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The Skyline Post

The Skyline Post

The Skyline Post

What to Know About “Top of the Park” 2024

Bekka+Madeleine+serenades+a+crowd.+Credit%3A+Grace+Ellen+Heard
Bekka Madeleine serenades a crowd. Credit: Grace Ellen Heard

Every June in Ann Arbor, one thing signals that summer has properly begun: the explosion of music and festivities just north of the Diag, otherwise known as the Ann Arbor Summer Festival (A2SF). Set up on Ingalls Mall just outside of Rackham Auditorium downtown, A2SF is an outdoor music festival replete with food stands, games, and performances big and small.

Every Summer Festival brings a packed schedule of entertaining events, and this year is no exception: food-truck circus act Cirque Kikasse, Anne Erlewine, and A2 music staple Erin Zindle and the Ragbirds are just a few of what the festival has to offer next month. Not to mention that all events are free for all attendees, though cash donations are suggested.

“People need live music,” says Skyline math teacher Nicholas Bertsos, whose band, Little Traps, has played at Summer Festival in the past.  [Find their music up on Spotify here.] “I think it’s important to the community, and is in and of itself its own community. I sing and play guitar. Or yell.”  

Another local performer on the docket is Bekka Madeleine, a rising singer-songwriter and student at Huron High School. You can find two singles out on her Spotify page, and her recently released music video for “love in the time of climate change” on YouTube.

“I just love the atmosphere that [Summer Festival] has,” says Madeleine. “Being able to walk around there, the streets are closed off, and that all these people are here to enjoy being outside in each others’ presence. Seeing all the artists perform is also amazing, because it gives them a really great opportunity to get out there.”

The Festival is open to applications from any musicians from the community. According to Bertsos, the sign-up process is “an open invite and…more or less a Google Form,” making it accessible to high schoolers. Though the schedule is set for this summer, interested artists should be on the lookout around November if they want to try out for next year.

In addition to live music, A2SF projects movie on a massive screen outside of Rackham. This year’s lineup includes Little Shop of Horrors, Barbie, and a celebratory 20th-anniversary screening of Napoleon Dynamite.

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