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It's truly spring when it's Water Hill Music Fest time

Linda Lombardini

"Linda is the consummate professional when it comes to dealing with real estate in the Ann Arbor area...

"Linda is the consummate professional when it comes to dealing with real estate in the Ann Arbor area...

Sep 12 3 minutes read

It's a crazy thing, the Water Hill Music Fest. People perform on their porches? In their yards? And folks just wander around to listen? It's just amateur hour, right? 

Not. At. All. These neighborhood musicians and singers bring it. 

Some groups are outstanding. Amazing even. Some are pros. Some are like '60s folk troubadours. Some are rock or heavy-metal-ish. Some do classics and some do their own compositions. Sure, there's a range of talent and achievement, but 98.4 percent of the acts in past years were excellent to great.

Get the full list of performers at the festival website

The best part of the event is that the neighborhood fills—and I mean fills—with happy people. Everyone's thrilled to be outside and out of hibernation. 

It's so fun to watch folks waving to each other and running across the street for hugs and high fives. It's admirable—and a bit embarrassing—to watch the brave few dancing on the lawns. And it'll warm your cold winter heart to watch the little ones trying so hard to bop to the music.

Most people bring their own eats and drinks, but in years past there were always a few entrepreneurial kids with wagons full of snacks and pop for sale—and watchful parents nearby.

Important things to know before you get to the Festival

  • Some Water Hill residents open their bathrooms to visitors during the festival. They call them "Water Hill Water Closets." 
  • Please don't drive to the festival, organizers ask. But if you must, "park as far away as you can walk."
  • Festival time is 2-6 p.m. Sunday, May 6.
  • The event is free, but there are usually hats or baskets set out for tips. The Water Hill site has a donation page, too.

Here's the Water Hill neighborhood 

There's an Party / Afterparty, too

Open to the public and hosted by Mariah BBc and Jeremy Wheeler, the Party/ Afterparty is from 1-8 p.m. at  625 Brooks St., Ann Arbor, MI 48103

"Yesss! It's the annual Water Hill Music Fest," party organizers say, "usually one of the first nice days of the year when everyone in our hood comes out from hibernation! C'mon over during the later part of WHMF for backyard hangs and some shorter daytime sets!"

For more info

Photos by Toni Corley Wilson

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