In 2009, GREMN (Grand Rapids Electronic Music Night) became the first major music event organized by Grand Rapids event organizer Rob Bliss. The event took place at Rosa Park Circle in downtown Grand Rapids with an attendance of 3,500 by police estimation. The event was completely free and featured 100% local talent.
In 2010, the event moved to Calder Plaza to accommodate a larger audience and had an attendance of over 10,000. The event remained free to the public, featured local talent and added Chicago talent and Michigan native, DJ Kalendr to the bill as the headliner. Video of GREMN 2011.
In 2011, long time Grand Rapids godfather of EDM (Electronic Dance Music) and House, Shannon Williams was added to the event with a goal to build on something that was already really good, but most definately marked the beginning of something great: City Lights Music Festival.
With Shannon's involvement, the evolution of “GREMN” to “City Lights Music Festival” brought well known entertainers with a mass multi-cultural appeal. Blake Lewis, American Idol runner-up and proclaimed artist and DJ emceed the event. While the extrodinaire talent from Detroit and Grand Rapids as well as last year's headliner, DJ Kalendr from Chicago filled Calder Plaza with several thousand. (See our profile on Shannon Williams and DJ Kalendr from early 2011.) This year they added two VIP sections. The best value was 'Platinum' which landed you right in front of the stage — where we stood for the entire time during Kalendr's set. Definitely worth the $30!
The 2011 Line-Up included:
Kenneth Thomas - Detroit
Anthony Attalla - Detroit
Kalendr - Chicago
SuperDre - Grand Rapids
DJ Godfather - Detroit
Detroit Techno Militia - Detroit
Brandon Hill - Grand Rapids
Steve Swift - Grand Rapids
The Grand Rapids Social Diary hosted a VIP photo wall the night of the event which can be seen on our facebook page.
We want to sincerely thank the event organizers and all of the incredible talent involved with City Lights Music Festival for allowing us to be part of this amazing event. It secured a solid place in the Grand Rapids Social Diary Top Ten of 2011! We cannot wait until next year!
WSNX / CLUB 104 FIVE
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