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Arts & Entertainment Lifestyle

2018 Mo Pop Festival Fills Detroit with Music

Published July 30, 2018 by

Check out scenes from this weekend’s 2018 Mo Pop festival at the West Riverfront Park in Detroit.

By Arianna Smith

Photography by Sylvia Jarrus

The annual Mo Pop festival wrapped up on Sunday night, after two days full of rhythm and fun for audiophiles and indie music fans from all across Metro Detroit.

The festival was primarily an outdoor concert event at West Riverfront Park between Rosa Parks Boulevard and Joe Louis Arena. Eventgoers enjoyed avenues with vendor tents, food trucks and interactive instrument booths while enjoying the view of the Detroit River.

“This was my first time at Mo Pop, and it was amazing,” says 24-year-old Southfield resident Taylor King. “I feel like I’m among friends or family here. Events like this make me want to move to the city.”

2018 Mo Pop FestivalSylvia Jarrus/SEEN

Festival goers cheer during Highly Suspect’s performance at the 2018 Mo Pop festival at the West Riverfront Park in Detroit.

2018 Mo Pop FestivalSylvia Jarrus/SEEN

Highly Suspect performs during the 2018 Mo Pop festival at the West Riverfront Park in Detroit.

One of the main goals of Mo Pop, which has been a yearly event since 2013, is to spotlight Detroit artists, retailers and the city’s comeback. Retailers were featured at Mo Pop villages like The Shipyard and the Craft Bazaar.

“Half of my favorite part was the music, the other half was the food,” says Royal Oak resident Jessy Gounch. “My boyfriend was super jealous he couldn’t go this year because he was going to miss the video game tent.”

2018 Mo Pop FestivalSylvia Jarrus/SEEN

Rapper Merlyn Wood of Brockhampton performs during the 2018 Mo Pop festival at the West Riverfront Park in Detroit.

The main attractions of the weekend were live performances from an eclectic mix of musicians, both local and national, well known and up and coming. The lineup for both evenings consisted of 22 musical acts and bands that entertained the fans on two stages, Grande and River, with eccentric niche melodies.

“The music was definitely different than what I’m used to, but it was still soulful and beautiful,” says 43-year-old Kendra Billings, who attended the festival with her 17-year-old daughter Mila Billings. “It was a new experience that I ultimately enjoyed.”

Standout acts included 15-year-old Billie Eilish, YouTube-famous rap group Brockhampton, Canadian singer-songwriter Daniel Caesar and guitarist St. Vincent.

2018 Mo Pop FestivalSylvia Jarrus/SEEN

Daniel Caesar performs during the 2018 Mo Pop festival at the West Riverfront Park in Detroit.

After the main performances, Mo Pop hosted official after parties for those 21 and up at PJ’s Lager House. The after parties featured more musicians — Saturday’s after party highlighted Homeshake with Ohio Wild and Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers (with Jerry Dreams) appeared at Sunday’s party.

Though the after parties were for adults, the festival was largely age inclusive. Interspaced in the musical revelry was a Nerf gun battle sponsored by Detroit Dart Club, Faygo tasting and a noodle bar.

2018 Mo Pop FestivalSylvia Jarrus/SEEN

Arden Aiello of Birmingham dances with her hoop during the 2018 Mo Pop festival at the West Riverfront Park in Detroit. Aiello has been hooping for one and half years.

“Like a lot of the stuff Detroit does, Mo Pop gets better every year,” says 31-year-old Ferndale resident Sam Carrigan. “I can’t wait to see the lineup for next year.”

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