The phrase “Eastern Market” refers to both the large district/neighborhood and also the series of Sheds owned by the city of Detroit and run by the Eastern Market Partnership non-profit organization.
Opened in 1891, Eastern Market is the largest historic public market in the United States.
Featuring 43 acres of space, Eastern Market is comprised of a series of indoor and outdoor sheds which function as thriving year-round consumer markets.
This year, Detroit Bookfest will be located inside Shed 5 where vendors will be selling all sorts of books (ie: used, rare, antiquarian, authors, children’s, new, unusual, ephemera, etc), comic books, vinyl LP records, creative arts, and more.
The Detroit Festival of Books, aka: Detroit Bookfest, is a FREE annual in-person event at Eastern Market in Detroit, Michigan.
2934 Russell Street
Detroit, MI 48207
Sunday, July 16, 2023
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Where will the Food Trucks be located at?
There will be two food trucks, Sonny’s Hamburgers and Treat Dreams Ice Cream on the south side of Shed 5 along Alfred Street, just east of Russell Street. (if you need to type in an address, plug in 1440 Alfred Street, Detroit, MI).
Deon will be located on Russell Street at Alfred Street from 11am-3pm during Bookfest. Please bring money to tip him. Paper money, small bills are appreciated.
Considered a Detroit street legend and one of the top street performers in the Midwest by many, the musically gifted Deon Forrest, has built a reputation for doing his own thing.
Self-taught and ambidextrous, Deon “plays the pots” on the streets of Detroit, most notably drawing massive crowds in the neighborhoods of Eastern Market, Greektown and Downtown.
Videos of Deon have gone viral numerous times. Some of the videos online have over 60 million views. He was featured on the Jimmy Kimmel Show and some fans of his work include Eminem, Janet Jackson, Post Malone, Jermaine Dupri, and many others.
Deon’s sense of rhythm, timing, theatrics, audience engagement and overall musicianship are what sets him apart from the competition.
Big Sean’s Detroit 2 album cover (featuring Deon Forrest on the front cover)
Let’s hear from Deon directly:
“I love Detroit. Straight up. I grew up on the streets, didn’t have nothing. Then In 2008, I got shipped here and lived in a group home in Southwest Detroit at Fort and Schaefer. I got myself together in Detroit. I found out who I was in Detroit, this city made me who I am.”
“At that time, nobody knew who I was. I didn’t even know who I was. I didn’t know what I wanted to be or what I really wanted to do. But I knew I needed a hustle. Couldn’t let my kids stay on the streets and I didn’t want to beg for money, so one day I’m at my friends and being a percussionist, I’m always tapping on stuff, and I’m getting into the rhythm and right then and there I realized Deon you’re going to be a street performer.”
“I started off as a techno drummer without the speaker. Now I got a TopTech Audio speaker specially rigged on wheels. Built my pots because I wanted to do something unique and different. And now I got a whole mobile orchestra! My kit includes: piano, pots, slider, etc. I use ten pots and one cymbal. The buckets provide the bass. My favorite drumsticks are the plastic-tipped marching band Vix Stix (aka: Vic Firth).”
“My style is like Daft Punk mixed with Stomp (the British percussion group) and I can remix any song.”
Deon Forrest (aka: Greektown Hotbox) Detroit’s own world-famous street performer (photo Deon Forrest)
“The streets is like a big petri dish for testing your skills. To be a street performer, you have to battle underground to see who’s the best. I earned the title ‘King of Greektown’ because I’m 10-0. You set up near a big crowd and try to take the crowd. Whoever draws and keeps the crowd is the winner and you earn that spot.”
“I beat the five Chicago bucket drummers. We were rivals for a minute but now we’re cool. I outmaneuvered the marching band and they even had big bass drums. Also whooped a few horn players. I’ll go toe to toe with anybody on the streets. You play something? Bring it. Let’s see what you got. I’m in Eastern Market, Greektown, all over Downtown, come find me.”
“I play outside a lot of sports games, especially the Detroit Tigers and Detroit Red Wings, and outside live music venues, especially the Fox Theatre and Masonic Temple. The most money I ever made in a short time was I made $1,200 playing drums for about 1h30min. On a typical night, I average around $500.”
“I did a performance for Post Malone in Greektown. I played Martha Reeves birthday party. I’ve been in an NFL commercial with Barry Sanders. I’ve done all sorts of stuff.”
Deon Forrest (aka: Greektown Hotbox) Detroit’s own world-famous street performer and Detroit rapper Big Sean (photo Deon Forrest)
“One of my main inspirations is Michael Jackson. I also find some parallels between his life and my life. For instance, there was the Jackson Five. I used to perform on the streets with five people, including my man Miles Hubbell, but gradually the group started shortening until it was just me. Plus, how he did the moonwalk, I built a slider on my kit so I can kick the pot out and moonwalk it back.”
“Believe it or not, I only practice in my head. I get the music on my phone and listen to it. I have a special ability to instantly memorize music. I have a song of list of hundreds of songs in my head. I also do requests. My favorite stuff to play is pop, dance, techno, R & B, etc.”
“I love Detroit because there’s all kinds of wonderful and different people here. The best advice I can give y’all is just be who you are. Because whether you like it or not, the Real You’s gonna come out eventually. Just let it shine.”
“I’m a big basketball fan, would love to do something with the Detroit Pistons.”
“Currently, I’m building a special set. It’s a 360-degree chair that spins. I sit in the middle and there’s four different drumming stations where I can spin and play multiple, different songs interchangeably.”
Come check out Deon on the pots!
Deon Forrest (aka: Greektown Hotbox) Detroit’s own world-famous street performer (photo Deon Forrest)
Iconic photo of Detroit Bookfest taken by Debbie Maciolek in 2018 (Eastern Market, Shed 5, Detroit)
Native Detroiter, Debbie Maciolek, runs Debography, a local photography company. She expertly photographed some early incarnations of Bookfest for us in the past. And now, thankfully, she’s back!
The quality of her work is superb, and we are immensely fortunate to have her documenting the event.
You will see her running around at Detroit Bookfest taking photos. Please treat her with courtesy and respect.
Debbie Maciolek self-portrait (photo by Debbie Maciolek)
“I’ve got lots of books to donate. I can’t throw out a book. It goes against everything I believe in.”
“My early years? Wow, well, I grew up on Detroit’s Upper Eastside. I lived on Lansdowne, between Yorkshire and Grayton and attended Guardian Angels at Kelly and Whittier and also Bishop Gallagher.”
“I attended Wayne State University, studying business and have my certificate of Photographic Arts from Macomb Community College.”
“For the past 28 years, my husband Bob and I have lived in Macomb. He’s a Colonel in the National Guard and we’ve owned a software business for 16 years now called Static Line Software.”
Abandoned Detroit building (photo by Debbie Maciolek)
“We have a son and a daughter, Blake and Claire, both finishing up college at Western Michigan and University of Michigan respectively and two furry kids. Our two dogs are Bella – a Lab-Pit mix, and Dexter – a Great Pyrenees-Siberian Husky mix.”
“I come from three generations of Detroit firefighters. My grandfather and father both retired as Chief of the city and my brother is a current Sergeant on the Eastside.”
“When I was young, my dad used to race stock outboard boats all over the state in short courses and marathons. This is actually how I started photography. To this day, I love photographing live sports, especially hockey, and capturing the raw in-the-moment action. Traveling frequently allowed us to camp all over the state. There is nothing like Michigan in the summer, the forests and lakes are incredible.”
“Debography was started November 2016. I was able to leave my job with a software services company and move into being a photographer full-time. I shoot senior photos, lifestyle, off the beaten path type stuff, abandoned buildings, nature photography, events, etc. Not weddings, never weddings.”
Detroit River photo (photo by Debbie Maciolek)
“My camera setup consists of a Canon 5D Mark IV and I use primarily Canon lenses, and Sigma Art lenses. My preferred editing software is Photoshop and I’ve found the absolutely best company for lighting supplies and support – Flashgear.net.”
“My advice for aspiring photographers is to understand the manual settings and remember that lighting is everything, it will always make or break your shots. Take the time to understand how light affects your subject.”
“As for hobbies, I love traveling, seeking out new adventures, experiencing off the beaten path type stuff. I’m an avid reader, mostly mysteries. I belong to a book club that’s…really more of a wine club, but hey, it’s fun. I’ve also been getting back into running, I’ve completed four half marathons and am looking to fit in a fifth one.”
“Michigan is a wonderful state, we love it here; there is always something new to do. My husband and I have a cottage in Gladwin on Secord Lake and have made some fabulous friends up there. I grew up going to Burt Lake and Indian River, which are about a half hour south of Mackinaw City, and will always be one of my favorite spots. The State Park is great and the swimming and hiking can’t be beat. Locally, we love spending time outdoors at Stony Creek Metropark and Dodge Park. Favorite restaurants near our house include Da Francesco’s Ristorante for Italian food and Golden Fleece in Greektown for Greek food.”
“Outside of Michigan, my favorite spot hands down is Ireland. Stunningly beautiful country. I recommend renting a car and driving around southern Ireland, especially the Killarney area. And yes, for some reason, the Guinness really does taste better over there, the rumors are true! It tastes like Irish Magic.”