Home Celeb Gossip The Blowout is back! One Hamtramck festival returns to help another

The Blowout is back! One Hamtramck festival returns to help another

by cashonbank.com
0 comment

For years, when someone mentioned “the Hamtramck Festival,” clarification was needed whether they were talking about the longstanding “Hamtramck Labor Day Festival” in late summer, or the “Hamtramck Blowout,” the local music extravaganza that took place inside bars in late winter.

Now the two events are officially tied, as the Hamtramck Blowout returns March 1-2, acting as a fundraiser for the 44th annual Hamtramck Labor Day Festival, set for Aug. 31-Sept. 2. Eighteen venues throughout Hamtramck are expected to participate.

“Basically, Blowout back to its roots of being run by musicians for musicians,” said Hamtramck Labor Day Festival organizer Konrad Mazraiz. He said the Labor Day festival — which has never had major corporate sponsors unlike other competing events like the Detroit Jazz Festival or Arts, Beats & Eats — could really use the fundraising this year, and the hope is that this revived Blowout will keep the street fair going for years to come.

For the bulk of its existence the Blowout was produced by alt-weekly publication the Metro Times and often called the “Metro Times Blowout.” But Blowout actually originated in 1998 as a fundraiser for the Detroit Music Awards. Organizers Chris Handyside and Brian Boyle gathered 74 bands to play at six Hamtramck clubs over two nights.

It began as a way to highlight the city’s music scene and all its many genres and sub-genres.

“We wanted to showcase all the great bands in Detroit and get people into the mode of going out to see local music,” Boyle told The Detroit News in 1998, adding that there are so many different scenes within the Detroit music landscape. “What we’re trying to do, in a grassroots, philosophical way, is bring them all together.”

The first Hamtramck Blowout was set at only six locales: storied techno club the Motor Lounge, the Holbrook Café, Lili’s 21, Paycheck’s Lounge, Attic Bar and Roadrunners Raft. Tickets were $6 per showcase or $10 for a wristband that got attendees into all venues both nights.

The event swelled in popularity over the next decade, with bands clamoring to get booked and music fans mapping out their path to try to catch all the performances they desired.

The heyday of the Blowout was in the 2000s, when a dozen-plus venues were involved and attendance ranged in the thousands, with many clubs reaching capacity. It became known as a weekend where a band or performer could go from playing their local watering hole to being known as an act to watch regionally or even nationally, and you also got your act’s name in the Metro Times, another perk. Some of the acts booked throughout the years include the White Stripes and Eminem (pre-fame) and also the Detroit Cobras, the Dirtbombs, the Von Bondies and the Go.

In 2003, more than 175 acts played 13 venues over three nights, kicking off with an all-female hip-hop night with Miz Korona and more at Lush in Hamtramck and featuring acts like the Ruiners, Nice Device, Thunderbirds Are Now, the Lanternjack, Jelly’s Pierced Tattoo and many more around the 2.2-square-mile neighborhood.

There was drama almost from the start, with rumors of competing events often popping up. In 2001 and 2002, a competing music festival, Mid By Midwest, did coincide the same weekend, filling Cass Corridor venues like the Gold Dollar, Alvin’s and the Magic Stick. A fundraiser for women’s shelter HAVEN, Mid by Midwest succeeded in underscoring the need for a more grassroots approach to local music festivals as the Blowout grew and became viewed as more “corporate,” with beer and liquor sponsorships.

The Blowout really started to change in the 2010s. The Metro Times expanded their flagship event to Ferndale and other cities, which caused mixed emotions in the music scene. The last Metro Times Blowout was in 2015.

A similar, though extremely grassroots event called the Hamtramck Music Festival emerged in 2014 as the Blowout’s format continued to morph and even moved from its early March spot. “Powered by the people,” the HMF also eventually moved away from the late winter time frame during the COVID years, and hosted its last event in summer 2022.

Now, 2024 marks the return of the Hamtramck Blowout March 1-2, organized by the locally based team that produces the Hamtramck Labor Day Festival. An opening night party is set for Feb. 29 at the Fowling Warehouse in Detroit.

Bands and performers interested in playing should submit their information to hamtramckblowout.com. All-access wristbands will be available for $20 in advance, or attendees can pay $10 at the door to get into any one showcase. Additional information about wristband sales, times and venues will be announced soon.

Maziarz says he has the same hopes for the Blowout that he has for the Labor Day festival, to introduce new people to Hamtramck.

“It’s a time we get to showcase the city,” he said. “The (Labor Day) festival was an event I went to as a kid, the Blowout was something I did in my early 20s. Both events had a significant impact on my life, and I’m just happy I can try to keep these Hamtramck traditions alive.””I will also never forget the challenges of getting from bar to bar in snowstorms and uncleared streets during the Blowout,” he added. “And everyone should get to experience that joy.”


Source link

You may also like

Leave a Comment

Cash on Bank (3)

Your go-to source for the latest in Hip Hop culture. Stay tuned for breaking news, exclusive interviews, and trend updates, all curated for the true Hip Hop enthusiast.

Please enter CoinGecko Free Api Key to get this plugin works.