Ann Arbor Summer Festival Top of the Park

2020 Top of the Park Canceled – Alternate Programming Planned

Ann Arbor’s Top of the Park is canceled for 2020. Instead, the Ann Arbor Summer Festival will be providing alternate programming.

Top of the Park is the free outdoor concerts, movies, and spectacles that combine with indoor ticketed event series to form the Ann Arbor Summer Festival. Top of the Park 2020 was originally scheduled to run June 12-July 5. Cancelation of the indoor, ticketed series was previously announced in late March.


I am not surprised that Top of the Park is canceled, but I am disappointed. We love having dinner while listening to music, enjoying the spectacles, or watching a movie. It is definitely a sign that summer won’t be the same next year.

Top of the Park Alternatives

Ann Arbor Summer Festival is planning alternate activities – digital offerings, collaborative art projects, and live music – in a new way.

Kooky Kreatures

Kooky Kreatures is the first alternate activity. It is a community art project presented in conjunction with the Ann Arbor District Library’s Bummer Game. Find your first code on the linked page. Then download the template to contribute your part of the kooky creature. Pick a head, body, or legs to draw. Then submit it and you will get a code for more Bummer Game points.


Other Options

One other option mentioned in the press release is the possibility of drive-in concerts or movies. I was wondering about the possibility of drive-in movies. They could even return to their roots on the top of the Power Center parking garage.

Ann Arbor Summer Festival Press Release

Ann Arbor Summer Festival Envisions New Programming and 

Cancels Traditional Top of the Park


ANN ARBOR, MI (May 1, 2020) – In light of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the Ann Arbor Summer Festival has made the difficult but necessary decision to cancel their traditional free, outdoor events this summer originally scheduled for June 12 – July 5. This announcement follows the cancelation of their indoor, ticketed series in late March. 

Festival Executive Director Mike Michelon shares,  “Although we’re heartbroken that we can’t present the traditional Top of the Park, our team has been working diligently to produce adapted programming that will allow the community to connect in new and creative ways. We understand that the community needs a way to come together during this unprecedented time, and the Festival is determined to provide these opportunities.”

The Festival plans to present alternative activities for this moment including digital offerings, collaborative art projects, and live music reimagined. Today, the public can participate in the first of those programs, Kooky Kreatures, a community art project presented in partnership with the Ann Arbor District Library’s Bummer Game.  

In the coming weeks, the Festival will share additional elements of an adapted season. Staff have been exploring many possibilities, including drive-in concerts and movies.

In a letter to email subscribers, Executive Director Mike Michelon and Board Chair Marvin Parnes shared: 

“When our community can safely come together in-person again, the Festival will be there to make this happen. Please stay connected with us, share your ideas, and learn how you can help the Ann Arbor Summer Festival during this unprecedented time”

The Ann Arbor Summer Festival team wishes you health and safety during this crisis.


The Ann Arbor Summer Festival is an exhilarating celebration of performing arts, outdoor entertainment, and community spirit. An annual international arts gathering in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the three-week festival offers two parallel programs—one indoor and one outdoor—at various venues and spaces across the University of Michigan campus and in downtown Ann Arbor. Each season features a progressive mix of over 200 events showcasing local, national, and international artists and a diverse audience of more than 80,000 people.

The indoor ticketed series includes performances of world-class music, contemporary circus, dance, family entertainment, public radio shows, and comedy. The outdoor program, Top of the Park, is held along a beautiful campus green and offers admission-free concerts, Movies by Moonlight, open-air street spectacle, culinary treats, and unique family attractions.

The Ann Arbor Summer Festival’s admission free series located at Top of the Park was originally scheduled to run nightly from June 12-July 5, 2020 (dark on Mondays).  

The Ann Arbor Summer Festival, which was originally formed as a partnership between the University of Michigan and City of Ann Arbor, produced its first, full season in 1984. This is the first cancelation of Top of the Park. Top of the Park takes place on Ingalls Mall and Washington Street in downtown Ann Arbor. It has been relocated twice in its history due to construction (2006 it moved from the Fletcher Street Parking Deck to Ingalls Mall, and in 2015 it temporarily relocated to North University Avenue for one-year).

For more information on all festival events, please visit the festival website: 

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