Old Town = Funkytown
|By Rich Tupica|
May concert may inspire dancing in the streets
Every year Old Town is host to JazzFest and BluesFest, each of which draws over 15,000 people to the streets of Lansing. Now there’s a new, funkier event on the block. Mi-Funk, a one-day concert, is the latest live-music event in the heart of Old Town.
Mi-Funk kicks off Saturday, May 22, at the corner of Grand River Avenue and Turner Street — in City Lot 56. It will run from 2 p.m. to midnight. The event, which is happening the same weekend as the East Lansing Art Festival, will feature four old-school funk bands and a street dance party.
It will be a ticketed concert, rather than a free festival. Pre-sale tickets for this 21 show are $20. Tickets at the gate are $25, and valid ID is required.
Set to perform are the Sun Messengers, the official band of the Detroit Pistons. The group has also opened for Jay Leno at the Palace of Auburn Hills. Other live acts are vocalist Valerie Barrymore & the Foundation of Funk, Nadir and Soul Xpress. Concertgoers can also expect an expansive beverage tent highlighting Michigan beer and wine, as well as local food vendors and vintage merchandise vendors.
Members of the Old Town Business & Art
OTBADA president Terry said the genre of funk was chosen for one reason: dancing.
“We do a JazzFest and BluesFest, but we’ve been kicking around the idea of doing another festival for awhile,” Terry said.
Terry said members of the OTBADA hope Mi-Funk will bring more attention to the shops and businesses in Old Town. “The value of this concert is that it helps new people discover what we have going on in downtown Lansing,” he said.