Detroit 300

OBJECTIVE:

Creating a 300th birthday celebration of the City of Detroit to showcase the city’s history and culture and attract a wide range of people from diverse backgrounds

STRATEGY:

Working in partnership with a committee of city officials and cultural and community leaders to develop a free, three-day music festival featuring famous native Detroiters

RESULTS:

Cultivating participation from approximately three million people for the festivities

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In 2001, VGA played a key role in creating a 300th birthday celebration of the City of Detroit that showcased the city’s history and culture and attracted a wide range of people from diverse backgrounds. Detroit’s world-class musical tradition provided the unifying element that would capture the interest of Detroiters of every economic and social background from all parts of the city.

Working closely with a committee of city officials and cultural and community leaders, VGA developed a three-day, free music festival honoring Detroit’s musical heritage. Live R&B, gospel, jazz, classical and Motown music filled five stages at Detroit’s waterfront Hart Plaza throughout the festival weekend.

Highlights of the event included performances by some of the biggest names in music—all native Detroiters like Della Reese, the Temptations, the Spinners and Stevie Wonder—for a once-in-a-lifetime free concert event with jumbo screens installed for the millions of fans lined up on Jefferson Avenue. Additional viewing sites were hosted by Comerica Stadium and Dieppe Park in Windsor, Ontario.

The weekend-long musical extravaganza was capped off with a performance by the Detroit Symphony and a 900-person gospel choir comprised of singers from churches across the city. An estimated three million people attended the $4 million Detroit 300 festival weekend.