Concert of Colors on July 10-18: What you need to know

Detroit's annual diversity-themed festival returns for its 27th year.


The Concert of Colors is returning today to Detroit's Midtown for its 27th year. Here is everything you need to know to enjoy it!

An annual summer event, the Concert of Colors is a free diversity-themed festival in metro Detroit. The event was created by Ismael Ahmed — the former head of the human services organization ACCESS — and New Detroit in 1993. In its 27-year history, it has grown from a one-day event at Chene Park to a nine-day long festival taking over multiple venues in Midtown Detroit.

The Concert of Colors aims to bring together Detroit’s diverse communities and ethnic groups through global music and dance, as well as encourage participants to embrace freedom of expression.

The festival is produced by the Concert of Colors in partnership with CultureSource, Detroit Institute of Arts, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Arab American National Museum, Michigan Science Center, University of Michigan, Detroit Historical Society, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Motown Museum, Midtown, Inc., WDET, Scarab Club, International Institute of Metropolitan Detroit, and Marx Layne & Company.  

When is the Concert of Colors?

July 10 through July 18.

Where is the Concert of Colors?

The Detroit Film Theatre (DFT) at the Detroit Institute of the Arts (DIA) will serve as the main stage for the event. Other venues include:

  • Detroit Institute of the Arts (DIA): Outside on the North Lawn, Rivera Court, Kresge Court
  • Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
  • Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) Sosnick Courtyard on Parsons Street
  • Detroit Historical Society
  • Michigan Science Center
  • Scarab Club
  • International Institute of Metropolitan Detroit
  • Arab American National Museum in Dearborn

What events does it have?

You can check out the full list of events here. Some events to watch out for are:

  • Forum on Community, Culture & Race: The Power of Owning Our Voices  (Thursday, July 11 in the Arab American National Museum)
  • Tilted Axes: Music for Mobile Electric Guitars (Friday, July 12 and Saturday, July 13 in the Michigan Science Center)
  • Don Was Detroit All-Star Revue (Saturday, July 13 in the Detroit Film Theatre)
  • Performances by musical groups La Inspiracion, 47SOUL, and Third World (Sunday, July 14 in the Detroit Film Theatre)
  • “Blue Note: Beyond the Records” screening (Monday, July 15 in the Detroit Film Theatre)

What is new this year?

This year, the Concert of Colors is celebrating many anniversaries, including:

  • 100th anniversary of Orchestra Hall
  • 70th anniversary of WDET Detroit public radio
  • 60th anniversary of Motown
  • 50th anniversary of the moon landing
  • Birthday celebration for Motown legend Martha Reeves

How many people will attend?

In recent years, attendance has been around 80,000.

Where can I park?

The Concert of Colors is a pedestrian-friendly event. However, if you are driving, here are some parking options near the event’s venues:

  • The Park Shelton                                     24 hours                                                                               $5

            15 E Kirby Street

  • DIA Museum Parking Lot            9 AM – 5 PM (closed Monday)                                        $7    

           5248 John R. Street

  • WSU Self Park at Rackham     6 AM – 12 AM (closed Saturday and Sunday)           $8

           39 E. Warren Ave

  • WSU Self Park at Welcome Center    6 AM – 12 AM (closed Sunday)                         $12

            61 Putnam Street

  • Detroit Historical Society       8 AM – 5 PM (Mon-Fri), 10 AM – 5 PM (Sat-Sun)      $9

            134 Kirby Street

For more information, check out the Concert of Colors official website. And check out our website ClickOnDetroit as Local 4 covers the festival's events, guests, and more!