Best of the fests

If there’s one thing that there is no dearth of in this town, it’s outdoor music festivals. Hell, there are several going on this weekend (look here for information on the Ford Jazz Festival and the Night & Day calendar for information on Pontiac’s Arts, Beats & Eats); but if we here at Night & Day had to pick our favorite, the Hamtramck Labor Day Festival has got to be it.

For a city that has endured potentially devastating political and financial upheaval over the past few years, it is somewhat amazing that the powers that be (The Hamtramck Chamber of Commerce, specifically) have managed to keep this event alive and kicking — all while preserving the multicultural appeal and the amazing cross-section of local music performances.

It’s all because of people like Cathy Gordon, owner of Hamtramck’s New Dodge Bar and one of the festival’s organizers. She says, “It’s the one event that every person in this city looks forward to. ... For a struggling city I think that’s very important, emotionally.”

This year, the festival will include carnival rides and games for the whole family, a variety of food offerings, ethnic dancers and music, and the big-time wrestling of the IWR wrestlers. There will also be an alcohol-free family zone for those who like to keep things a bit more on the wholesome side.

Some musical highlights include:


Friday, Sept. 3: The Earworms (punk rock from members of the Polish Muslims) at 7 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 4: The twee musings of A Thousand Times Yes at 3 p.m.; jam-based power-rock from Back In Spades at 5:15 p.m.; in-your-face rock ’n’ roll from the Lanternjack at 7:30 p.m.; the heady pop of D-town’s next big thing, the Fags, at 8:15 p.m. and a special performance from Sponge at 9 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 5: Rockin’ blues from Brett Lucas at 2:15 p.m.; blues gal/child prodigy, Sunny Girl, at 4:30 p.m.; a VERY special performance from Hamtown’s favorites, the Polish Muslims, at 6 p.m., and the Howling Diablos at 7:45 p.m.

Monday, Sept. 6: Super-cool polka from the Kielbasa Kings at 3 p.m.

Phew. See you there.


The Hamtramck Festival will take place on Joseph Campau (between Caniff and Carpenter) in downtown Hamtramck; Friday, Sept. 3-Monday, Sept. 6. Visit for more info.

Eve Doster is the listings editor of Metro Times. E-mail [email protected]
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