Ann Arbor Summer Festival Announces Exciting New In-Person and Virtual Programming

The Ann Arbor Summer Festival has announced a handful of in-person and virtual events to enjoy this summer! Sign up for most in-person events starting May 20.

ann arbor summer festival
Sidewalk Chalk Day with David Zinn. Image courtesy of Ann Arbor Summer Festival.

To ensure everyone has the safe, fun summer they imagine, the Ann Arbor Summer Festival (A2SF) has announced a mix of new in-person and digital events that will kick off on June 11. 

A2SF’s season anchor this year is a pop-up concert series, Live Here Now, presented by Toyota and set to take place in public parks and spaces throughout Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti. A2SF is engaging a diverse group of community partners throughout the two cities and presenting many in partnership with the Ann Arbor District Library (AADL) this summer.

In-Person Events

This year will feature a variety of live events. Much like last year, Tiny TOPs will be available for reservation between June 11 to July 3. Beginning May 20, event-goers will be able to choose from a roster of 20 artists and select a time for that artist to play at an outdoor location of your choice. Artists featured include ANA, JordanHamilton, Chris DuPont, Duo 1717, and Amy Petty. See the full lineup here.

Live Here Now is a new addition. From June 11 to July 3, pop-up concerts and events will take place in public outdoor spaces throughout Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Ypsilanti Township, and Superior Township. Patrons will fill out an RSVP form to register to attend each event starting on May 20. See the full lineup here.

Garba360 – Live Here Now works to celebrate Gujarat tradition. Come learn Garba, Sanedo, and other Gujarati folk dances with the dance instructors, and enjoy live music by Saptak. Performances will take place on June 16 at 6 and 9pm. Sign up for the event begins May 20. Sign up to participate and learn more here.

Sidewalk Chalk Day is back and will take place on June 13. It’s the perfect way to enjoy lovely weather and enjoy a bit of outdoor art. A2SF regular David Zinn will be creating works around town. Take photos of your work and share it on social media with the hashtag #a2chalkday, and the AADL will select winners as part of their Summer Game. Learn more about Sidewalk Chalk Day here.

Temping is the strange and comic tale of an employee’s inner life. This performance is done with an audience of one by a Windows PC, a corporate phone, a laser printer, and the Microsoft Office Suite. While you’re filling in for Sarah Jane, a 53-year-old actuary who is taking her first vacation in years, you’ll update client records, send emails, and eavesdrop on intra-office romance as you discover the secrets of your new employers. This event will take place between June 15 and July 3. Start signing up on May 20. Learn more here.

Virtual Offerings

Of course, A2SF is also providing a good amount of digital events as well. Patrons who may not be comfortable around people just yet can enjoy a few A2SF events from home.

A Thousand Ways (Part One): A Phone Call will be co-presented with the University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA). On a simple phone call, you and another audience member — nameless strangers to one another — follow a carefully crafted set of directives. Throughout the journey, a portrait of each other emerges through fleeting moments of exposure and the simple sound of an unseen voice. This event will run from July 13 to 18. Tickets will be available May 27, and the cost for the general audience is $10 while student tickets are $5. Learn more about the show here.

Missing the theater? Check out Theater in Quarantine. This performance laboratory is dedicated to the exploration of the live theatrical experience in the digital space. Theater in Quarantine has created and live-streamed over 25 new, original works of performance. A2SF will be commissioning an original piece that will premiere on YouTube on June 21 at 7 and 9pm. Sign up and learn more about the experience here.

Finally, Stories from the Top Podcast will return this year. This podcast features people you know and people you should know. Artists, educators, and entrepreneurs linked to Southeast Michigan share stories on how they connect with others, cultivate inspiration, map out processes, or rise from failure. Each episode explores an individual at the top of their game chatting with a friend or colleague on a video call which will become an audio podcast. New episodes will be released weekly starting May 26. You can check out the first season here.

A2SF is working closely with local officials on event safety protocols for all limited capacity, in-person events. All in-person events will follow current safety guidelines from the State of Michigan, Washtenaw County, the City of Ann Arbor, and other local municipalities as well as national best practices.

For more information on the Ann Arbor Summer Festival, be sure to check out their website.