Downtown Hoedown Detroit (6/8-6/10)
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the gigantic country music festival. The best part? You don't have to be a fan of the twang to appreciate this bash. Folks from all over come to party, dance, drink and take in some fantastic sights on the grounds surrounding Comerica Park. Performances include Paulina Jayne, Longneck Stranglers, Dierks Bentley, Montgomery Gentry, Karen Newman, Miranda Lambert and more!
Brews, Blues & BBQ Clinton Township (6/9)
Let's be honest – everyone in their right mind loves BBQ. Well, the inaugural Brews, Blues & BBQ event gives you brisket, fried chicken, pulled pork and ribs – plus a ton of local craft beers, live music from Alyssa Simmons, Tampa Ted and the Blue Knights and Pride & Joy, a charity photo booth and 10 premium drink tokens that come included in the price of your ticket. Sounds delicious and fun, right?
Clay, Glass & Metal Show Royal Oak (6/9-6/10)
Head on down Washington Avenue in downtown Royal Oak to experience a one-of-a-kind art show. Performers from the Detroit School of Rock & Pop will be performing alongside a plethora of jewelry makers, gift vendors, decorative artists, pottery masters and architectural geniuses – over 140 artists in total! The Creative Arts Studio will also have a tent open for the whole family to express their artistic side. And don't forget to participate in the Community Mosaic Project while you're there – it's an open invite to everyone to creatively express themselves on the next stage of panels in the project that will be displayed alongside the original two (from 2010's show) at the children's area in the Royal Oak Public Library.
Summer Beer Fest Royal Oak (6/23)
You get to sample over 100 beers, check out some fantastic beer-inspired food, live music and more. And did we mention the whole time you'll be raising funds for Camp Casey (the non-profit that helps children and their families battle cancer with help from a few beloved horses)? The event's being held at the Royal Oak Farmers Market – a super-appropriate and fun location for the festival – as the warm weather brew extravaganza promises to be one hell of a time!
Electric Forest Rothbury, MI (6/28-7/1)
Our very own version of a camping weekend festival returns – and there's something for any musical taste out there! Bassnectar, the String Cheese Incident, Girl Talk, Santigold, Steve Aoki, Ghostland Observatory, Richie Hawtin, Major Lazer, Borgore, Das Racist and lots, lots more! Also, enjoy the Gold Rush Water Park, golfing (and disc golfing), horseback riding and lounging on the beaches of Big Wildcat Lake. Damn, that sounds like one killer weekend!
Stars & Stripes Festival Mount Clemens (6/29-7/1)
The annual Independence Day festival in downtown Mount Clemens always delivers. This year features Eddie Money, Buckcherry, Tesla, Skid Row and tons more in terms of musical mayhem! But don't forget the Banana Derby, carnival, K-9 performance team and BMX show. The laser show on Saturday night is always amazing, and the fireworks display is something that brings hordes of folks out every single year.
Global Dance Festival Royal Oak Music Theatre (7/18-7/19)
One of America's premier electronic music festivals, the Global Dance Festival will be making four North American stops this year – and one of them is in our backyard! Check out peformances by Above & Beyond, Wolfgang Gartner, Mord Fustang, Knife Party, Emalkay and more! But we warn you – be prepared to dance your ass off. (It's a good thing the Royal Oak Music Theatre is air-conditioned!)
IDentity Festival Pontiac (7/20)
Check out the new digs at the Elektricity festival grounds in Pontiac – the hot spot for electronic music. And they've brought some heavy hitters to this particular stop on the IDentity tour. Eric Prydz, Nero, Excision, Madeon, Arty, Showtek, Bingo Players, Le Castle Vania, Audrey Napoleon and Stephan Jacobs. Want to really step it up and get the full festival experience? Get a VIP Aftershow Package, which gets you the royal treatment and a show you won't likely forget!
Detroit Jazz Festival Detroit (8/31-9/3)
With a lineup featuring Sonny Rollins, the Wynton Marsalis Quintet, Chick Corea and Gary Burton, the Pat Metheny Unity Band and a whole lot more, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better (and more internationally-recognized) true jazz fest. In its 32nd year, this festival has made Detroit proud – stretching from Hart Plaza to Campus Martius – for a long time, and features not only a fantastic musical lineup, but also a true sense of community. Definitely a can't-miss, whether you're a Detroit native or an out-of-towner.
Carrousel by the River Windsor (6/8-6/10)
Our good neighbors to the north (actually, it's more east than north, but who's really keeping track?) are bringing a pretty great musical lineup to their world music and food extravaganza this year. Kenny G and Alexander Zonjic, the Ohio Players, Detroit's own Thornetta Davis, the Sultans of Swing and more will keep you musically entertained while you check out the sights and smells at the new Culinary Pavilion (complete with a cooking demonstration by celebrity chef David Rocco).
Berkley Art Bash Berkley (6/9)
Downtown Berkley is coming alive with art of every style and shape! Food, art, live music and even activities for kids are what's in store again this year. With more than 100 artists, authors and food creators, you get to enjoy four blocks of awesomeness!
Windsor Summer Fest Windsor (6/13-7/1)
Jump across the Detroit River (not literally) to check out this long-running Canadian festival – which also coincides perfectly with a great view for the 54th Annual Target Fireworks! The 17-day fest, situated nicely along the riverfront, attracts upwards of 500,000 visitors, all interested in checking out a fantastic offering of music, shopping, reenactments, watersports, food, dancing and the Canada Day Parade (complete with a giant birthday cake).
Detroit River Days Detroit (6/22-6/24)
The River Days festival goes hand-in-hand with our neighbors in Windsor, creating a bi-national extravaganza of enjoyment that acts as a pre- and post-lude to a summer of fun! Enlighten yourself with the history of the Tuskegee Airmen and the Detroit Historical Museum, learn about the outdoors at the Milliken State Park, check out the street performers along the Riverwalk and enjoy a fantastic sampling of live music and delicious food while you're there. And did we mention the monumental sand sculptures that always have us amazed?
Jazzin' on Jefferson Detroit (6/15-6/16)
Whether you're a classic soul and jazz kinda fan or you just want to take the family down to enjoy the sights and sounds, this is the spot for you. And with an outdoor beer lounge and bar, it's a safe bet that this will be enjoyed by all!
Ann Arbor Summer Festival Ann Arbor (6/15-7/8)
Ann Arbor is a festival in itself, but this summer you get three weeks of awesomeness! Musical superstars Feist, Al Green, Esperanza Spalding, Rufus Wainwright, Bonnie Raitt and more will be among the performers in this summer's lineup. Additionally, you get all sorts of other fantastic entertainment, ranging from dance performances to comedy to political satire to spoken word. And it wouldn't be Ann Arbor without art! With a nice combo of free and ticketed events, you'll find something to do, no matter what you're looking for.
Sunset at the Zoo Detroit Zoo, Royal Oak (6/22)
There's nothing quite like spending a cool evening at the zoo, enjoying live music, food and drinks from fantastic vendors and local eateries (everything from Buddy's Pizza to Dirty Dog Jazz Café to the Whitney and Zazio's), all the while surrounded by the fantastic animal exhibits at the one and only Detroit Zoo. This year (in conjunction with the new carousel) boasts a carnival theme at the 21+ event, all benefitting the Detroit Zoological Society.
St. Clair Riverfest St. Clair (6/27-6/29)
In addition to the offshore boat racing at this fantastic event, there's a laser show, carnival, K-9 performance team and loads of free music (including performances by Smash Mouth and the Gin Blossoms), a water stunt show and loads more!
Thunderdrome Detroit (6/30)
The racing series returns, and it doesn't matter if it's mopeds, pit bikes, scooters, minibikes, bicycles, mountain bikes, go-karts or anything else on one, two, three, four or more wheels. The Dorais Velodrome in Detroit will be overrun all sorts of cool vendors, races, partying and much more. As always, this is a can't-miss event!
Plymouth Art in the Park Plymouth (7/13-7/15)
Michigan's second-largest art fair has been providing art, entertainment and culinary delights to its visitors for over three decades – featuring the works of almost 400 artists, ranging from paintings to jewelry to photography and everything in between.
Gold Cup 2012 Detroit (7/13-7/15)
The Detroit River Regatta Association brings the 103rd running of the APBA Gold Cup, one of the most famous and storied motor sports (with the trophy itself being the oldest active trophy in all of motor sports history), to you with hydroplane races upwards of 200 mph! That said, feel free to enjoy the weekend at a leisurely pace, or as part of the high-adrenaline fanbase.
Ann Arbor Art Fairs Ann Arbor (7/18-7/21)
Are you an art enthusiast? If so, then you're already well aware of the award-winning art fairs that encompass this grandiose event. Established in 1960, the fairs attract over 500,000 visitors annually, and have been named among the top art fairs in the country on more than one occasion. Serious, juried art fairs of the highest order, you'll find some mind-blowing art to either take in or take home at any of the four events.
Roar on the River Trenton (7/20-7/22)
Tunnel boat hydroplane racing, a fantastic food selection, the beautiful and talented Detroit Pistons dancers, a pro jet-ski team and live musical entertainment? That's a full festival of fun! Remedy and Marley-ritaville Band are two of the main musical attractions, and with the high-octane racing and great food surrounding you, what more can you ask for?
Michigan Bier Celebration Frankenmuth (7/21)
The inaugural festival celebrating the amazing array of beer available throughout Michigan is coming to the Bavarian town of Frankenmuth, highlighted by 15 Michigan breweries and 12 more select brewers from around the country. How does Oktoberfest in July sound to you? With musical entertainment and proceeds going to various charities, it doesn't get much better than this.
Maker Faire Dearborn (7/28-7/29)
Robotics, rockets, food and fashion – is there anything else to life? The Henry Ford is a place for invention and history, and it's bringing back all of these themes for this two-day event that features arts, crafts, engineering, food, music, technology and the whole DIY approach to life. Here's to celebrating creativity!
Shakespeare in the Park Royal Oak (8/2-8/12)
Celebrating some of the works of one of history's most amazing artists, the Water Works Theatre Company is yet again providing Henry V, A Midsummer Night's Dream (fitting, isn't it?) and a free series of summer sonnets in Royal Oak's Starr Jaycee Park.
Ribs R&B Jazz Festival Detroit (8/10-8/12)
Now this is a fantastic combination of food, music and fun! Three days of BBQ, live entertainment (including Ronnie Laws, Phil Perry, Howard Hewett, and Ralphe Armstrong) and shopping are brought to you in Hart Plaza for the 16th year – and be sure not to miss the Best Ribs and Best Sauce competition (it's a close second to taking in some amazing live jazz and R&B).
Country Fair & Corn Roast Royal Oak (8/11)
What is undoubtedly a fantastic family-friendly event also happens to provide some of the best food (featuring, duh, some of the best roasted corn you'll ever lay eyes – or taste buds – on) around town. In addition to local produce, shopping and a fun pie-eating competition, you'll also get to help support improvements to the Royal Oak Farmers Market. That sounds like a win-win to us!
Dirtfest Birch Run (8/11)
Birch Run is known for more than just shopping, mind you. In August, you'll be rocking your brains out and having your face melted. Dirtfest brings you the original lineup of Chiodos, Clutch, Wilson, Critical Bill and so much more that it will literally drive you batshit crazy. Held at the Birch Run Expo Center (because, let's face it, all that awesomeness can't be contained at too many other venues), this event is presented by Dejà Vu and Gold Club, and hosted by Banana 101.5 – so you know it's going to rock!
Woodward Dream Cruise Woodward Ave. (8/18)
It's all about the automobile here in the Motor City, right? Well, to be honest, this event has always been just as much about community togetherness and fun as it is about hot rods and muscle cars. And no matter where you're at, you are most likely only a short drive from our favorite main artery of roads – the historic Woodward Avenue!
Michigan Renaissance Festival Holly (8/18-9/30)
Oh boy, it's soon going to be that time of year again! Fairies, wooden axes, mead and facepaint. Does it get any more "summer in Michigan" than the Renaissance Festival? Whether you think it's corny or it's your life's passion, you can't deny the fact that a giant turkey drumstick and some archery are where it's at in the Mitten State.
Arts, Beats & Eats Royal Oak (8/31-9/3)
You not only get art, a fantastic array of food from a diverse pool of vendors and establishments, but you get – get ready for this – 200 performances on ten stages. Each year, particularly since the event's move from Pontiac to hip and happenin' Royal Oak, the festival has gotten bigger and bigger – to the point where it's now amongst the world's largest art and music festivals. Have you been before? You'll likely go again, and if you haven't, what are you waiting for?
Michigan Peach Festival Romeo (9/1-9/3)
Yes, this is a family-friendly event. But have you been to the beer tent?! If the answer is yes, then you know the one-and-only Peach Festival truly has something for everyone. Offering a car show, 5K and 10K runs, parade and tons of great food (in addition to constant musical accompaniment), you'll easily fall in love with Romeo – if you haven't already.
Smokin' Jazz & Barbeque Blues Festival Brighton (9/7-9/8)
Is it possible for an event to have a more appropriate title? Everyone loves BBQ, and we're fairly certain that anyone can get into jazz without much effort. Pro food vendors, a serene backdrop in picturesque Brighton and fantastic musical headliners bring people out in droves yearly for this end-of-summer festival.
Arts & Apples Festival Rochester (9/7-9/9)
Downtown Rochester is a quaint community, offering all sorts of shopping, nightlife and great food. The annual Arts & Apples Festival is a glowing symbol of everything Rochester has to offer. From music to food to arts and crafts, you'll be able to find enjoyment of every sort here, whether you're eight or 80.