A BRIEF HISTORY
Funfest Productions, Inc. was formed in 2006 by music industry veterans Kevin Cassidy and Joe Nieporte. At the time, Mr. Nieporte owned and operated the Emerald Theatre in Mt. Clemens, Michigan, and produced the National Stage at the highly successful Arts, Beats, & Eats street festival in Pontiac, Michigan. The successes of those two ventures gave him the idea to bring big name entertainment to the streets of Mt. Clemens. An event this big was too much for Nieporte to handle alone, so he reached out to Mr. Cassidy, who at the time was the General Manager of the Freedom Hill Amphitheatre in Sterling Heights, Michigan. After a few meetings, the two agreed to join forces, and as they say… “The rest is history”.
Funfest Productions, Inc. has gone on to produce great summertime festivals and year-round special events that include world-class national live music, carnival rides, specialty attractions, laser light shows, fireworks, and more. Funfest Productions, Inc. currently owns and operates some of the biggest events in Michigan that include the Uncle Sam Jam in Woodhaven, and the St. Clair Riverfest in St. Clair.
Funfest Productions, Inc. is also proud to be associated with the Rockin’ on the Riverfront concert series in downtown Detroit, and the Fantasticon Pop Culture show that does multiple shows a year in three different States.
ABOUT THE OWNERS
Mr. Nieporte started his career in his early 20′s as the booking agent for the original Ritz nightclub in the 1980′s. He sharpened his skills booking hundreds of national and local shows a year with great success. Joe moved on to the State Theatre, now called the Fillmore, in the 1990′s and became one of the most respected concert promoters and venue operators in the business.
The 21st century began when he created and developed the Emerald Theatre complex into a multi-purpose venue in 2000 that has hosted national concerts, nightclub style dance nights, and corporate parties and seminars. Highlighted events include corporate parties with Sports Illustrated, Chevrolet, Outback Restaurants, and Quicken Loans. The Emerald has also hosted numerous political events and fundraisers with various government officials, which include Governor Jennifer Granholm and Senator Debbie Stabenow. National concerts booked at the Emerald include Kid Rock, Eddie Money, Jewel, Cheap Trick, Alice in Chains, Hootie & the Blowfish, and Styx, just to name a few. In addition to owning and operating the Emerald, Mr. Nieporte also has been involved in numerous venues and special events that have included Freedom Hill Amphitheater, Arts, Beats, and Eats, Detroit Downtown Hoedown, Motown Winter Blast, Jambalaya Street Festival, Detroit International Riverdays, the NCAA Final Four Big Dance and the Detroit Grand Prix.
Mr. Cassidy’s experience includes stints at Olympia Entertainment, and most recently established Freedom Hill Amphitheater as a respected venue on the national stage booking and marketing over 150 major acts since 2000 (highlighted names include Tony Bennett, Alabama, B-52’s, Aretha Franklin, Wynonna, Sugar Ray, Tommy Lee, Hank Williams, Jr., Art Garfunkel, Joe Cocker, David Lee Roth, Earth, Wind & Fire, Crosby, Stills, & Nash, Tom Jones, Michael Buble, BB King, Steve Miller Band, Counting Crows, O.A.R., Donna Summer, Michael McDonald, Huey Lewis & The News to name a few).
Funfest Owned Events
The Uncle Sam Jam, the sister event to the Stars & Stripes Festival, takes place in Woodhaven, Michigan. This event is growing rapidly in attendance, with estimated crowds reaching 75,000 this year.