What to expect from new Confluence Festival in Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Confluence, a festival highlighting music, art and technology, is set to kick off Friday in Grand Rapids.

Several events will take place during the two-day festival, including a music showcase, thought series, innovation showcase and more.

Confluence Managing Partner Brian Cohen joined News 8 digital anchor Luke Laster at the WOOD TV8 Live Desk on Wednesday for a conversation about these events, when they’ll take place and what they will entail.

The confluence festival will feature live music on Friday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. More performances will take place Saturday. For a list of musical artists who will be performing, go here.

Several events like the ‘Future Innovators Zone’ and the ‘Maker Expo’ will also be held Saturday, all with the goal of combining music, tech science and art.

Explaining some of the specific events and what they’ll entail, Cohen said the ‘Innovation Showcase’ will look at high-tech startups in communities that have been traditionally underrepresented.

“Communities of color, women, others like that,” Cohen said. “We wanted to give them a special space, a special spotlight within the festival. So we identified three startups within that category and we provided them with resources to help develop their brand, help develop their messaging and we provided, through a partner, a booth that they will own that they will premiere at the festival itself.”

Cohen said the point of the festival is to see what happens when people with these different backgrounds come together.

“The buzzwords of the last 10 years have been disruption and collision,” Cohen said. “We’re looking at the other side of that coin, what happens when things work together. When they come together what sort of positive outcomes can result from that. That happens on both the research and development side but also on the personal side.”

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