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Everything You Need To Know about Mo Pop Festival 2018

DETROIT, MI - JULY 29: General view during day 1 of Mo Pop Festival at Detroit Riverfront on July 29, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Scott Legato/Getty Images)

Exhausted by the idea of racing from festival stage to stage in the summer heat? Mo Pop Festival to the rescue. The laid-back Detroit-based event not only doesn’t overlap artists’ set times but aligns its two stages so that you can watch both without physically moving. No more choosing between Bon Iver and Brockhampton, Billie Eilish and Clairo or St. Vincent and Vince Staples, all standouts on the well-curated lineup this year. Yet efficiency isn’t the only feature of the free-spirited fest. Drop by any of Mo Pop’s four “Villages” (Mo Arcade, Food Truck Rally Alley, Craft Bazaar and the Shipyard, a beer garden) for a taste of the best and quirkiest art, food, drinks and fun Detroit has to offer—then relax on the lush, 20-acre oasis that is West Riverfront Park.

July 28 – 29

West Riverfront Park, Detroit, Mich.

Plenty of affordable chain hotels are within reasonable walking distance of West Riverfront Park. If you want to splurge a little on a local option, the stylish Detroit Foundation Hotel or Aloft Detroit at the David Whitney are architecturally stunning, crowd-pleasing picks.

Expect lots of local cool kids with bushy beards, tattoo sleeves and a casual cool style you’ll want to copy. What won’t you find? A pretentious VIP section full of social climbers.

What other festival appeals to both your inner child and your grown-up desire to avoid hordes of people and actually see some music? With its relaxed sense of scheduling, (air-conditioned!) arcade, eco-conscious wares and local foodie options, Mo Pop is the place for those who prefer to leave a fest refreshed.

You enjoy a more chaotic festival atmosphere. Hey, some people love the rush of making a set at the very last second and the sheer insanity of large fests. Mo Pop is decidedly not that — with its boutique vibe, smaller lineups and focus on local artisans, this is the festival for those who enjoy adulting.

“Norf Norf,” Vince Staples
“Ocean Eyes,” Billie Eilish
“4EVER,” Clairo
“Feel It Still,” Portugal the Man

Detroit is a hip, somewhat countercultural city with a strong individualistic streak — which means fewer flower crowns and more tattoos. Remember that summers in the Midwest can get sticky with humidity and are prone to rainstorms. In 2015, heavy rains overwhelmed the park’s drainage system and formed a standing body of water nicknamed “Lake Mo Pop.” Pack accordingly.

Make a beeline for the Deep Eddy Vodka Dive In tour trailer in GA to grab a Lemon Splash cocktail (Deep Eddy Lemon Vodka and soda) and stay for the games, charging station and photo booth!

You’ll be able to catch them all, but make sure you don’t duck out to the food village during these sets: Rapper Vince Staples puts on an energetic festival performance that includes a sophisticated light design. Boy band Brockhampton has been whipping fans and critics alike into a frenzy. Budding pop behemoth Billie Eilish will be huge — say you saw her when.

You shouldn’t leave Detroit without visiting at least two museums, the Piquette Avenue Ford Plant and the Motown Museum. Piquette Avenue Ford Plant, the original Model T factory, is on the National Register of Historic Places and is the oldest auto plant open the public anywhere in the world. Hitsville, USA is where Motown icon Berry Gordy lived and recorded all those legendary records.

You’ve graduated from eagerly anticipating crazy festival weekends to craving a much calmer event. The promoters of Mo Pop do everything in their power not only to see as much music as possible, but also to make your experience easy and pleasant.

Mo Pop Festival might be easygoing, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get excited. The lineup is a smart blend of both genres and newbie and veteran musical artists. Plus, Detroit is a city that lives on the cutting edge of hip but also honors its history. Gather your friends and use this weekend to — gasp! — unwind.