Crash Detroit is a free, annual music festival first launched in 2014 by musicians from the Detroit Party Marching Band and members of the Detroit community. For a Friday and Saturday each summer, a collection of America’s most acclaimed street bands and performers come together to delight the community with music, dancing, arts, crafts, and youth engagement.
Street bands are un-amplified ensembles with the power to surprise and inspire their audiences, bringing life to the spaces where they perform. Crash Detroit brings this power to the city, encouraging the community to revel in the joyous sounds and movements found in street band culture and music. In total, over 9,500 people have attended just the Saturday festivals, experiencing different brass bands from around the country—many having made Crash Detroit their first-ever Detroit appearance.
Crash Detroit is part of Crash Detroit Productions a recently minted 50c3 non-profit!
Friday July 19. At various businesses across Detroit
In the evening of Friday July 20st, attending bands will “Crash” Detroit by roving the city and surprising audiences at local bars, businesses, and public spaces with impromptu performances. While the performances will be spontaneous, audience members can catch up with the performers as hints to locations will be released the day before and are live tweeted throughout Friday night.
Saturday July 20. Daytime at Clark Park. Nighttime at the Old Miami
The main festival, held on Saturday afternoon in Lincoln Street Art Park, features sets from each band, food and drinks from local trucks and establishments, and fun for everybody in attendance. With the Youth Crash Corps initiative, kids and adults can make their own instruments on-site and join in on spontaneous DIY parades. At 9pm, the festival will transition from the Lincoln Street Art Park to a ticketed event at Marble Bar.
Crash Detroit will feature local and national street bands. Visit crashdetroit.org or the Facebook event for the full schedule of performances.
Crash in the Cut
Sunday July 21. Daytime at Dequindre Cut Freight Yard
In coordination with the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, celebrations will roll on through Sunday afternoon, July 21nd, inside the Dequindre Cut Greenway with performances at the Freight Yard. Crash Detroit is excited to expand the festival into this creative, colorful, and unique space showcasing the work of local artists and partners.
Crash Detroit is a community-based music initiative that promotes unamplified brass and drum-based street music, performance in public spaces, free access to the arts, and music education for Detroit’s youth. Crash invites the community to get out of their houses and spend a summer day together enjoying music, food and the company of their friends and neighbors.
Entering our 5th year, this entirely volunteer-run festival is supported by local businesses, arts organizations and individual donors. Performers also donate their time and talents to the festival, enabling a free experience for attendees.
Crash Detroit is committed to supporting local businesses by making them a destination for our over 1,500 annual attendees and over 100 traveling performers. We do this by having bands “crash” at specific businesses on Friday and attracting thousands of attendees to the city. Detroit becomes the main stage, showcasing its beauty alongside amazing music performances.
Youth Crash Corps
Youth Crash Corps (YCC) provides music education to young adults in Detroit who do not have the option of taking a music class at school. Led by certified instrumental music educator, Nichole Hartrick, students in YCC will have access to a band instrument free of charge and will learn how to perform and read music. Classes will culminate in performances during the Crash music festival.
This year, YCC is proud to partner with Clippert Academy in Southwest Detroit. Clippert Academy is a Detroit Public School (5-8th grade) that has not offered music to students in over 15 years. We know that students who don’t have access to a quality music education are missing out on the benefits that learning to play an instrument provides. Studies have shown that students who study music perform better in their core classes and on standardized tests. Studies have shown that students who participate in an instrumental music class perform better in core subject areas and on standardized tests. Additionally, band kids have more self-confidence, a sense of community and an outlet for creativity and expression. Music education is a critical component of a well-rounded education and we are excited to provide this opportunity for students in Detroit.
Younger children attending the festival can also get in on the action by creating their own DIY instruments and participating in kid parades through the day on Saturday.