Flint, MI—Flint Drop Fest is set to return to downtown Flint, Mich. Saturday, August 13, 2022.

The day-long arts and electronic music festival began a decade ago when organizer Jerin Sage decided to bring the techno scene he’d grown to love at events like the Detroit Electronic Music Festival to his hometown.

“The first year we were in the Flat Lot, we were in Riverbank Park, and we were on the rooftop of the Rutherford Building,” Sage said from a picnic table in Wilson Park, just a block from where two of 12 total stages will be for Drop Fest this Saturday. 

“It’s actually humbling,” he said, shaking his head as he spoke about how much the event had grown since. “We had a Uhaul truck as our main stage. We had tiny, like, garage speakers. We just pieced it together the best that we could.”

Sage said there were around 750 attendees in Drop Fest’s first year, but last year’s event ended up drawing nearly 14,000. 

“I never would have expected it,” he said. “I worked for it. I’ve been trying to get there. But it’s still just incredible and humbling to have that much support.”

Sage said the upcoming 10th Annual Flint Drop Fest will be his and fellow organizers’ biggest yet, featuring food trucks, art vendors, and “creativity bursting at the seams” between the stages dotting downtown’s streets, parks and alleys.

Headlining the festival are Marvel Years and DJ Swamp, the latter of which toured with musician Beck in the late 90s.

Aside from the headliners, Sage estimated there will be over 150 performers at the event this Saturday, including entertainment outside of electronic music. For example, he noted, the community stage will offer a variety of fitness and yoga demonstrations, an open mic session, and local belly dancers throughout the afternoon and evening.

Flint Drop Fest is free and has been since its inception.

Sage said that accessibility is important to him as he’d rather festival-goers spend their time and money at Flint’s downtown businesses or on local vendors’ wares at the event.

“I get paid in smiles,” Sage said. “If everyone leaves with a positive memory and a reason to come back, then that’s success to me.”

The 10th Annual Flint Drop Fest will be held from noon to 11 p.m. on Aug. 13. More information on the free, all-ages event can be found on the event’s website or social media pages.

Kate is Flint Beat's associate editor. She joined the team as a corps member of Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues....

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