The Event Professor is in.


Since Woodstock made history in 1969, the American music festival has become a symbol of youth culture. Coachella and Bonnaroo are major annual events, drawing multinational corporate sponsors and superstar headliners. Mo Pop Detroit is a vibrant twist on a summer classic, an indie rock festival that celebrates the creative process with charm and plenty of imaginative activations. You might leave with a laurel wreath, a fresh-pressed single, and plenty of good karma.

Guests wander the revitalized grounds of Detroit’s West Riverfront Park, eating, drinking and dancing. The Mo Pop lineup included indie darlings Father John Misty, Børns, L.A.-based electronic group M83, and the Event Professor’s latest obsession, Haim.

There are no simultaneous shows at this festival. When one concert ends, the crowd rushes toward a nearby stage where the next act begins. It pays to be light on your feet!


Major brand names were featured alongside playful activations on site. Fender was a main stage sponsor while c|net scattered two dozen painted pianos around the park, inspiring spontaneous duets along the boardwalk. I found a comfortable spot to rest my feet between concerts.

Mega-promoter AEG Live produced the event, but you wouldn’t know it. Mo Pop has the homegrown feel of a locally organized festival. A shopping hot-spot called Mo Villages featured a craft bazaar, food trucks, and a beer garden. I stopped to check out the Rolling Record Store by Third Man Records, founded by Detroit’s own rock star, Jack White.

Some of the sponsored activities at this event were unforgettable.The Pabst Vinyl Experience involved a live recording studio complete with guitars, drums, mics, you name it. Anyone brave enough to perform was rewarded with their very own vinyl recording, pressed right before their eyes. How cool is that?

Event Professor Tip: If you’ve got a green thumb and a used truck, make a pop-up flower shop and sell floral hairpieces to concert-goers. At $40 each, you can’t lose. Just ask the people at pot & box.

Enigma has rarely observed such a high rate of connection between brand and music fans, particularly with such a unique array of activations. Retro video games ruled at the air conditioned Credit Karma tent, not far from the Detroit Dart Club’s on-site battlefield.

Most impressive were the jaw-dropping performances by young musicians at the School of Rock stage. They could give the cast of Glee a run for their money!

Detroit MoPop was a pleasure to research. I didn’t leave with flowers in my hair but I discovered some great new music and even made a little of my own.

I have researched 800+ events worldwide and love to share stories. Please contact me if you want to discuss anything from visitor surveys to economic impact to sponsorship ROI measurement.

Want to know more about life as an Enigma researcher? Visit us on Linkedin and Facebook.

Until next time,

Michael, The Event Professor

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