Detroit on the rise

We're incredibly excited about bringing Laneway Festival to Detroit this September. Detroit is on the up and we hope to be able to contribute to the city's re-emergence and showcase Detroit for all the right reasons. Don't believe us? Read about Detroiters who are making a difference RIGHT NOW. Come join us in September, you know you want to!

Buzzfeeds recently delivered their 10 reasons why Detroit will prove critics wrong. Some of our favourites are:

  1. Detroit inspires the world’s music: from Motown to techno - and more recently hip hop from the likes of J Dilla, Eminem and Danny Brown - a lot of today's musicians were either directly or indirectly inspired by one of the many movements to emerge from this hotbed of musical innovation.
  2. Downtown Detroit is booming: The New York Times reported in 2011 that in the last ten years, “downtown Detroit experienced a 59 percent increase in the number of college-educated residents under the age of 35,” making it one of the fastest-growing destinations for young professionals in America.
  3. Detroit still has countless sustainable neighborhoods: For all the notoriety over Detroit’s vacant quarters, most of the city is still inhabited. Yes, by people. In fact, Detroit is still more densely populated than the oft-lauded “smart growth” cities of Denver, Austin and Portland.
  4. Detroit is a living museum of 20th Century architecture: You can literally walk into the Guardian Building - a world-renowned Art Deco masterpiece - and snap a photo, hit the ATM and buy a cup of coffee in less time than it would take to navigate around the throngs of tourists at 30 Rock, let alone the security.

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Check out this pretty awesome article how entrepreneurs are helping to transform Detroit on big and small scales, like billionaire Dan Gilbert, the owner of Quicken Loans who moved his company's headquarters to downtown Detroit and has invested over $1 billion in the area. Or Andy Didorosi, who started his own bus company to enhance public transit options in the city.

The shipping container hotel: Collision WorksWatch a video featuring Shel Kilmen who wants to build a 36-room boutique hotel out of shipping crates in Detroit's Eastern Market neighborhood by early 2014. Let's hope it's finished in time for Laneway Festival in 2014.

Skateboarding legend Tony Hawk is putting money where his mouth is and investing in upgrading Detroit's Ride It Sculpture Skatepark. “It’s exactly the type of grassroots effort that we hope to see more of in cities like Detroit," Hawk said. "I know the surrounding communities will appreciate the positive impact the skatepark project will have.”

Art X Detroit happens every other year, and in 2013 "Art X Detroit: Kresge Arts Experience" took over midtown for a free, five-day art experience celebrating Detroit’s unique art scene and incorporating more than a dozen venues. “A thriving arts and cultural community not only enriches the quality of life for residents and visitors to southeastern Michigan, but inspires fresh ideas and fuels the creative vitality of the region” said Rip Rapson, Kresge’s president and CEO. The Laneway team couldn't agree more!

Michigan State University offers summer programs to young Detroit rockers and classical musicians: High school and middle school kids will be offered lessons in instrumental technique, songwriting and performing. Also, included are tips on how promote their own bands. Pretty sweet, right?

The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy just announced they're discussing expanding the city's RiverWalk to the west, starting with the construction of a shoreline path across the vacant land adjacent to the Riverfront Towers.

The Man Ride is an Earth Day bike tour that benefits Green Living Science, a program that brings environmental education to Detroit Public Schools. The Man Ride includes art, recycling and beer – all things that most of the human species believes in and should seek to protect.

If that didn't inspire you then you're a harder audience to please than we thought! Check out the ace line-up we've assembled for Laneway Festival Detroit and hopefully we'll see you on September 14.

By Travis

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