Detroit Bookfest 2021 Festival Guide

Detroit Bookfest 2021 Festival Guide

Detroit Bookfest 2019 (photo by Ryan M. Place)

 

The Detroit Festival of Books, aka: Detroit Bookfest, is a FREE annual in-person event at Eastern Market in Detroit, Michigan.

Eastern Market

Shed 5

2934 Russell Street

Detroit, MI 48207

 

Sunday, July 18, 2021

10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

 

Facebook event page

https://www.facebook.com/events/363995340977221/

 

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/DetroitBookfest

 

We are also hosting Virtual Detroit Bookfest on our website from July 16-18, 2021

https://detroitbookfest.com/vendor-application-2021/

 

Eastern Market Detroit map

 

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.

Detroit Festival of Books (photo by Debography)

 

DJ Seven Whales will be providing the vibes.

 

Corinne VanOstran will be documenting the experience with her keen and perceptive eye.

 

Two food trucks, Nosh Pit and Delray BBQ will be in the DTE Plaza on the west side of Shed 5 along Russell Street.

 

The Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau’s D-Rover van will be outside Shed 5.

 

And more!

Health and safety is our #1 concern.

Whatever safety protocols are in place on Bookfest Day, we will be following them 100%.

We ultimately have no idea what to expect this year but we will do our absolute best to make it fun and safe.

JR Jones and Lonni Thomas, two of Eastern Market’s finest and also members of the Detroit Bookfest Committee (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

 

Our festival footprint has grown to include:

 

The Official Bookfest Afterparty down the street at Eastern Market Brewing Company (runs 10am-8pm)

https://www.facebook.com/events/511032789841366

 

Bookfest Bash inside Bea’s Detroit (runs 10am-4pm)

https://www.facebook.com/events/2492508121065383

 

Red Bull Arts Detroit

Detroit Pong

And more

 

Please explore the Detroit Bookfest Festival Guide below.

We also encourage you to make a day of it and explore the entire Eastern Market district, which is packed with hundreds of fun shops, restaurants, and experiences.

 

Eastern Market’s Shed 5 Detroit (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

 

Here’s our totally professional graphic designer-approved not flawed in any way screenshot MAP of the Bookfest Festival Footprint 

 

Detroit Bookfest festival map

 

Eastern Market Brewing Company 

2515 Riopelle Street

 

Located three blocks southeast of Shed 5, Eastern Market Brewing Company (EMBC) is one of the most popular destinations in Eastern Market.

Currently, the street they’re on, Riopelle, is closed to vehicle traffic. It is pedestrian-only and they have tables in the street, food tent, live DJ, and of course beer, glorious beer.

Some of their most popular beers are:

Elephant Juice, Market Day IPA, Mae Blanc, Wonderboy, and White Coffee Stout

 

Bookfest Afterparty

https://www.facebook.com/events/511032789841366

 

Beer list

https://easternmarket.beer/beers/

 

Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/easternmarketbrewing/?hl=en

 

Special thanks to Dayne Bartscht (owner), Shalyn Getz (president), David Mates-Knapp (events director)

Eastern Market Brewing Company Detroit (photo courtesy of EMBC)

EMBC Detroit (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

EMBC Detroit (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

 

Bea’s Squeeze Detroit 

1533 Winder Street

 

Half a block around the corner from EMBC is Bea’s lovely combination eatery and co-working space. This beautiful addition to the market is the brainchild of Beatrice Wolnerman and they now have a walk-up window.

Bea’s was recently voted the # 1 special occasion venue in Metro Detroit.

Be sure to try Bea’s signature lemonade (bottled lemonade or lemonade slushies) and some tasty scones.

 

Bookfest Bash

https://www.facebook.com/events/2492508121065383

 

Homepage

https://www.beasdetroit.com/

 

You can even buy this awesome duffel bag from Bea’s

https://beassqueeze.com/products/duffel-bag

 

Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/beasdetroit/

 

Special thanks to Beatrice Wolnerman (owner) and Connar McLeod (events director)

Bea’s Detroit (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Bea’s Detroit warehouse (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Bea’s Detroit (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Bea’s duffel bag (photo courtesy of Bea’s)

 

Red Bull Arts Detroit 

1551 Winder Street

 

Directly next door to Bea’s is the 14,000-square foot two-story Red Bull Arts warehouse. During Bookfest they will have an open house, artist exhibitions and you can check out their library and recording studio.

The basement of the warehouse is the old Eckhardt & Becker Brewery and is basically a cool subterranean brick-walled cavern. The brewery was here 1891-1969.

New York City and Detroit are the only two Red Bull Arts exhibition spaces in North America. There’s also one in Sao Paolo, Brazil called The Station. Red Bull’s global HQ is in Austria and their North American HQ is in Santa Monica, California.

Red Bull, yes the energy drink company, pays 9 artists from all over the world a $12,000 stipend to live and work at the warehouse for 3 month intervals (ie: January-April, April-July, August-November). The stipend allows the artists to focus on making art full-time while in Detroit. Being an artist is not easy and the money and dedicated time for free-flowing creativity are a blessing to struggling artists.

 

Homepage

http://redbullarts.com/detroit/

 

RBA Detroit Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/redbullartsdetroit/

 

Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/redbullarts/?hl=en

 

Special thanks to Matt Eaton (director)

Red Bull Arts Detroit (photocourtesy of Red Bull)

Red Bull Arts Detroit warehouse (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

 

 

The Dequindre Cut

Closest entrance located at 3017 Orleans Street.

 

The Cut,” as it’s called is a lovely greenway/urban recreational pathway for walking, biking, jogging.

It is 2-miles long and runs from the Detroit Riverfront to the northern tip of Eastern Market.

Near the Wilkins/Orleans entrance, you can find the Freight Yard Bar, this is an outdoor bar made out of shipping containers.

To get to the bar:

Enter at Orleans St & Wilkins St, walk down to the Cut, make a right, then it’s down on your left.

Detroit Symphony Orchestra

 

Fortunately, on Bookfest Day July 18th, 2021, members of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra will be playing a free pop-up concert from Noon to 1:00 p.m. at the Dequindre Cut’s Frieghtyard Bar!

You can also catch free DSO concerts throughout the year at their own Sosnick Courtyard (51 Parsons St) in Detroit’s Midtown neighborhood.

 

DSO @ Freight Yard Bar

https://detroitriverfront.org/things-to-do/dso-park-1

 

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/DequindreCutFreightYard

 

Special thanks to Clare Valenti (DSO community engagement director)

Dequindre Cut (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Dequindre Cut (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Dequindre Cut Map

Dequindre Cut (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Dequindre Cut (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Dequindre Cut Freight Yard bar (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Dequindre Cut (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Members of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra concert @ Dequindre Cut Freightyard Bar (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

 

 

Pong Detroit

This afterhours ping-pong social club is located inside Bert’s Warehouse (2739 Russell Street)

 

The brainchild of former Honolulu-based radio DJ and pong enthusiast Mal Lang, their slogan is “unplug and play.”

Mal says, “Soccer is # 1 and table tennis is the # 2 participant sport in world. Table tennis is huge in China, India, Europe (especially Sweden & Germany).”

Bert’s Warehouse also features a comedy club, kitchen, and bar, so you can drink and pong all night long.

Lessons are available and they will be doing wheelchair table tennis soon.

Their other slogan is “Food, drinks, music and pong.”

Hours

Tuesday-Thursday

5:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.

Cost

$10/hr from 5-7pm, then $15/hr 7pm-11pm

 

Homepage

http://pongdetroit.com/

 

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/pongdetroit/

 

Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/pongdetroit/

 

Thanks to Mal Lang (owner)

 

Pong Detroit (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Pong Detroit

Pong Detroit inside Bert’s Warehouse (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Michigan shaped ping pong paddle (courtesy of Pong Detroit)

Bert’s Warehouse Detroit (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

 

Detroit City Distillery

2462 Riopelle Street

 

The Riopelle taproom of DCD is down the street from Eastern Market Brewing Company.

Here you will find a lively outdoor vibe, including music, cocktails and food from Midnight Temple, the Indian gastropub located above DCD. (hint: try the tandoori wings and gobi rollup).

 

Homepage

https://www.detroitcitydistillery.com/

 

Midnight Temple

https://www.midnighttemple.com/

 

Special thanks to JP Jerome (co-founder), Mike Forsyth (co-founder), Akash Sudhakara (Midnight Temple)

Detroit City Distillery (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Midnight Temple Indian food Detroit (photo courtesy of Yelp)

 

Trio of great shops

1337-1353 Division Street

 

This trio of great shops, Detroit Hustles Harder, Signal-Return, the 37th Shield Library, is located along Division Street, west of Russell Street.

 

37th Shield Library sells books and records and more.

https://www.facebook.com/The37thshieldlibrary/

 

Signal-Return is a letterpress studio.

http://www.signalreturnpress.org/

 

Detroit Hustles Harder is a globally recognized clothing store.

https://divisionstreetboutique.com/

 

Special thanks to Andrew Potvin (37th Shield), Toby Barlow and Lynne Avadenka (Signal-Return), and Brendan Blumentritt (Detroit Hustles Harder)

37th Shield Library, Signal Return letterpress, Detroit Hustles Harder (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

37th Shield Library (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

 

The Eastern

3434 Russell Street

The Eastern is a lovely 5,000-square foot industrial space you can rent out for special events.

Built in 1888, this is the old Hook and Ladder # 5 fire station. The Eastern has capacity for 300 seated or 600+ strolling and a 3,000 square foot outdoor patio.

Note: The entrance is not directly on Russell St, rather the main entrance is located on the north side of the building next to Wasserman Art Gallery.

Homepage

http://www.theeasterndetroit.com/

Virtual Tour

http://www.theeasterndetroit.com/virtual-tour

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/theeastern

Special thank you to Scott Rutterbush (owner).

The Eastern event space Detroit (courtesy The Eastern)

The Eastern event space Detroit (courtesy The Eastern)

The Eastern event space Detroit (courtesy The Eastern)

The Eastern event space Detroit (courtesy The Eastern)

 

Elsewhere in the Eastern Market district….

 

Eastern Market sculpture at Orleans and Erskine (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Eastern Market graffiti on Orleans Street, north of Erskine (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Eastern Market graffiti on Orleans Street, north of Erskine (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Eastern Market graffiti on Orleans Street, north of Winder (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Eastern Market graffiti on Orleans Street, north of Winder (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Eastern Market graffiti on Orleans Street, north of Winder (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Eastern Market graffiti on Orleans Street, north of Alfred (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

 

J’adore Loft 

2501 Russell Street, ste. 400

This fun event space is 2,000 square feet and has capacity for 50 seated or 125 strolling.

Great for meetings, weddings, photo shoots, events of all sorts.

Homepage

https://www.jadore-detroit.com/the-loft-1

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/jadoredetroit

Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/jadoredetroit/

Special thanks to Candice Simons (owner).

J’adore Loft in Eastern Market (photo courtesy of J’adore Loft Detroit)

J’adore Loft in Eastern Market (photo courtesy of J’adore Loft Detroit)

J’adore Loft in Eastern Market (photo courtesy of J’adore Loft Detroit)

J’adore Loft in Eastern Market (photo courtesy of J’adore Loft Detroit)

 

 

Dyno Indoor Climbing Gym

3500 Orleans Street

 

This place is really cool! Inside you will find 12-15 foot tall boulders and a 49 foot tall rope section.

You can get a day pass, punch pass, or membership.

Climbers must be over 4 years old and you have to be over 16 years old to belay.

 

Homepage

https://www.dynodetroit.com/

 

Special thanks to Dino Ruggeri (owner)

Dyno indoor climbing gym (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Dyno indoor climbing gym (photo courtesy of Dyno)

 

 

Dorais Park Velodrome

601 Mack Avenue

Located on the NW edge of the Eastern Market district, this is also another really cool place!

Inside the 64,000 square foot dome you will find an indoor wooden bicycle track.

Bicyclists beware, you can actually go up to 50mph on your bicycle inside here!

 

Homepage

https://lexusvelodrome.com/

 

Special thanks to Dale Hughes (owner)

Dorais Park Velodrome (photo courtesy of the Velodrome)

Dorais Park Velodrome (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

 

That’s not everything in Eastern Market.

Merely a small sampling of some of the fun and exciting things you can do.

Be sure to explore the entire district and enjoy your experience in Detroit!

Meet DJ Seven Whales: the Official DJ of Detroit Bookfest

Meet DJ Seven Whales: the Official DJ of Detroit Bookfest

DJ Seven Whales Detroit (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

I’m just tryna add sauce to the world.”-DJ Seven Whales

Detroit Bookfest wouldn’t be Detroit Bookfest without the power of music. It helps transform and enhance the event into something visceral and multi-dimensional.

We especially like the funk, the whole funk and almost nothing but the funk. Our deep love o’ great gobs of funk music was initially inspired by attending Frank Raines monthly Funk Night parties in Detroit where one discovers you can levitate without actually levitating.

For years, DJ Zig-Zag (Jason Ratcliffe) graciously spun for us since the beginning of Bookfest but life has taken him beyond the Motor City. We thank Zig-Zag for his support and will miss his vibes at Bookfest. After his departure, the first great DJ whose named popped into my cabeza was Seven Whales.

DJ Seven Whales Detroit (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

DJ Seven Whales, real name JR Jones, is a native Detroiter and an eminently creative individual. He is also Market Operations Analyst @ Eastern Market and has been a treasured member of the Detroit Bookfest Committee since our inception.

Born November 30, 1989 on Detroit’s Northwest side, JR graduated Mumford High School (off Wyoming and McNichols) and went on to graduate from Specs Howard School of Media Arts with a degree in graphic design.

But most of all, JR hails from a highly creative family.

 

The Creative Lineage of Seven Whales

DJ Seven Whales & DJ Sam Morykwas (photo by George Gregory Clothing)

I’m into all types of music, rock, rap, whatever. I just love music.

“Growing up, everybody in my family was listening to music all the time. My dad is a big jazz and funk fan. Two of his favorites are Grover Washington Jr. and Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson. My mom loves soul, especially Erykah Badu and Sade.”

My dad was born in Detroit and played piano when he was younger. My mom is from White Castle, Louisiana near Baton Rouge and was a painter. And me, being a kid growing up in the 90’s, I was influenced by their natural creativity and all the great music coming out at that time.”

 

 

Eastern Market: pull out a map and mark it

DJ Seven Whales Detroit (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

JR started working at Eastern Market Partnership in February 2014.

“Initially, I was working security. We call it CSS, which stands for Customer Support Service. Then I was promoted to Market Operations Analyst.”

I love the Eastern Market community. Our neighborhood is a great mix of young to old, artists to nutritionists, it’s very diverse. I also just love the art community in Detroit in general.”

DJ Seven Whales Detroit (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

“I work at the Market with the infamous Lonni Thomas. She’s great, we have a lot of fun together. My favorite Lonni Thomas story is one time we were closing up after a Sunday Holiday Market. We were carrying stuff down to the basement and I fell slowly down the stairs and Lonni just watched me. She did help me up afterward though. It was one of those funny slow-motion can’t stop from falling falls with her just staring at me.” (laughs)

I love Detroit Bookfest at Eastern Market. It brings out the diversity, everyone, buying amazing books and materials. It’s especially impressive during an age in history where everything is mad digital. It’s also far from what you think of when you think of a typical book event. Reminds me more like an all-inclusive community block party. It makes the concept of reading and collecting books fun, especially for younger people. It’s a one-of-a-kind event, honestly. I look forward to it every year. And now I’m excited to be DJ’ing it.”

“My favorite book is ‘The Tao of Wu’ (2009) by Wu Tang’s RZA. It’s a philosophy book about the many paths to enlightenment. RZA has a unique mind, the way he puts different concepts together is interesting.”

Tao of Wu-RZA

 

JR Jones becomes DJ Seven Whales

DJ Seven Whales (Photo by Doug @wndrlstmedia)

JR has been DJ’ing since March 2019.

When I spin, I like to create a vibe. I spin with emotion and energy.”

“I’ve had a lifelong love of music and always wanted to DJ. My uncle took me to Guitar Center one day and showed me a DJ controller and I was hooked.”

“I gotta give a shout out to my man Sam. Sam Morykwas is the senior marketing manager here at Eastern Market and he’s also a great DJ. He taught me a lot about the craft and even gave me some equipment to help get me started.”

DJ Seven Whales Detroit (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

“Mainly, I’m a house party DJ, spinnin’ the dopeness, but I love DJ’ing all types of events.”

“Don’t have one particular style of music. I try to spin stuff the world would love to hear, whether they know it or not. I’m tryna hit y’all with things you don’t know. The idea is to put you onto good music.”

“My DJ name Seven Whales came from two sources. One is the book ‘The Legend of the Seven Whales of Ngai Tahu Matawhaiti’ (1988). It’s an African legend about a tohunga transforming seven whales into seven hills.”

The Legend of the Seven Whales of Ngai Tahu Matawhaiti

“Another influence was a song in which Sir Michael Rocks talks about saving the whales. We misheard it as seven whales. The song is called ‘What do you Do’.”

“My favorite DJ’s are Kaytranada, Joe K, Detroit’s own PBH (Problematic Black Hottie), and honestly my man Sam Morykwas. My goal is to learn, not copy, but learn from other DJ’s.”

 

The Fun Stuff

Island Jerk Ribs w/ Guava BBQ Sauce @ Coop Caribbean Fusion Detroit (photo by: Coop)

“Favorite eateries in Detroit? Man, how much time we got? Could be here a while, there’s so many. At this particular moment in time, my top three are:”

Coop Caribbean fusion inside Detroit Shipping Company (474 Peterboro St, Detroit) “this is my guilty pleasure place”

Bash Izakaya (5069 Trumbull, Detroit)

Fat Salmon Sushi (11411 Joseph Campau Ave, Hamtramck)

“When I’m not DJ’ing or exploring the rich culinary scene in Metro Detroit, I’m usually exploring different ways to be creative.”

Ink drawings, photography, watercolor painting, etc. I also like cruising the city on my bike. You can see me riding my Fuji Absolute around town.”

 

Upcoming Developments

Wednesday Night Vibes Detroit

“Sam and I spin Wednesday Night Vibes every week on Zoom from 8pm-11pm. You can find the link on IG @djsevenwhales.”

We also did a commercial for the Detroit Tigers and one for George Gregory Clothing and we have some more things in the works.”

“I’m a sneakerhead, a cool nerdy kid from Detroit. You’ll see me at events. I’m just tryna add sauce to the world.”

 

Contact

DJ Seven Whales is available for gigs. Book him for your next event!

Djseven313@gmail.com

 

Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/djsevenwhales/

Soundcloud

https://soundcloud.com/user-627124274

Linkedin

https://www.linkedin.com/in/john-jones-7799a3bb

 

DJ Seven Whales Detroit (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

DJ Seven Whales Detroit (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

DJ Seven Whales Detroit (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

DJ Seven Whales Detroit (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

DJ Seven Whales Detroit (photo by: Ryan M. Place)