Lifestyle

An Insider's Cheat Sheet to This Year's Hamtramck Music Festival

Published On 02/29/2016 Published On 02/29/2016
Mexican Knives band
Mexican Knives | Esme McClear

Oh, Hamtramck, you bastion of dive bars, hopelessly broke artists, and legendary rock shows. How we love thee. Especially when we get to experience all that spirit in one big weekend mashup known as The Hamtramck Music Festival. Starting with a raging kickoff party on March 3rd, more than 200 bands at some two dozen bars, restaurants, and clubs party all weekend. The organizers have thoughtfully arranged for shuttle buses to loop around town and have food trucks lined up to provide much-needed sustenance to balance out all the booze going in your tummy during this long weekend.

There's an overwhelming number of things to do and people to see, so we're giving you the lowdown on key bands, venues, and food to keep on your itinerary throughout the four-day long bash.

Flickr/Yelp Inc.

Date

Event

Location

Mar 3 Thu

Get to the Kickoff Party at Fowling Warehouse 7pm-2am
Start at the sprawling Fowling Warehouse on the south edge of town. Two stages, 10 bands -- it's the beginning of every great music documentary and your long weekend. Opening act The Walking Beat starts at 8pm on stage one. The Detroit band's sound ranges from hard-driving rock, '70s glam, and Townes Van Zandt-inspired ballads. Plus, $10 open fowling.

Fowling Warehouse

Get to the Kickoff Party at Fowling Warehouse Fowling Warehouse 7pm-2am
Start at the sprawling Fowling Warehouse on the south edge of town. Two stages, 10 bands -- it's the beginning of every great music documentary and your long weekend. Opening act The Walking Beat starts at 8pm on stage one. The Detroit band's sound ranges from hard-driving rock, '70s glam, and Townes Van Zandt-inspired ballads. Plus, $10 open fowling.

Date

Event

Location

Mar 3 Thu

Take care of your drunchies at Grandy’s Coney Island 3am 
Because when the bars close up in Hamtramck, you and your Uber driver will inevitably wind up in the drive-thru line at Grandy’s on the Detroit side of Holbrook at the Chrysler service drive. Soak up all that shitty Stroh’s with a grilled cheese, Coney, or a heaping order of chili fries. You’ll regret it in the morning, but whatever. You needed it in the moment.

Grandy’s Coney Island

Take care of your drunchies at Grandy’s Coney Island Grandy’s Coney Island 3am 
Because when the bars close up in Hamtramck, you and your Uber driver will inevitably wind up in the drive-thru line at Grandy’s on the Detroit side of Holbrook at the Chrysler service drive. Soak up all that shitty Stroh’s with a grilled cheese, Coney, or a heaping order of chili fries. You’ll regret it in the morning, but whatever. You needed it in the moment.

The Blueflowers | Bernie Eldred

Date

Event

Location

Mar 4 Fri

Recover from last night at Café 1923 5pm
Better get your caffeine fix taken care of, stat. While you’re at it, take in some relaxing coffee shop lounge music, brought to you by singer/songwriter Eye See who describes his music as songs of love and despair with a heavy dose of reverb.

Café 1923

Recover from last night at Café 1923 Café 1923 5pm
Better get your caffeine fix taken care of, stat. While you’re at it, take in some relaxing coffee shop lounge music, brought to you by singer/songwriter Eye See who describes his music as songs of love and despair with a heavy dose of reverb.

Date

Event

Location

Mar 4 Fri

Move onto loud guitar music Bumbo’s 10pm
... But keep the chill vibes going at Bumbo’s, one of the newer bars in town. Described by some as the “adult bar," owners Tia and Brian Krawczyk’s pay close attention to crafting interesting cocktails and hosting regular Polish pop-ups. Last year as it was opening up, it had a pop-up to feed the mass of hungry partiers. This year, it's focusing on being a straight up bar-venue. Here, you’re in for softer tunes, like indie slacker soul band, Black Shampoo, at 10pm.

Bumbo’s

Move onto loud guitar music Bumbo’s Bumbo’s 10pm
... But keep the chill vibes going at Bumbo’s, one of the newer bars in town. Described by some as the “adult bar," owners Tia and Brian Krawczyk’s pay close attention to crafting interesting cocktails and hosting regular Polish pop-ups. Last year as it was opening up, it had a pop-up to feed the mass of hungry partiers. This year, it's focusing on being a straight up bar-venue. Here, you’re in for softer tunes, like indie slacker soul band, Black Shampoo, at 10pm.

Date

Event

Location

Mar 4 Fri

Mosey to Rock City Eatery (but not to eat) 11:15pm
You know RCE for its ever-changing menu and cocktails. After the kitchen closes at 10pm, the popular restaurant will host a lineup that includes The Blueflowers, a six-piece melodramatic and cinematic folk-noir band. Expect sweet vocals and pretty guitar riffs.

Rock City Eatery

Mosey to Rock City Eatery (but not to eat) Rock City Eatery 11:15pm
You know RCE for its ever-changing menu and cocktails. After the kitchen closes at 10pm, the popular restaurant will host a lineup that includes The Blueflowers, a six-piece melodramatic and cinematic folk-noir band. Expect sweet vocals and pretty guitar riffs.

School Of Rock Rochester

Date

Event

Location

Mar 5 Sat

Close out the night with a punk show at Small’s 12:30am
A stalwart in the city’s music scene, Small’s will host local favorites, Radio Burns -- comprised of former members of The Dirtys, Millions of Brazilians, The Suicide Machines, and Frank & Jesse -- for the high energy rock band’s last. show. ever. To drink, Small’s will be slinging 24oz cans for $6 and $3 Jezy shots. It's Hamtramck, baby!

Small’s

Close out the night with a punk show at Small’s Small’s 12:30am
A stalwart in the city’s music scene, Small’s will host local favorites, Radio Burns -- comprised of former members of The Dirtys, Millions of Brazilians, The Suicide Machines, and Frank & Jesse -- for the high energy rock band’s last. show. ever. To drink, Small’s will be slinging 24oz cans for $6 and $3 Jezy shots. It's Hamtramck, baby!

Date

Event

Location

Mar 5 Sat

Stuff your face with a burger at Campau Tower 3am
Grab a burger, some tots, and a shake at late-night greasy spoon spot, Campau Tower. Who knows, maybe you’ll get to catch up on your Quentin Tarantino film watching on the spot’s flat screen, or be served by JP from the HP, the local rapper who will have just wrapped up a midnight set at New Dodge.

Campau Tower

Stuff your face with a burger at Campau Tower Campau Tower 3am
Grab a burger, some tots, and a shake at late-night greasy spoon spot, Campau Tower. Who knows, maybe you’ll get to catch up on your Quentin Tarantino film watching on the spot’s flat screen, or be served by JP from the HP, the local rapper who will have just wrapped up a midnight set at New Dodge.

Date

Event

Location

Mar 5 Sat

Watch the next generation shred at Hamtramck Public Library 5pm
When you feel like waxing nostalgic about your days in your high school garage band, swing by the library on Caniff to check out the next generation of School of Rockers. Back-to-back performances by members of youth music education center School of Rock locations in Rochester and Farmington. They told to librarians to cool it on the shushing for this one.

Hamtramck Public Library

Watch the next generation shred at Hamtramck Public Library Hamtramck Public Library 5pm
When you feel like waxing nostalgic about your days in your high school garage band, swing by the library on Caniff to check out the next generation of School of Rockers. Back-to-back performances by members of youth music education center School of Rock locations in Rochester and Farmington. They told to librarians to cool it on the shushing for this one.

Date

Event

Location

Mar 5 Sat

Get weird at Kelly’s 11:45pm
We know and love Kelly’s for its weekly Kellyoke sets, 75 cent tacos, and regular shows. This year, it's continuing its fest participation with a lineup that includes Mexican Knives, which combines punk, surf, and goth influences.

Kelly’s

Get weird at Kelly’s Kelly’s 11:45pm
We know and love Kelly’s for its weekly Kellyoke sets, 75 cent tacos, and regular shows. This year, it's continuing its fest participation with a lineup that includes Mexican Knives, which combines punk, surf, and goth influences.

Date

Event

Location

Mar 6 Sun

Lo & Behold 2am
If you’ve ever been to a dance party inside this quirky record shop run by Richie Wohlfeil, you know the setup is part retro Motown sock hop (sans poodle skirts), part Detroit Rock City punk. To wrap up the music portion of the fest, Wohlfeil will throw his 78 RPM Dance Party.

Lo & Behold

Lo & Behold Lo & Behold 2am
If you’ve ever been to a dance party inside this quirky record shop run by Richie Wohlfeil, you know the setup is part retro Motown sock hop (sans poodle skirts), part Detroit Rock City punk. To wrap up the music portion of the fest, Wohlfeil will throw his 78 RPM Dance Party.

Date

Event

Location

Mar 6 Sun

PLAV Post #10 11:30am-4 pm
You’re good and hung over by now. Your head will be ringing for the next week. Why not recover at the Hangover Brunch at the PLAV Post #10? A mere $6 gets you all-you-can-eat brunch from 11am-3pm. Plus, score some vinyl at the HMF Pop-Up Record Shop from noon-4pm. Oh, and pick up some dance lessons from the Detroit Square Dance Society 12:30pm-3pm. At least you'll have learned something this weekend.

PLAV Post #10

PLAV Post #10 PLAV Post #10 11:30am-4 pm
You’re good and hung over by now. Your head will be ringing for the next week. Why not recover at the Hangover Brunch at the PLAV Post #10? A mere $6 gets you all-you-can-eat brunch from 11am-3pm. Plus, score some vinyl at the HMF Pop-Up Record Shop from noon-4pm. Oh, and pick up some dance lessons from the Detroit Square Dance Society 12:30pm-3pm. At least you'll have learned something this weekend.

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