “All Star,” and more at Sterlingfest’s annual concert series. July 26-28. No cost. 40555 Utica Rd., Sterling Heights; 586-446-2489; sterling-heights.net

Mo Pop Festival: Each year, thousands attend Detroit’s waterfront music festival. This year’s lineup includes emerging and renowned artists like indie folk band Bon Iver, which will perform in Detroit for the first time in 10 years, Grammy Award-winning rock group The National, and musician St. Vincent. July 28 and 29. $75+. West Riverfront Park, 1801 W. Jefferson, Detroit; mopopfestival.com

Arab and Chaldean Festival: Michigan’s rich Arab culture makes Detroit the perfect destination for this weekend-long festival. For decades, the festival has honored Arab heritage through an array of musical performances, delicious Middle Eastern cuisine, art exhibitions, and a fashion show displaying cultural clothing. July 28 and 29. No cost. Hart Plaza, 1 Hart Plaza, Detroit; arabandchaldeanfestival.com 

Ribs and R&B Music Festival: Enjoy R&B and soul music while indulging in ribs, brisket, and chicken from more than 100 local barbecue vendors. The festival will feature more than 20 national and local performers, including Brielle Lesley and Detroit native Pierre Anthony. Aug. 10-12. $45+. Hart Plaza, 1 Hart Plaza, Detroit; 800-794-7503; ribsrnbmusicfestival.com

Detroit Jazz Fest: For nearly 40 years, the world’s largest free jazz festival has served as a tradition that spotlights the city’s music culture and history. With over 30 performers set to take the stage, attendees can expect to see performances from the Detroit Jazz Fest Symphony Orchestra, famed pianist Chick Corea, and more. Aug. 31-Sept. 3. No cost. Hart Plaza, 1 Hart Plaza, Detroit; 313-469-6564; detroitjazzfest.org

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