FilterD Extra: Corktown Music Festival blasts into Roosevelt Park on July 24

Figuring out a music festival isn't the hardest thing to do.

They what they are. You find out the artists who are playing or the style of the music being performed and you're there if you like the program, and you're not, if you don't.

But the third annual Corktown Music Festival  is about much more. It's a day and night of celebrating community life in Detroit's oldest neighborhood.

It's a way of reconnecting with its spirit by rediscovering one of the city's most interesting public green spaces: Roosevelt Park, an imperfect triangle that fronts the massive and iconic Michigan Central Station and serves as a leafy gateway to the old and vibrant Southwest Detroit neighborhood.

It is the potential of the park that Corktown Music Festival organizer Xi Walls says is the focus of the festival. "We wanted to bring people together in the nine acres that make up Roosevelt Park, give it back an identity that its lost over time," Walls says. "People know the train station but some don't know that the park even has a name. The festival is happening to advance the notion that Corktown has this great community space."

Promoters, neighborhood activists, artists, musicians, and business owners worked together to put on the first two festivals in 2008 and 2009, but late-arriving permits limited how much planning went into the events.

This year, Walls says organizers had the luxury of getting the production and publicity rolling much sooner. "We had three months of lead time for this one," she says. "We've been able to get several music stages and other activities scheduled."

Stages include Raise the Flag, Spin Detroit and the Revolution Area, which will include a community drum circle, house music DJs Mike "Agent X" Clark, Guy LaFleur and Todd Weston, and martial arts and activities for kids. The festival will also have projections that use the train station as a backdrop at dusk.

Some of the talent on the Raise the Flag Stage includes Duminie DePorres (known for his electro-funk guitar work with George Clinton, Public Enemy, Theo Parrish and others), the Amino Acids and Nick Speed; and in the Spin Detroit tent find electronic artists Anthony Attalla, Shawn Micheals, John Johr, DJ Seoul, Greg Mudge and other Detroit DJs.

The Corktown Music Festival begins at noon this Saturday, July 24, and has continuous music flowing until 10 p.m. If that isn't enough, after-parties are scheduled at several nearby venues. Go here for more info on the late night haps. Map and directions are here.

Read more articles by Walter Wasacz.

Walter Wasacz is a writer and the former managing editor of Model D. You can find more of his writings here.
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