Flint, MI—The Antidote Fest sent the booming bass lines and soulful melodies of more than a dozen local music artists reverberating through Downtown Flint, Mich. on Saturday, July 30 in an effort to show a glimpse of the rich pool of local hip-hop and R&B talent Flint is home to.
“We want to give them a platform to do what we feel like they do best,” said Jujuan Thorn, general manager of The Antidote Studio, which hosted the festival. “A lot of people give attention to, you know, a certain kind of music here, which is cool. There’s nothing wrong with that, but we just kind of want to shine a light on a lot of the other talent that might go overlooked.”
The Antidote Fest will return to Flint each year, Thorn said, but some have asked him to put on more shows in the meantime. In March, the Antidote brought more than 20 Flint music artists to the South By Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, to perform in a show called “The Sound of Flint.”
“But the whole irony of it was that there is no sound of Flint, you get what I’m saying?” Thorn said. “There’s no one sound of Flint. Everything musically going on here is the sound of Flint.”
The Antidote Studio, launched in 2020, is a nonprofit recording studio based out of the Sylvester Broome Empowerment Village (SBEV) on Flint’s northside. In addition to producing tracks for numerous local artists, the studio offers educational programs for young people enrolled at SBEV.
Thorn said The Antidote got its name through its mission: to “cultivate a cure for our community.”
“The city of Flint has been hurt by so many things, from economic type of issues to the water crisis,” Thorn said. “We want to be the cure, and music is at the center of that for us. That’s our medium that we choose to operate in and help people through. It’s not just about us at The Antidote. The Antidote is the community’s studio. It’s not mine.”