By Charles Sercombe
COVID has struck again.
Yet another major Hamtramck cultural event will have to wait another year, because of the pandemic and the restrictions on people gathering inside bars and halls.
Organizers of the Hamtramck Music Festival recently announced that they are canceling this year’s event, which in normal times would have taken place this weekend.
Although, last year’s festival was moved up one week to coincide with Paczki Day, to make it one long festive week.
That was a stroke of luck because soon after, the state imposed a semi-quarantine.
Eugene Strobe, who is part of the festival’s committee, said the ongoing pandemic made it “logistically impossible. … We plan to revisit the possibility of Hamtramck Music Festival in 2022 this fall, when we have our first planning meeting for next year.”
In an announcement about the cancelation of this year’s festival, organizers said, in their Facebook page:
“Once it is safe and healthy to be with one another again in large gatherings, we will restart plans for the next amazing music festival, all while keeping in line with our mission to raise funds to purchase equipment and supplies for Hamtramck Public School’s Music and Arts Programs.”
The festival attracts thousands of music lovers, and takes place in over a dozen bars, halls, restaurants, and even the public library.
For many bars, this festival represents a huge money-maker that can tide them over for the whole year.
As mentioned, the festival also benefits the public school district. Proceeds from the festival are donated to the district, in the form of musical instruments and art supplies.
In previous years, the festival has donated roughly $10,000 worth of supplies a year to the district.
Last year’s donation reflected the onset of the pandemic and the closing of schools.
On the festival’s Facebook page, it was said that it raised “roughly $11,000 of supplies and instruments for HPS students this year. The academic year was, no doubt, filled with levels of uncertainty on how classrooms would work, so we tried to tailor the donation around the pandemic.
“By providing the kids with specialized instrument PPE, including bell covers and musician face masks, they can return to in-person learning, ready to play!”
Not only that, but the folks at Evola Music pitched in by allowing the festival to purchase “gently used band rentals, and even donated an additional $2,500 worth of instruments to the total. All in all, we were able to gift the band department $7,500-plus worth of trombones, clarinets, trumpets, flutes, and saxophones to be utilized by the students year after year.”
On that note, here’s to a much healthier coming year.
Posted March 5, 2021