Once known as the Paris of the West, Detroit has been a center for innovation and creativity since its establishment in 1701. This bustling Midwestern city is home to some of America’s most iconic companies, including Ford Motor Company and General Motors. However, it is also well-known for its vibrant art scene that draws people from all over the world.
Detroit truly celebrates diversity when it comes to artistry. The city is home to numerous galleries and performance spaces that showcase a range of artistic expressions, from classical music to hip-hop. These venues have hosted internationally renowned artists such as Aretha Franklin and Kid Rock, while also providing local performers with an opportunity to sharpen their skills in dance, theater, music, visual arts, and more—not to mention the numerous festivals that take place here throughout the year! From the renowned Movement Electronic Music Festival to the citywide Noel Night celebration or the Autorama hot rod car show during winter months.
From its vast array of traditional theaters to its many modern museums, Detroit has a variety of spaces to showcase creative works. Whether you are looking for a large stage show or an intimate jazz club experience, Detroit has something for everyone!
Performance Options in Detroit
- Production Companies
Production companies specialize in turning ideas into reality by creating sets and props for theatrical productions or events, such as concerts. They can help manage a variety of tasks, including constructing sets and stages, lighting, sound engineering, audience management, ticketing services, catering, and more.
- Lighting Designers
Professional lighting designers can help create an aesthetically pleasing atmosphere for performances with the use of colored lights and gels to highlight performers or certain areas of the stage. They know how to set up lighting equipment safely and efficiently, ensuring that every performance looks great both in person and on camera. Lighting designers can also offer solutions for large outdoor venues such as football stadiums or amphitheaters.
- Audio Engineers
Audio engineers provide sound support by setting up audio equipment, such as microphones, mixers, and speakers, as well as controlling levels throughout performances. This helps create an immersive experience when watching a performance, whether it be through live streaming or in person.
Performance Vendors in Detroit
- On Site Specialists
For more than 35 years, On Site Specialists Inc. has been a trusted partner for numerous Fortune 500 companies, providing service-oriented audiovisual solutions. The company boasts an experienced team of professionals and the latest gear available, allowing them to provide accurate and reliable solutions for their clients. They specialize in full-service production for any event, offering assistance with project management, event design, audio systems, lighting equipment, video services, set design, and more. Additionally, they offer on-site technicians, video and audio editing services, as well as web streaming options—all designed to bring any event to life with ease and precision.
- Elevate Production Group
Elevate Production Group is a leading event production company, with co-founders Troy Springer Jr. and Eric Jacques having more than 40 years of combined experience in the industry. Specializing in transforming spaces of all sizes, their team prides itself on creating world-class customer experiences. Their services include stage design, custom fabrication, decor, furniture, and lighting design. Elevate Production Group helps clients bring big ideas to life by igniting the senses of those in attendance.
- Luma Detroit
Luma Detroit is a full-service light and video production company located in Detroit. With an experienced team and top-of-the-line equipment, they specialize in providing high-quality video productions for corporate videos, live event broadcasts, special events coverage, and more. Their competitive pricing includes packages for concerts, music videos, and sets that include full-suite lighting. Luma is committed to creating successful live productions for its customers by providing everything from the stage to the screen it is shown. Additionally, they offer aerial and drone photos as well as professional studio photoshoots for perfect shots.
Pros and Cons of Performance Spaces in Detroit
Detroit is full of a variety of performance venues, from small DIY spaces to large professional theaters. While these places are great for showcasing artistic talent, they can also present unique challenges. Below is a list of the pros and cons of organizing performances in Detroit.
- Variety: From underground art galleries to grand concert halls, Detroit has an abundance of diverse performance spaces available for all types of shows, creating more opportunities for creativity and experimentation.
- Affordable venue rental rates: Many performance spaces in Detroit offer reasonable rental rates, making them an attractive option for budget-conscious organizers looking to provide quality entertainment options.
- Good transport connections: With multiple airports, railway stations, and inter-city bus routes, getting to Detroit is easy for attendees from any part of the world.
- Supportive government initiatives: The city offers numerous tax incentives that make it attractive for businesses planning to host performances in the area.
- Limited availability: Performance venues can be difficult to book due to their limited availability throughout the year. This means that organizers must be prepared if they want their event date secured in advance.
- Parking fees: As many popular performance venues are located downtown or near busy areas, parking fees may be expensive for some patrons who are trying to attend events.
- Funding: Many Detroit venues are independently run, making it difficult to secure adequate funding for events or productions.
- Weather conditions: In the winter months especially, certain outdoor venues may not be suitable due to cold temperatures; indoor venues may also suffer from heating problems during these months as well.
Tips on How to Organize Performance Spaces in Detroit
Ensuring that the performance space in Detroit is organized and well-maintained is an important part of ensuring success for any show. It is essential to take into account the space when it comes to organizing and performing, as this can make a huge difference in how people experience the performance. Here are a few tips on how to organize performance spaces for a successful show in Detroit:
- Provide adequate lighting: The lighting should be bright enough that audience members can clearly see the performers without straining their eyes. The lighting also needs to be adjustable so that it can be tailored to suit different types of performances. Additionally, having multiple light sources can help create more interesting visuals while also providing flexibility during setup and takedown.
- Invest in quality audio equipment: Poor sound quality can ruin the experience for both performers and audiences. Investing in good-quality audio equipment is essential for creating an immersive environment. Having speakers and microphones that are appropriate for the type of performance you want to host will provide a more enjoyable experience for everyone involved.
- Create comfortable seating: Having comfortable seating is key for ensuring that audiences remain engaged throughout the show. Select chairs that provide adequate support and allow people to remain seated for extended periods without discomfort or fatigue. Consider offering cushions or other forms of padding if possible, as this will help enhance audience comfort even further.
- Include visual stimulation: Adding visual elements such as decorations or props can help create an immersive atmosphere that keeps audiences engaged throughout the performance. Incorporating props into each act can also provide additional entertainment value, as audience members will be able to identify with them on a deeper level than they would without them being present on stage.
- Utilize space creatively: Take advantage of every inch of the space available by making sure furniture layout and decorations don’t take up too much room or obstruct views from any area in the building. Pay attention to details such as entrances/exits, sightlines, acoustics, etc., so that all areas are optimized for maximum efficiency during performances. Additionally, getting creative with wall hangings or unique furniture pieces can help add an extra flair to your venue and draw people in from outside your immediate area!
Famous Locations in Detroit
- Belle Isle Aquarium
The Belle Isle Aquarium, located on an island in the Detroit River, is a remarkable example of Beaux-Arts architecture and aquatic splendor. With a collection of both saltwater and freshwater fish, the aquarium opened in 1904 to much fanfare. Originally featuring 44 fish tanks and walls covered in beautiful green-tiled tiles, the building was designed by renowned architects Albert Kahn and George D. Mason. The exterior facade boasts pillars and a carving of Neptune, the Roman god of the seas, atop the entrance. Today, visitors of all ages can still enjoy this historic site, as it remains the oldest continually operating aquarium in America.
- Detroit Industry Murals
The Detroit Industry Murals, painted by Diego Rivera between 1932 and 1933, is a testament to the artist's skill and vision. Commissioned by Edsel Ford, these murals celebrate the manufacturing and labor sectors that were the foundation of Detroit's economy. The murals have endured and are considered to be some of the most complex depictions of American industry. The 27 interrelated panels showcase Rivera's talent for storytelling, using images to stress the relationship between man and machine and the importance of the continuous life cycle. They remain a must-see destination for visitors to the Detroit Institute of Arts.
- Monument to Joe Louis “The Fist”
In 1987, a towering monument to boxing legend Joe Louis was installed in Detroit, the city he called home for much of his life. Commissioned and gifted by Sports Illustrated, the 24-foot-tall sculpture depicts Louis's iconic clenched fist, which earned him the nickname "The Brown Bomber" during his dominant heavyweight career. Designed by renowned sculptor Robert Graham, the fist is suspended inside a bronze pyramid at the intersection of Jefferson and Woodward, a central location intended for maximum visibility. While the monument has been the subject of some controversy over the years, its striking presence serves as a lasting tribute to one of America's most celebrated athletes.