More Music at Mo Pop

Written by Tori Thomas

Do you have your favorite little go-to festival? Mo Pop brings in big national acts with the feel of a small festival and this year featured artists such as Foster The People, Alt-J, Tyler The Creator, Solange, Phantogram, Vance Joy, and many more. They offer a wide variety of music genres, food selection and fun activities! They hit the mark year after year, bringing large acts and amazing up and coming artists. Mo Pop is a festival for all walks of life.

Music Genre: Alternative, Rock, EDM, psychedelic, Hip Hop.

Camping: No.

Capacity: Medium.

Crowd Type: All walks of life. Families, teens, adults, hippies, and anyone who loves music.

Water Stations: Yes, only one right when you walk into the festival.

For the First Timers:

In the heart of Downtown Detroit, sits a colorful festival full of local artists and national bands. Mo Pop takes place at at West Riverfront Park, which is right on the border of the Detroit River, and you can see both the Detroit and Windsor, Canada skyline. Shopping, hotels, and amazing restaurants surround the park. Your best bet is to fly into Detroit and while you’re in town you can taxi, Uber, Lyft, public transport, drive, or bike around. The layout of the festival has changed from previous years, but I think they’ve discovered a layout that works well.

Visit for planning your trip next year!


Standout Food:

My favorite food at any festival is Island Noodles! I don’t know what it is, but those stir fry noodles and festivals just make an incredible pair.

Stage Layout:

At Mo Pop Festival, the festival grounds are laid out in a very convenient fashion. When you walk into the festival gates, you are greeted with an arcade, “School of Rock” stage, a nerf gun fighting area, sponsor trucks & activities, food trucks, then the art vendors. Across the walk way is a view of Canada and the Detroit River, along with painted pianos and a giant Mo Pop sign. The stages ares are lined with food vendors, bars, and more sponsors. The stages are on the North and East side of the park and are close to each other. Artists appear on alternating stages, so no music overlaps.


Musical Highlights:

There were many good acts, some that I knew before Mo Pop and some that I discovered at the festival, here are my favorites from the weekend:

Phantogram: I’d like to first say, that I danced my ass off during their set. What I came to realize during their set, was I enjoyed their music before, but I didn’t know who the artist was. When I made that connection, I decided to listen to their music all the way back to Ohio (a 3+ hour drive). The theatrics and catchy beats drew me in and kept me wanting more.

Foster The People: I’m one of their fans that caught on after Pumped Up Kicks, but I listened to their albums from front to back many times. They have a way with creating beats that are not only catchy but mesmerizing. Throughout their set, they actually changed the way some of the older songs sounded, so instead of their original electronic sound, it had more guitar. The energy that was coming off the stage was electrifying!

Solange: So I was probably the only one who didn’t know Solange was Beyonce’s sister. I knew her sister’s name was Solange, but didn’t know she created music. This girl can belt it out and the dance moves and synchronization that she created for her live show was incredible. She’s a woman of many talents and she won over the hearts of the crowd (mine too).

Tyler The Creator: I was amazed with Tyler’s set. While in the photo pit, fans from the crowd kept throwing donuts on the stage, and Tyler kicked one, making it explode everywhere, then someone threw another and he decided to eat it. He had a stage presence that you don’t see often. Then about half way through his set, the music stopped working and he continued the song as if it never stopped. He didn’t realize the music stopped until he completed the song. It just blew me away.


Things to do: 

At Mo Pop, there were many sponsored activities to take part in! Right when you walk into the festival, there is an AIR CONDITIONED ARCADE! That was one place everyone hit up during the fest, then right outside the arcade was a nerf gun fighting station, Mike’s Hard lemonade ping pong table shaped like a lemon, a Deep Eddy’s photo booth, then 5 corn hole stations. While on this side of the fest, you could also check out local vendors with homemade items for sale and check out the awesome food trucks! On the other side was free WiFi, a PBR sponsored air conditioned fun station with a mini corn hole made out of a keg, and other sponsor tents. This small fest had a lot to do besides watching the artists.


VIP or Bust: 

There weren’t many VIP areas for fans who purchased the package upgrade, but one thing that was nice for VIP guests was a platform above guests in the crowd. You were in the perfect location for sound quality and for viewing pleasure of both stages.

The Culture:

This fest is perfect for those who are looking to go to their first festival or just want a chill festival. By chill I don’t mean relaxing music, I mean it’s not the hustle and bustle of larger fests that have you running to another stage to catch your favorite bands. Mo Pop has some of the nicest and polite staff and concert goers, and everyone is there to have a good time.

I would love to hear about your Mo Pop experiences! Follow me on Facebook at Tori Thomas Photography and Instagram @torithomas / @torithomasphotography for travel updates!

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