Detroit’s Mo Pop ‘taking a break’ from summer 2023 festival

The indie rock and pop music fest, first launched a decade ago, says it will continue to exist in a new form

Feb 28, 2023 at 5:45 pm
A scene from Mo Pop 2022 in Hart Plaza. - Derek Dandridge
Derek Dandridge
A scene from Mo Pop 2022 in Hart Plaza.

For those wondering when Detroit’s long-running Mo Pop music festival is going to release its 2023 lineup, it’s not happening.

According to a social media post published Tuesday, Mo Pop is “taking a break from the annual outdoor summer festival,” although it made clear that it will continue to exist in a new form.

“Although we may look different, we promise to continue our mission to showcase up and coming artists along with welcoming back some of your favorites from Mo Pop over the years,” the festival said.

It added, “This is not goodbye; this is our ongoing love letter to our fans and Detroit.”

The festival was typically held in late July, with a focus on indie rock, pop, and hip-hop.

On Tuesday, festival producer AEG Presents sent a statement via email with some additional insights:

Returning from the pandemic hiatus along with an event site shift created unexpected challenges, which led to the decision for Mo Pop to take a step back from the outdoor festival model while the producers evaluate the possibilities for the future.

Mo Pop team would like to take this opportunity to thank all the artists, fans, partners, staff, and the City of Detroit for their continuous support throughout the years.

Mo Pop will continue to showcase a diverse range of talents throughout the Metro Detroit area under the new name: Mo Pop Presents.

Under the new moniker, Mo Pop plans to highlight past Mo Pop artists’ return to the Metro Detroit area as well as promote new and upcoming talents that fit Mo Pop’s style of curation. In addition, the goal for Mo Pop Presents is to serve as a platform to highlight local activations, non-profit organizations, and partners similar to how the outdoor festival model was able to support in the past.

The official announcement of Mo Pop Presents and its curated event listing will be posted on the current Mo Pop social channels in the very near future. Fans can stay updated for all things Mo Pop by signing up for the newsletter on the website.

Mo Pop held its first festival in 2013 at Sterling Heights’s Freedom Hill Amphitheatre, featuring acts like Andrew Bird, JR JR (formerly Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr), Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, and Wild Belle.

From 2015-2019 it was held at Detroit’s West Riverfront Park. It took a pause in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and returned in 2022, where it was held for the first time in downtown Detroit’s Hart Plaza.

The 2022 lineup included Detroit rapper Big Sean, Jhené Aiko, Glass Animals, Euphoria star Dominic Fike, Wet Leg, Khruangbin, girl in red, Tiny Jag, and more.

This article was updated with an additional statement from AEG Presents.

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