Submissions Are Now Closed
Submissions for the 2018 season are now closed. The application to perform at the 2019 festival will be available from September, 1 2018 to February 1, 2019.
Please see the information below outlining performance opportunities, the online application process, and selection criteria for the various stages and programs.
The 34th season of the Ann Arbor Summer Festival, Top of the Park runs from June 8 – July 1, 2018.
Series and Venue Details
Mainstage Series (indoor, ticketed performances)
Hill Auditorium (3,400 cap), Power Center (1,300 cap), Michigan Theater (1,700 cap), and Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre (625 cap)
Artists considered for our ticketed indoor season must be solicited by our programming staff or be represented by a national agent. If an artist is of interest to the festival for this series, the staff will contact that artist’s representatives directly.
TOP OF THE PARK (outdoor, admission-free performances) – Rackham Stage, The ACOUSTIC Stage, Street Performers
Top of the Park admission-free outdoor programming is broadly accessible to the general public, and highlights a wide range of local, regional, national and international talent. The festival receives hundreds of applications annually from performers who are interested in appearing at Top of the Park.
Each year, both new and returning artists are selected to play the admission-free outdoor event, which averages an attendance of 2,000 per night. Submissions are evaluated based on type of performance, content, quality, diversity, and potential audience appeal. Multi-year submissions are not criteria for inclusion. The curatorial matrix changes every year and guides programming decisions.
All genres are accepted including; Acoustic, Adult Contemporary, Alternative, Americana, Avant-garde, Bluegrass, Blues, Celtic, Children’s Music, Classic Rock, Comedy, Contemporary Classical, Country, Cover Band, Electronic/Dance, Folk, Funk, Gospel, Hip-Hop/Rap, Jam Band, Jazz, Latin, Novelty/Variety, Pop, R&B, Reggae, Rock, Ska, Singer/Songwriter, Soul, Standards, Zydeco and World. All performances must be family appropriate (PG-rated).
In an effort to be more environmentally friendly and to better manage the hundreds of submissions received, the festival no longer accepts any physical (mailed or delivered) press kits, CDs, DVDs, photos, or letters.
Your online submission will be reviewed within our programming plans. Artists/agents will be contacted in late winter with any submission, availability or other booking questions.
Once programming decisions have been made, selected artists will be contacted by or before May 1st.
Top of the Park: Rackham Stage (full amplified ensembles of 3–26 performers)
Full sound, stage, lights, stage manager, audio engineer (typically a line check on analog board shared with other bands), merchandise sellers, and festival promotion are provided for bands. Performance “festival” sets range from 45–90 minutes. Bands on this admission-free stage are paid a modest flat fee.
Top of the Park: The ACOUSTIC Stage (solo/duo acoustic)
The festival seeks acoustic performers (solo or duo only) for sets of 45–60 minutes for The Grove Stage in the beverage garden. This 21+ area of the admission-free event is a more intimate space for 200+ featuring select performers in a shaded, sociable setting.
Artists on this stage are paid a modest honorarium. Minimal technical production, stage manager, audio engineer using a small audio kit, speakers, stage, and merchandise sellers are provided. Performers are expected to self-promote their own shows.
Top of the Park: Roaming street and lawn performers
The festival accepts submissions from strolling performers and troupes such as: stilt walkers, jugglers, acrobats, sidewalk chalk artists, unicyclists, clowns, go-go dancers, hula hoopers, costumed strolling characters, contortionists, tumblers, magicians and more. Some restrictions apply, including: no fire or pyrotechnics, no “busking” within one block of event footprint, and all performances must be family appropriate (PG-rated).
Select performers are paid a modest honorarium for their participation and are expected to be self-sufficient and self-promote their own shows.