Ann Arbor Summer Festival announces 2018 Mainstage lineup

© Myra Klarman
© Myra Klarman

ANN ARBOR – The Ann Arbor Summer Festival has revealed its ticketed Mainstage headlining performances for the 2018 festival season.

Executive director of the festival, Mike Michelon, shared in a press release: "We're excited to embark on a season and a future that focuses on imaginative, and interactive presentation. As a part of festival's 35th anniversary year, we're proud to present a diverse mix of performance that includes spectacle, music icons, rising stars, and immersive experiences.

Ann Arbor Summer Festival 2018 Season Preview from Ann Arbor Summer Festival on Vimeo.

"Our audience has come to expect creative and engaging events that enrich our community – this will be our focus as we head towards the festival's fourth decade. With over 175 concerts and events, the festival is the best part of summer in Ann Arbor."

Tickets go on sale:

  • Wednesday, April 11 at 9 a.m. ($1,000+ Members)
  • Friday, April 13 at 9 a.m. ($100+ Members)
  • Monday, April 16 at 9 a.m. (General Public)

Order tickets online at A2SF.org, by phone at (734) 764-2538 or in person at the Michigan League Ticket Office at 911 N. University Ave.

Festival venues:

  • Power Center for the Performing Arts: 121 Fletcher Street, Ann Arbor, MI 
  • The Ann Arbor Club: 103 E Liberty St # 300, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
  • Top of the Park: 915 E Washington St, Ann Arbor, MI 48109

2018 Mainstage series

Ani DiFranco 
With special guest Haley Heynderickx
Tuesday, June 5 at 7:30 p.m.
Power Center


(Credit: GMD Three)

"Provocative and charming, the iconic singer/songwriter, activist, poet, and auteur Ani DiFranco returns to the passionate folk rock that brought her to the world’s attention backed by a full band. One of the first artists to create her own label in 1990, she has been recognized among the feminist pantheon for her entrepreneurship, social activism, and outspoken political lyrics. At a time of global chaos and confusion, hers is a brash elegance pushing society to a better place." 

Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox
Saturday, June 9 at 8 p.m.
Power Center


(Credit: Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox)

"Since when was Meghan Trainor's 'All About That Bass' about an upright bass fiddle? At what point did Macklemore's 'Thrift Shop' evolve into a '20s hot jazz tune in spats and sequins? It's all part of the saucy, vintage nouveau world of Postmodern Jukebox. From their YouTube presence of 912 million views to this Ann Arbor début, this playful revue dips into nostalgia with a dozen vocalists and a mini orchestra dressing up an unparalleled playlist of the greatest songs of modern pop in 20th century forms."
Acrobuffos’ Air Play Sunday 
June 10 at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. 
Power Center $22 


(Credit: Florence Montmare)

"Ride the wind and dream with this modern circus spectacle and poetic ode to childhood. “Making magic out of thin air” (The New York Times), the two siblings at the heart of the adventure journey through an enchanted world animated by the wind, transforming the ordinary into objects of uncommon beauty. Fabrics dance, balloons have a mind of their own, confetti turns into the night sky, and a gorgeous canopy becomes a river of silk hovering over the audience.

The creation of husband and wife team Seth Bloom and Christina Gelsone, this humorous and moving interactive spectacle merges their circus and street theater performance art with the sculptural artistry of Daniel Wurtzel. With visual images seemingly sewn from the sky, and music (Yann Tiersen, Gustav Holst) that transports the audience this wondrous visual poem will enchant and electrify the young and young at heart. Best for ages 5+."

At The Illusionist’s Table
Tuesday, June 26 at 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday, June 27 at 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, June 28 at 6:30 p.m.
Friday, June 29 at 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, June 30 at 6:30 p.m.
Sunday, July 1 at 4 p.m.
Sunday, July 1 at 7 p.m.
Monday, July 2 at 6:30 p.m.
The Ann Arbor Club


(Credit: Scott Silven)

"After sell-out runs in Manhattan and London, a sensational, immersive theater experience comes to Ann Arbor in a festival anniversary exclusive. Hosted by the world-renowned Scottish mentalist and storyteller Scott Silven, 22 strangers will share an elegant candlelit three-course meal as mesmerizing illusions complement everything from the cocktails to the dessert course. His enchanting tales from a childhood in Scotland’s Ochil Hills pair with hushed astonishment as one twist braids into another.

"It’s an unforgettably exquisite sensory experience combining sophisticated fare, libations, intimate conversation, and wonder that “transcends art and performance” (The Evening Times). Discover why there is a celebrity following for this smart, sophisticated engagement that had The New York Times exclaiming 'Wow. Wow. Wow.' Ages 21 and up."

Jazzmeia Horn
Thursday, June 28 at 8 p.m.
Power Center


(Credit: Jacob Blickenstaff)

"After winning the coveted Thelonious Monk and Sarah Vaughan jazz vocal competitions, the 26-year-old breakout jazz singer Jazzmeia Horn is a talent ready to take her place alongside the best headlining jazz vocalists of today. Her spirited group performances assemble great storytelling, inspired message-giving, rich tonality, and impeccable scat-singing. Horn’s Grammy nominated début, A Social Call, proudly announces the arrival of a gorgeous, fully realized stylist."

The Capitol Steps
Wednesday, July 4 at 4 p.m.
Power Center


(Credit: The Capitol Steps)

"In their annual 4th of July appearance, America’s foremost political satirists are gracing the Power Center stage with this year's biggest stars—Mike Pence, Hillary Clinton, Vladimir Putin, Bernie Sanders, and those who were gone too soon—Sean Spicer, Tom Price, Rex Tillerson, and, of course, the Mooch. Everyone’s under suspicion when these former Congressional staffers poke fun at both sides of the aisle, cracking you up with song parodies like 'How Do You Solve A Problem Like Korea' and 'Wake Me Up In Mar-a-Lago.' Sharing new songs from Orange Is the New Barack, get ready to enjoy politics being funny again. One show only!"

The remainder of the festival's events are free admission and will be announced through May 1.
About the Ann Arbor Summer Festival 

The Ann Arbor Summer Festival is an exhilarating celebration of performing arts, outdoor entertainment, and community spirit. An annual international arts gathering in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the three-week festival offers two parallel programs—one indoor and one outdoor—at various venues and spaces across the University of Michigan campus and in downtown Ann Arbor. Each season features a progressive mix of over 175 events showcasing local, national, and international artists and a diverse audience of more than 80,000 people. 
The indoor Mainstage series includes ticketed performances of world-class music, contemporary circus, dance, family entertainment, public radio shows, and comedy. The outdoor program, Top of the Park, is held along a beautiful campus green and offers admission-free concerts, Movies by Moonlight, open-air street spectacle, culinary treats, and unique family attractions. 

Read: Ann Arbor Summer Festival appoints new executive director
For more information, visit the festival's website.  

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