Unity. If there’s one thing we could use right now, that would be it. Seraphine Collective plans to spread harmony by bringing an inclusive, all-ages festival to El Club in Southwest Detroit July 29-31. BFF (Best Fest Forever) Festival is a summer festival with a clear goal in mind. Participating artists and organizers alike seek to, “provide a forum for authentic new connections and thoughtful exploration of how music intersects with identity, community consciousness and activism efforts in Detroit. “ This event is jam packed with events, performances, and gatherings that will accomplish their initiatives.
Based in Detroit, registered non-profit organization Seraphine Collective identifies as “an inclusive, supportive and active community of feminists designed to foster creative expression and camaraderie among underrepresented musicians and artists in Detroit.” Started in 2013 by Lauren Rossi, the group has spread its feminist tenet to the masses resulting in increased membership and artist collaboration with the group. Music and art can serve as universal languages, and Seraphine Collective utilizes these mediums to bring individuals of all walks of life together via shows, festivals, social media, workshops and art.
This year’s BFF fest has a variety of activities planned for each day of the weekend. The festival involves artists of all kinds, with familiar faces like Protomartyr, Britney Stoney, Bonny Doon, DJ Amy Dreamcatcher, DJ Hotwaxx Hale and Belvove on the bill. BFF Fest also welcomes visiting acts such as Jes Kramer (Grand Rapids), Alexia Abina, MagicPerm (Montreal) and The Wraths (Ypsilanti). Seraphine Collective has the musical entertainment on lock, but performances are just a portion of what this festival will offer. BFF Fest will feature interactive workshops on topics such as: Hoop Dancing, Deep Listening, Ending Street Harassment, Self-Exploration and Zine Making. Speaking of Zines, The Festival will also produce a BFF Fest Zine, including artist, band, and DJ interviews as well as submitted art, photos, comics and games. The festival will open with a BFF Fest art show, and conclude with what is quite possibly the best way to end anything — A PIZZA BRUNCH AND CLOTHING SWAP. A ticket to BFF Fest is the gift that keeps on giving, and it’s obvious the event’s organizers worked hard to ensure there is something for everyone to enjoy, learn, participate in and grow from.
Operating under a feminist ideology, the group is going the extra mile to empower and equip homeless and at-risk women. BFF Fest will be collecting bras, Women’s socks, hygiene items, gift cards, craft supplies and healthy snacks to donate to social service organization, Alternatives for Girls. Alternatives for girls is a well-known organization with a mission to, “help homeless and high-risk girls and young women avoid violence, teen pregnancy and exploitation, and help them to explore and access the support, resources and opportunities necessary to be safe, to grow strong and make positive choices in their lives.” The mission of Alternatives for Girls aligns perfectly with the values of Seraphine collective, and it’s remarkable to see these groups teaming up to invest in women on a local and national scale.
With a goal of,” creating a supportive, diverse and balanced cultural representation of the arts…” Seraphine Collective “hopes our Fest can provide a forum for authentic new connections and thoughtful exploration of how music intersects with identity, community consciousness and activism efforts in Detroit. “ A festival like this is influential with participants of different walks so come bring your skills, ideas and passion to El Club July 29; The friends, knowledge, pizza, music and fun await.
ALL BFF FEST PERFORMANCES AND WORKSHOPS TAKE PLACE AT EL CLUB (4114 Vernor Hwy, Detroit, MI 48209)
Friday, July 29
7pm - 9:30pm Art Show FREE w/ DJ UNO MAS
Performances starting at 10pm
Admission required starting at 9:30pm; $12 advance / $14 day of
DJs Vanessa + Katrina and Amy Dreamcatcher
Saturday, July 30 2:30pm - 4am
$12 advance / $14 day of
Stacey Hotwaxx Hale
White Mystery (Chicago)
Deidre D.S.SENSE Smith
Junk Food Junkies
Fox Face (Milwaukee)
Alexia Avina (Montreal)
The Free Bleeders
For the first time, Saturday’s lineup will also feature a series of five workshops. Workshops will be free with BFF Fest admission, and will take place from 2:30–6:30pm.
Deep Listening Study Group Presented by VIKI VIKTORIA
Deep Listening is a philosophy and practice developed by pioneering feminist composer Pauline Oliveros that cultivates appreciation of sound, silence and “sounding” on a heightened level, expanding the potential for connection and interaction with one’s environment, technology and others in music, related arts, and everyday life.
This workshop will provide an introduction to Deep Listening philosophy and practice. We will perform Pauline’s Sonic Meditation ‘Teach Yourself to Fly’ and compose original 5 minute text scores. Bring musical instruments, any kind of sound making device, or use your voice.
Contact email@example.com preworkshop readings, if desired, but not required. Click here for Pauline’s writing on Sonic Meditations.
Holla’d At? Hollaback!: How to End Street Harassment in Detroit Presented by Hollaback! Detroit
This interactive workshop will explore the issue of street harassment: sexual and genderbased harassment in public spaces, which can be sexist, racist, transphobic, homophobic, ableist, sizeist and/or classist. It can take the form of verbal comments (such as catcalls), stalking, groping, or assault. We will explore the definition of street harassment and share personal stories of witnessing and experiencing it. Participants will also receive concrete tools and techniques for ending street harassment through bystander intervention, standing up to harassers, art, and community activism.
‘I Touch Myself…’ Presented by Spark Plug Detroit
Join Spark Plug Detroit for a conversation about selfexploration. Masturbation is one of the best ways to learn what you like, and how your body responds to certain stimuli. We’ll briefly cover a range of topics, including ways to incorporate toys, exploring multiple orgasms, learning how to cum, mutual masturbation, and more. Spark Plug Detroit is the city’s body positive, inclusive sexual wellness boutique. We’ll have toys available, and, as always, all profits are reinvested in our adult sex ed programs.
This workshop is geared toward people with vulvas, but anyone is welcome to attend. Disrespectful fuckery will not be tolerated.
Hoop Dance Presented by Koty Cat
The mind and body benefit from hoop dance in such a great way. It is FUN exercise, (whaaaat? Exercise can be fun?) and therapeutic. It helps you get to know your own body and become more comfortable dancing with or without the hoop, bringing you more selfconfidence. It teaches you to move in ways you maybe didn’t think you could.For many people, it can even be a spiritual experience.
This laidback workshop will consist of learning the basics of hooping needed in order to build a foundation for learning hoop dance. All levels are welcome, new to the hoop or not. Come spin in circles!
One Page Wonders: An Adventure in Zine Making
Presented by Patience and Helen of the Seraphine Collective Zine Committee
It’s amazing how many stories a single page can tell. Learn how to create a zine from one piece of paper. Using folding patterns and scissors, participants can use their zine as a way to process the day’s workshops, interpret a guided topic, or create something unique. Bring ideas, art, and writing, or create something new on the spot. Materials will be provided.
Sunday, July 31
12pm - 4pm
Brunch Party & Clothing Swap
Pepe Z’s pizza available for purchase
w/ Seraphine Collective Beatmatch Brunch DJs:
TO PURCHASE ADVANCE TICKETS: Limited number of $20 2-day Friday/Saturday passes available!
Seraphine Collective will also be collecting in kind donations at BFF Fest of the following unused items for Alternatives for Girls:bras (all sizes); women’s socks (all sizes); hygiene items (travel and full-sized); gift cards (Target, Meijer, Bath & Body Works, Michael’s, Joann Fabrics, Movies); craft supplies, like colored pencils, crayons, and construction paper; healthy snacks, like crackers, fruit cups, and granola bars. Donors will receive a free drink ticket.
Words by Hailey Dukes. New kid on the block + sponge for all things Detroit. Student to this earth and the people, places, and things on it. Walking an unceasing journey to observe, feel, analyze, understand. Inspire me! Follow Hailey on IG @wolf___hailey // Twitter @heyygirllhai.