2020 Hamtramck Music Festival Has Bands, Beer — and Family-Friendly Activities

The fest has grown this year to include events for families and collaborations with Hamtramck’s large Bangladeshi community.

The largest local music festival of its kind returns to the tiny city of Hamtramck this weekend. 

This year’s Hamtramck Music Fest runs Thursday, February 27 through Saturday, February 29, when dozens of venues across the 2.1 square mile city will host nearly 200 bands.

“There’s bars, rock bands, DJs — but we’ve also been building more family-friendly, alcohol-free options.” – Jennie Knaggs, organizer

Organizer Eugene Strobe says the fest is not only unique in Michigan but has few comparisons nationally.

“It’s volunteer-based, community-based, musician-run,” he says. “There’s really nothing else like it.” 

The fest has grown this year to include events for families and collaborations with Hamtramck’s large Bangladeshi community, like a performance from the Bangla School of Music who will perform at 5:30 pm Saturday at Delite Cafe

“We’ve been trying to cultivate a mini-festival within the festival,” says organizer Jennie Knaggs. 

Proceeds from the festival will go to Hamtramck Public Schools music and arts programs.

Click the player the hear WDET’s Amanda LeClaire talk with Strobe and Knaggs about this year’s Hamtramck Music Fest.

Bands to Catch

The all volunteer-run festival is a labor of love, says Strobe, with each of the venue owners curating their own nightly lineup of music.

“There’s really not one venue that has one specific sound or one year that has a specific sound,” he says. “It’s truly a whole hodgepodge of music culture in one city.”

WDET’s Jon Moshier and Jeff Milo previewed the Hamtramck Music Festival for this weeks “Modern Music with Jon Moshier.”

Hear Modern Music’s HMF preview, and see their picks below.

Friday, Feb. 28

7:30 pm | Carmel Liburdi Quartet @ Hamtramck Public Library (ALL AGES)

9:15 pm | Scott Masson @ Baker Streetcar

9:45 pm | Zilched @ Outer Limits

10:00 pm | SpaceSkull @ Moose Lodge

10:00 pm | Throwaway @ Ghost Light

10:45 pm | Emma Guzman @ Polka Dot

11:00 pm | Leaf Erikson @ The High Dive

11:30 pm | James Linck @ Painted Lady

12:00 am | Shadow Show @ Film Lab

12:15 am | Earth Engine @ Ghost Light 

Saturday, Feb. 29

10:45 pm | Milk Bath @ Outer Limits

11:30 pm | Bave @ Ghost Light

12:00 am | Hala @ New Dodge Lounge

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  • Amanda LeClaire
    Amanda LeClaire is an award-winning host and producer of CultureShift on 101.9 WDET-FM Detroit’s NPR station. She’s a founding producer of WDET’s flagship news talk show Detroit Today, and a former host/reporter for Arizona Public Media. Amanda is also an artist, certified intuitive and energy healer, and professional tarot reader.