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Posted on Mon, May 6, 2013 : 6:13 a.m.

Sights and sounds of the 2013 Water Hill Music Fest

By Daniel Brenner

Thousands of people turned out to enjoy the sights, sounds, and weather at the 2013 Water Hill Music Fest on Sunday.

In its third year, the festival has become a popular happening in Ann Arbor. The brainchild of local resident and business owner Paul Tinkerhess, the event features residents of a single neighborhood, just northwest of downtown, playing music outdoors at their homes for the enjoyment of visitors.

Check out past coverage of the Water Hill Music Fest


Matt Lang

Tue, May 7, 2013 : 8:17 p.m.

I love the WH cconcerts, but some of the other posters brought up logistical problems; way too many acts to see in 4 hours (some playing at the same time) and the streets are crowded which causes problems for some motorists. It would be great if they could have 5-6 smaller concerts that would go from May to September, and we could see all of the groups, less streets would be tied up giving people more ways in/out of the neighborhood. If not 5-6 then maybe 4 concerts. We all seem to love these, a few more would be great.


Tue, May 7, 2013 : 2:38 p.m.

I was one of those hateful drivers. Disability & elderly made it necessary; BUT I drove it minimally and respectfully--that is, considering that the people on foot owned the neighborhood for the afternoon. It's a magnificent event and my only regret is that I can't see how it can maintain itself that way without being kept secret. To those who were inconvenienced--think about those of us who live within a few miles of the Stadium. We just KNOW when we can be in transit and when we can't.


Tue, May 7, 2013 : 1:50 a.m.



Mon, May 6, 2013 : 7:28 p.m.

It was great to hear both the established musicians, such as Marcus Belgrave, Ron Brooks, and Mr. B, as well as the young artists, such as Blue Effect and Hullaballoo. Too much fun!

Robert E.

Mon, May 6, 2013 : 5:54 p.m.

Such a wonderful event...if you were lucky enough to catch The Blue Effect near Fountain and Felch...WOW...their lead singer is one of the most amazing singers Ive seen in a long time...according to the program she grew up in Water Hill and her name is Sonya Major...she is a superstar with tremendous talent...good luck to The Blue Effect...they must be thrilled to have her on board!


Mon, May 6, 2013 : 1:50 p.m.

Something must be done to allow the city and the DDA to make money from this event. This is just not the image that our city government wants to present. Small town America, we can't have that.


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 3:20 a.m.

No one else is making money from it (as it truly seems), so why should the government be regulating it? Unless that was sarcasm and if so... bravo sir.


Mon, May 6, 2013 : 2:05 p.m.

I love Ann Arbor but agree that some of 'the powers that be' have delusions of grandeur.


Mon, May 6, 2013 : 1:30 p.m.

Being born and raised in the Deuce, I've come to really love this town. Never before have I seen something that better encapsulates the spirit of Ann Arbor. A huge thank you to the Tinkerhess family for thinking this up. It was a wonderful day full of great music and happy people.


Mon, May 6, 2013 : 12:54 p.m.

This was supposed to a "small" event to keep neighbourly. We are heading fast towards the becoming a version of the Art fair,etc. For the folks who come to the festival, you are coming into a neighbourhood. Please show some courtesy. Please do not walk the streets because it is a cool thing to do. Residents need to get thru to their homes. Finally, please do not bring your cars to the festival. This neighbourhood cannot handle the traffic. If this grows any bigger, there will be a strong effort to tone it down. I hope the organizers are reading this. If this continues the way

Ann English

Mon, May 6, 2013 : 11:02 p.m.

I don't remember seeing people DANCING at the first two Water Hill Music Fests. But they were dancing at this one. The words sung in the video were better this year than last year's, and I liked the percussion music. Good effort made on the accordion.


Mon, May 6, 2013 : 6:56 p.m.

I agree that for four hours a year the grouchy neighbors need to just stay inside if the whole world having fun bothers you. I live in the neighborhood and it's the best thing to happen to this town in decades. Change nothing, except add an hour on either end maybe??? The grumps will get over it!

Daniel Brenner

Mon, May 6, 2013 : 5:13 p.m.

The festival was much more crowded that I expected. Not knowing how popular it was, I drove to the event and suffered the consequences. Parking, and even getting through an intersection, was a chore. But that's what makes this festival unique and great. It's a neighborhood block party. I saw a lot of bikers, scooters, and walkers yesterday and think these were the best modes of transportation. Although, I think it would be impossible to keep everyone out of the streets. Some acts attracted extremely large crowds. There's no way to avoid that. Bcar you're right. I feel like I was running up and down the streets and only saw a fraction of the performances. I heard the maps helped the crowd navigate. Anyone else feel this year was more organized?


Mon, May 6, 2013 : 2:02 p.m.

Easy123, all I could hear when I read your post was "You kids get off of my lawn!" LOL


Mon, May 6, 2013 : 1:44 p.m.

I hope it grows even bigger and we tone it UP a notch or two! Make it longer with fewer acts going on at a time (hard to see even 10% of them!) and do it on a saturday. its one day a year in the 'hood to have some fun and get a little crazy.


Mon, May 6, 2013 : 1:12 p.m.

I think residents can suck it up for 4 of the 8,760 hours in a year and plan to stay home (and listen to the music) so that others can come and enjoy the festival. My experience yesterday was that the guests that came to our neighborhood were courteous ... and grateful for a beautiful afternoon filled with free entertainment.


Mon, May 6, 2013 : 12:48 p.m.

Even when the music sucks, this festival is pure awesome. Anyone (who lives in this hood) can gather an audience to play whatever the heck kind of music they want. Truly awesome. Just wish people would stop trying to drive right through the heart of the hood during this. really people?


Mon, May 6, 2013 : 3:41 p.m.

easy, no. no room. we own the street, cars can deal with it.


Mon, May 6, 2013 : 12:56 p.m.

There are residence who need to get thru. Please use the sidewalks!


Mon, May 6, 2013 : 12:27 p.m.

This is what you get when you're out of town... too bad I missed it but it looks like the neighbors had fun without me! It reminds me of the great spirit of Ann Arbor.


Mon, May 6, 2013 : 12:20 p.m.

It's my favorite Ann Arbor thing, too. Such a pleasant way to spend a day in May, and there's really something for everyone.

Linda Peck

Mon, May 6, 2013 : 12:19 p.m.

How fun, wonderful music, wonderful friends. What a fabulous event.

Paula Gardner

Mon, May 6, 2013 : 11:42 a.m.

Thanks, Dan, for adding audio to your photo gallery!! I think it adds a lot to the experience for a reader. Now I wish I had been able to attend!


Mon, May 6, 2013 : 11:37 a.m.

This marvelous festival has become my absolute most favorite "happening" in Ann Arbor -- better than Art Fair, better than Summer Festival. It's non-commercial, personal, family- and dog-friendly, completely free, and good exercise to boot. I know there were way too many acts to cover them all, but I have to say that the single most talented performer for me was Vienna Teng. A newly-minted Erb Institute grad, she performed breathtaking keyboards and vocals in her graduation garb; completely captivated the audience, and garnered at least two standing ovations. She oozed talent, beauty, gentle humor, intelligence -- she is going to make a huge mark on the world, and has a running start.

Craig Lounsbury

Mon, May 6, 2013 : 2:06 p.m.

Not only does she have a wiki page but 4 of her albums have wiki pages too.


Mon, May 6, 2013 : 12:46 p.m.

Dang, I should have prioritized getting over to her concert (though I have had the pleasure of an intimate concert setting of hers before). Sounds marvelous!