After two weeks of buckling down in the classrooms, students can dash over to Dally in the Alley for one last summer bash on Sept. 10.
Dally in the Alley turns Cass Corridor into something between a block party and a rave. The one of a kind festival is quintessentially Detroit.
Students can come early in the afternoon for shopping and dining, and then stay for the wild EDM parties after dark. The annual festivities attract Detroit residents and Detroit admirers with its musicians, artists, food, trinkets and culture.
In its 39th year, the festival, held annually on the Saturday after Labor Day, includes 34 musical acts on three different stages and more than 200 vendors selling everything from beer to books.
Dally representative, Steve St. Germain, said they received over 250 applications to perform, more than ever before, and this year will include a community stage for a variety of acts.
“One big update for music is that the electronic stage is going away — we’ve made the decision to move the electronic music to all of the other stages to spread those vibes throughout the entire event,” St. Germain said. In place of the traditional electronic stage there will be a “quieter, ambient corner filled with table space for eating [or] card games and more chairs than we’ve ever had before.”
Though the new table area will extend the space for regular festival goers, St. Germain said that many vendors took to the streets early last year to compete for space. The festival organizers have worked to expand this year in an effort to make more room.
The festival’s sponsor, North Cass Community Union, uses the proceeds to support local soup kitchens, city clean-ups and music scholarships.
“It’s important to know that in 2014 there was a massive electrical fire in the alley which caused Dally to evacuate and shutdown,” St. Germain said. “This subsequently and sadly put the NCCU into a massive deficit. Last year's attendance helped to recoup the loss but the organization is still maintaining its focus to re-build and put on the festival for 2016 and continue momentum into the 40th year in 2017.”
While the line-up has not yet been released, the musical acts are planned to kick off at noon. Last year, artists Young Punk, Orange Atlas and Siamese were just a few of many performances that carried until the end of the night. The lineup included all genres — from country to jazz to electronic.
Wayne State alumnus Robbie Dwight graduated in 2012 and is now the chair of the music committee and has helped organize the event for three years. He said his parents, residents of Cass Corridor, attended the very first Dally and he wanted to get involved in what he considers an important festival.
“It was the first 'Occupy Wall Street' type of protest,” Dwight said. “Originally, just residents on the alley [were] protesting WSU expanding and buying up the surrounding buildings to demolish them. A lot has changed over the last 39 years, and now the festival is a celebration of the entire neighborhood, including WSU.”
“It's a great way to learn about what makes the Cass Corridor special, unique and the gritty-artistic hub that it's always been,” he said. “The food, vendors and music are as diverse as the Corridor's history, and Warriors should not miss this!”
In addition to games, balloons and face painting at the kids fair, a coloring book station will be filled with art and stories from local artists from noon to 4 p.m.
More information on Dally can be found on their website and this article will be updated as new information is released.
Contact Managing Editor Sarah Rahal at Sarahal6611@gmail.com. Follow her on Twitter: @sarahal6611