It’s no secret that this world of ours can sometimes be big, bad, and scary. Hatred and intolerance seem to proliferate in every corner of our society, from the political sphere to our beloved music scene. Luckily for Detroit, we have Seraphine Collective to help carve out a safe and positive space for people from all walks of life.
Seraphine Collective describes itself as a “supportive and active community of female-identified musicians and artists designed to foster creative expression and camaraderie among feminists in Detroit.” It aims to provide a network of support for any individual who may feel marginalized by Detroit’s music scene.
Now in its third year, Seraphine’s BFF Fest is a celebration of all that the collective stands for. The all-ages fest accomplishes its goal to “highlight, celebrate, and promote the talents of Michigan’s diverse community of musicians and artists” by featuring some of the most talented women, people of color, and LGBTQIA performers in southeastern Michigan and beyond in its thoughtfully curated lineup.
BFF Fest is sure to be a fun-packed weekend, including performances at El Club in Southwest on Friday and Saturday as well as a pizza brunch and clothing swap on Sunday. You can also check out free workshops that include, but are not limited to, “Ending Street Harassment” and “Hoop Dancing.” In the true spirit of making a positive impact on our community, Seraphine will be collecting donations for Alternatives for Girls at the event.
BFF Fest is a safe space, so ditch the negativity, grab your dancing shoes, and see some of the most talented acts our city has to offer — many of which we’ve highlighted in our guide to the event below.
Friday | July 29
7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m
BFF Fest Art Show feat. DJ UNO MAS
Performances Starting at 10:00 p.m.
$12 advance / $14 day of
Detroit-based trio AM People kick the music off on Friday night with their self-proclaimed “beach goth” jams.
Beverly Johnson, who records under the name Bevlove, updates ’90s R&B tropes for the social media era, and her smooth but powerful voice will instantly win you over.
Seraphine founder and president Lauren Rossi, joined by Dina Bankole and Erin Norris, make up Casual Sweetheart, an exceptional band that have found the sweet spot somewhere between riot grrrl and beach rock. These lo-fi darlings bring their lively act to Friday night’s line up.
Hometown heroes Protomartyr may have hit it big on the world stage, but that isn’t stopping them from bringing their signature fuzzy garage rock to El Club to headline Friday night of the fest.
DJs Vanessa + Katrina and Amy Dreamcatcher
Saturday | July 30
Doors 2:30 p.m., Performances Starting at 3:00 p.m
$12 advance / $14 day of
WORKSHOPS: Deep Listening, Ending Street Harassment, Hoop Dancing, Self-Exploration, Zine Making
Valley Stage (Outside)
Wraiths are an Ypsilanti-based trio whose droning dream pop is ambient and ghostly, drawing inspiration from artists like Cocteau Twins and Brian Eno.
Montreal-based synthpop group MagicPerm categorize their sound as “plushcore,” and their music combines billowy keyboards with atmospheric vocals.
Singer-songwriter Jes Kramer hails from Grand Rapids, and her highly intimate synthpop tracks are both unnerving and gut-wrenching.
Raised in Thailand, but currently based in Montreal, Alexia Avina plays ambient folk pop that fearlessly draws inspiration from her life.
Autumn Nicole Wetli, lead singer and guitarist for Rebel Kind, plays a solo set (with support from Andrew Thomas) that promises to surprise and delight fans of her main gig.
Start your evening off right with Bonny Doon’s mellow slacker rock, complete with jangling guitar and all-around good vibes.
Mountain Stage (Inside)
The Free Bleeders
The Free Bleeders are an avowedly political act committed to social justice. If you’re down for the cause, you won’t want to miss this group.
Junk Food Junkies
You can expect some tasty treats from this group. Junk Food Junkies make cute lil’ ditties about life, love, and snacks that are basically impossible not to groove to.
Fox Face are a quartet from Milwaukee whose brash but brief punk anthems will be a welcome palate cleanser before the home stretch of the festival.
Best Exes played their first show ever at a Seraphine Collective gig, and their nature-influenced sound will be a perfect fit for BFF Fest.
D.s.sense (aka Deidre Smith) is a prodigious talent who has been nominated for a Detroit Music Award for Best R&B Artist and by svmixradio.com for Best Female Performance Artist.
Stef Chura’s grunge pop tunes recall the heyday of ’90s singer-songwriters such as Cat Power or Liz Phair, but brought up-to-speed for our fast times.
Detroit-based neo-soul songstress Britney Stoney uses sparse electronic beats and multi-layered vocals to highlight her exceptional R&B voice. This is a set you won’t want to miss.
Impossibly catchy, unfailingly fun, and undeniably upbeat, Deadbeat Beat will keep you dancing into the night with their psych-tinged surf rock.
White Mystery are the ferocious rock ’n’ roll sibling duo of Miss Alex White and Francis Scott Key White from Chicago.
DJ Mother Cyborg + DJ Stacey HOTWAXX Hale
2:00 a.m. – 4:00 a.m.
If you’re still standing after all that music, dance the rest of the night away to the tunes two of the hottest DJs in all of the Motor City.
Sunday | July 31
12:00P – 4:00P
FREE Party & Clothing Swap w/ Beatmatch Brunch DJs: