In efforts to continue the fight against the coronavirus, the City of Detroit is partnering with Detroit vs. Everybody by Tommey Walker — a fashion label that has recently made face masks, T-shirts, hoodies, and hats featuring the slogan “Everybody vs. COVID-19” — to livestream a two-day festival. On May 29 and 30, the Everybody vs. COVID-19 Unity Festival will present hours of in-home entertainment with more than 20 musical acts, messages, and appearances from Detroit grown and affiliated artists like Big Sean, Curtis Roach, Oba Roland, Mayer Hawthorne, Sada Baby, DJ D Nice, La Britney, and Gmac Cash.
The digital event will stream the musical acts live on the city’s Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram starting at 7 p.m. each day and ending around 10 p.m. Portions of the festival will also be broadcasted on city cable channels. The full lineup for the festival will be released at a later date.
While some artists, such as Roach and Roland, are expected to perform live music sets, others will participate in the festival through PSAs to promote COVID-19 safety measures, which officials with the city say residents have been following carefully. “One of the main messages [of the festival] is to show the unity of the city, especially in the midst of a crisis,” says Jessica Byrd, communications manager for the City of Detroit. She says it has been remarkable to see how the people of Detroit have come together to get the resources the city needs at this time.
The Unity Festival also aims to raise awareness about the importance of the 2020 Census and to encourage Detroiters to take the time to complete it — the city’s Census count is down. Eric Thomas, chief storyteller for the City of Detroit, says that participation in the census ensures that Detroit will have all the resources it needs if it experiences anything like COVID-19 again. “We all know that the census matters, not just for our community, but for our neighborhoods and for the city services,” Byrd adds.
She hopes the main thing that comes out of the Unity Festival is to share the broader story of Detroiters sticking together during this time and to spread awareness on the impact the Census has on the city. “Detroiters have done their part and we are fighting together,” Byrd says. “We’re standing strong, and we hope this Unity Festival is amazing to show how great things happen when we all come together.”