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Posted on Tue, May 8, 2012 : 8 a.m.

Top of the Park 2012 schedule released by Ann Arbor Summer Festival

By Staff


A crowd at Top of the Park last year.

Melanie Maxwell | file photo

The Ann Arbor Summer Festival today announces the 2012 season schedule for Top of the Park, the festival's free outdoor component.

Running from June 15-July 8, every night except Monday, Top of the Park presents live music, movies on a large outdoor screen, family attractions and more. New items of interest this year include a "Dinosaur Petting Zoo" and a community "Roots Lounge" area presented by

Top of the Park will feature 59 musical acts, 8 guest DJs, 13 feature movies, and strolling performance troupes. In addition, 8 local teen bands will be showcased in the returning Rock the Mall competition. The primary ToP site will again be the Ingalls Mall area just in front of the University of Michigan Rackham Building on East Washington Street.

The general approach remains the same as previous years: Music and movies on Sundays and Tuesdays-Thursdays, with expanded musical lineups on weekends, including late-night DJ sets.

One special attraction this year will be Erth’s Dinosaur Petting Zoo, a puppet exhibition created by Australian theater and visual arts company Erth. Performances of this unique family attraction will be held on the front lawn of Power Center, a short walk from the Top of the Park site, from June 29 through July 1, with two shows per day. Admission is free, although donations are appreciated; seating is on the grass, and blankets are recommended.

The Dinosaur Petting Zoo allows interaction for kids and adults while they travel with Erth’s multi-faceted performers on a journey through prehistoric ages. In the one-hour outdoor performance, audiences experience an amazing selection of dinosaurs and creatures that inhabited the Earth millions of years ago. Children also get the opportunity to help feed, water, and care for these prehistoric marvels, with simple lessons in animal husbandry. (See video below)

In addition to the three-day residency with Erth, the festival will offer a number of other outdoor attractions. Special projects at Top of the Park include: aerial and acrobatic performances by Detroit’s Bacchanal Promotions on June 16 and July 7; a mini circus camp for kids with lessons in juggling, tightrope, and trapeze by Circus Amongus on June 17 and July 3; and a festival-long installation of whimsical chalk drawings on the streets and sidewalks around Top of the Park by internationally known local artist David Zinn. Tuesday night craft beer tastings are another introduction.

The festival this year will also feature a new community Roots Lounge as part of The Grove area. The Roots Lounge will be presented by, the official online partner for the 2012 Ann Arbor Summer Festival. The new space will serve as a cozy gathering place for festivalgoers to meet, relax, network, and enjoy the evening’s free entertainment in a comfortable open-air environment. The lounge will offer free WiFi access as well as plenty of guest seating under the trees.

Returning Top of the Park attractions include the "Retreat" mind-body workshops, "Wind Down Wednesday" wine tastings, and the Kid Zone activity tent. On Mondays, when Top of the Park goes "dark," the Summer Festival will again present 33 1/3 reading and listening parties at Arbor Brewing Co.

This year's food vendors will include Hut-K Chaats, Noodles & Company, Oasis Grill, Ray’s Red Hots, Satchel's BBQ, Stucci’s, Sugar Shack, Silvio’s Organic Pizza and Sweetwaters.

Top of the Park admission continues to be free, though the festival will again ask for donations of $3 per individual or $5 per family.

Following is the full Summer Festival schedule, including Top of the Park events as well as main-stage shows (indicated by their location). Watch for full details on both Top of the Park and main-stage events as the festival approaches, and check out the Summer Festival website for more information.

Friday, June 15 | First Friday (Opening Night)
5:00 pm Hannah Winkler
6:00 pm Match By Match
7:00 pm Rio & The Rockabilly Revival
9:00 pm Third Coast Kings
11:00 pm After Dark w/ DJ Kirsten Carey

Saturday, June 16
5:00 pm Retreat: Chi-Kung
5:00 pm Dan Henig
6:00 pm Chris Bathgate
7:00 pm Theo Katzman
7:30 pm Aerial Acrobatics
8:00 pm Al Green (Hill Auditorium)
9:00 pm Lady Sunshine & The X Band
11:00 pm After Dark w/ DJ Michael Dykehouse

Sunday, June 17
5:00 pm Retreat: Pilates
5:00 pm The Wanna Bees
6:00 pm R.O.C.K.
8:00 pm Taj Weekes & Adowa
10:00 pm Movie: "Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory"

Monday, June 18 | (Top of the Park dark)
7:00 pm 33 1/3 Series (Arbor Brewing Company)

Tuesday, June 19
6:30 pm Tasting Tuesday
6:30 pm Rock the Mall Teen Music Competition
10:00 pm Movie: "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows"

Wednesday, June 20
6:30 pm Wind Down Wednesday
6:30 pm The Barons of Tang
8:00 pm October Babies
10:00 pm Movie: "The Help"

Thursday, June 21
6:30 pm The Lucas Paul Band
8:00 pm Esperanza Spalding (Power Center)
8:00 pm The Ragbirds
10:00 pm Movie: "O Brother, Where Art Thou?"

Friday, June 22
5:00 pm Magdalen Fossum
6:00 pm Dark-Eyed Molly
7:00 pm The Martindales
9:00 pm Measured Chaos
11:00 pm After Dark w/ DJ Paw Paw

Saturday, June 23
5:00 pm Retreat: West African Dance Workout
5:00 pm Molly Bancroft
6:00 pm Peter Mulvey
7:00 pm 1592
8:00 pm Reinventing Radio: An Evening with Ira Glass (Power Center)
9:00 pm The Sun Messengers
11:00 pm After Dark w/ DJ Chuck Sipperley

Sunday, June 24
5:00 pm Retreat: BollyFit
5:00 pm Jeanie B! & The Jellybeans
6:00 pm Ratboy Jr.
7:00 pm Pilobolus (Power Center)
8:00 pm Drivin’ Sideways
10:00 pm Movie: "Hugo"

Monday, June 25 | (Top of the Park dark)
7:00 pm 33 1/3 Series (Arbor Brewing Company)

Tuesday, June 26
6:30 pm Tasting Tuesday
6:30 pm The Flutter & Wow
8:00 pm Bearfoot
10:00 pm Movie: "Ghostbusters"

Wednesday, June 27
6:30 pm Wind Down Wednesday
6:30 pm Sumkali
7:30 pm BollyFit Dance
8:00 pm Nellie McKay wsg Sneakin’ Out (Power Center)
8:00 pm Noori
10:00 pm Movie: "Breakfast at Tiffany’s"

Thursday, June 28
6:30 pm Bill Bynum & Co.
8:00 pm The Moth Mainstage (Michigan Theater)
8:00 pm The Infamous Stringdusters
10:00 pm Movie: "The Big Lebowski"

Friday, June 29
5:00 pm Erth’s Dinosaur Petting Zoo (Power Center Lawn)
5:00 pm Gwenyth Hayes
6:00 pm Alejandra O’Leary
7:00 pm Erth’s Dinosaur Petting Zoo (Power Center Lawn)
7:00 pm Tree City & The ContraBand
9:00 pm The Macpodz & Friends
11:00 pm After Dark w/ DJ Maxx Makau

Saturday, June 30
4:00 pm Erth’s Dinosaur Petting Zoo (Power Center Lawn)
5:00 pm Retreat: Gyrokinesis
5:00 pm Roland Remington
6:00 pm Hoodang
6:00 pm Erth’s Dinosaur Petting Zoo (Power Center Lawn)
7:00 pm Rampage Swing
8:00 pm Rufus Wainwright (Power Center)
9:00 pm Orquesta Sensacional
11:00 pm After Dark w/ DJ Brian Tomsic

Sunday, July 1
4:00 pm Erth’s Dinosaur Petting Zoo (Power Center Lawn)
5:00 pm Retreat: Contact Improv
5:00 pm Supersonic Music Makers & The Fortytwo
6:00 pm Erth’s Dinosaur Petting Zoo (Power Center Lawn)
6:30 pm Anna Banana Band
8:00 pm Madcat & Kane wsg Big Dave Steele & Mike Shimmin
10:00 pm Movie: "Jurrasic Park"

Monday, July 2 | (Top of the Park dark)
7:00 pm 33 1/3 Series (Arbor Brewing Company)

Tuesday, July 3
6:30 pm Tasting Tuesday
6:30 pm The Ben Daniels Band
8:00 pm Dick Siegel & The Brandos
10:00 pm Movie: "Close Encounters of the Third Kind"

Wednesday, July 4
5:00 pm The Capitol Steps (Power Center)
6:30 pm Wind Down Wednesday
6:30 pm Tumbao Bravo
8:00 pm Los Gatos
8:00 pm The Capitol Steps (Power Center)
10:00 pm Movie: "Forrest Gump"

Thursday, July 5
6:00 pm Cinematic Titanic (Michigan Theater)
6:30 pm Lightning Love
8:00 pm Charlie Slick
9:00 pm Cinematic Titanic (Michigan Theater)
10:00 pm Movie: "Answer This!"

Friday, July 6
5:00 pm Taylor Fernandez
6:00 pm Khalid Hanifi
7:00 pm The Saints of Soul
8:00 pm Circa (Power Center)
9:00 pm Brother Joscephus & the Love Revival Revolution Orchestra
11:00 pm After Dark w/ DJ Joey D

Saturday, July 7
5:00 pm Retreat: Capoeira
5:00 pm Jennie DeVoe
6:00 pm Nervous But Excited
7:00 pm Creolization
7:30 pm Jumping Stilt Acrobatics
8:00 pm Circa (Power Center)
9:00 pm Thornetta Davis
11:00 pm After Dark w/ DJ Chill Will

Sunday, July 8 | So Long Sunday (Closing Night)
4:30 pm Ariel & Zoey & Eli, Too
5:00 pm Retreat: Yoga
6:00 pm Big Bang Boom
8:00 pm George Bedard & The Kingpins
10:00 pm Movie: "Dirty Dancing"


Angela Todd

Wed, May 16, 2012 : 3:56 p.m.

For those who don't know, the food and dog police prohibit these things being brought into the park, in no uncertain terms...and I went to the Michigan League people on duty to complain. I miss the people who I got to know that had dogs. They were not causing problems, and, even if they had, so what? Dogs are part of this so-called, "family outing". People with dogs stopped coming. People who would bring in a Starbuck's coffee with them stopped coming. Others started inventing ways to smuggle in a soft drink. I only go to dance. Nuff said. All in all, except for the drunks and people with children who run through the dance area, I still look forward to this annual event, as I love to dance and meet so many new people. And, I LOVE crowds. Everyone should go at least once. Ann Arbor resident, Angela F. Todd.


Wed, May 9, 2012 : 2:11 a.m.

I can't believe Hannah and Theo will be here and i am gone for the summer. Oh, the injustice!


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 9:10 p.m.

Hut-K Chaats! Now there's a reason to go every day!

Jon Saalberg

Tue, May 8, 2012 : 6:21 p.m.

No matter what, with two Coen brother movies on tap at the Top, life is very good.

Raylan Givens

Tue, May 8, 2012 : 5:17 p.m.

great event. It makes A2 special.


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 4:48 p.m.

TCK for life!

Ron Granger

Tue, May 8, 2012 : 2:50 p.m.

The festival is a complete bust without Nomo. What a drag.


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 2:36 p.m.

Sad to see again that Laith Al-Saadi is not playing, by far one of the best local talents.


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 2:35 p.m.

I assume it's ok to bring your own food and beverages.....


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 2:11 p.m.

Will there be open carry allowed this year?


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 5:25 p.m.

I don't think you're allowed, legally, to carry any firearm on University or School property anywhere in Michigan, open carried or concealed, unless you're a police officer. So unless the law changes, I think it's always going to be a no.


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 2:26 p.m.

only for paranoid cowards


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 12:26 p.m.

Great lineup as always! Hats off to Robb and Amy!

Unusual Suspect

Tue, May 8, 2012 : 12:07 p.m.

Nobody goes to Top of the Park anymore. It's too crowded.


Wed, May 9, 2012 : 2:01 p.m.

I think the readers need to increase their caffeine consumption. Scary that more people didn't get it.

Unusual Suspect

Wed, May 9, 2012 : 2:50 a.m.

You know, it's a sad sign of the times when you have to explain baseball quotes to another American.

Unusual Suspect

Wed, May 9, 2012 : 2:42 a.m.


Top Cat

Tue, May 8, 2012 : 8:12 p.m.

The only problem with TOTP is that it gets late early out there.


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 6:48 p.m.

Yogi Berra. Nice touch.


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 3:36 p.m.

It's almost like deja vu all over again.


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 1:46 p.m.

Ironic, isn't it?

Kirk Schneemann

Tue, May 8, 2012 : 1:39 p.m.

I mean no disrespect, but it nobody goes, how can it be too crowded?