ROYAL OAK, Mich. — Festival organizers announced the music line-up for the 2016 Ford Arts, Beats and Eats in downtown Royal Oak over Labor Day weekend. This year, just about every genre of music will be represented including headliners Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, Gavin DeGraw and Cole Swindell, among many others.
“We keep adding more and more, it gets bigger and better every year,” said Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson. “We’ve gotten national recognition in publications that actually rank festivals like this. We’re in the top five in every ranking. It takes a lot to climb up that far. We have about 40 charities that we give checks to. We’ve given away so far $4.6 million to these charities. That revenue stream didn’t even exist before.”
The festival’s art fair features 135 artists displaying a variety of media including ceramics, digital art, fiber, glass, printmaking, jewelry, metal, mixed media, painting, photography, wood sculpture and much more. More than 400 artists applied to be a part of the art fair. Those who got in will compete for cash awards totaling $7,500.
“The DIA is proud to continue its collaboration with the arts aspect of the festival by bringing back our unique and educational DIA Away interactive experience to the Kids Zone at Ford Arts, Beats and Eats,” said Charles Garling, Director of Studio Programs at the Detroit Institute of Arts.
“I am proud to announce that for the first time in Royal Oak in six years, all of the arts and crafts are going to be free,” said Rachel Hurst, consumer affairs manager of Kroger. “It comes with a great environmental message as well. All of the crafts will be from Detroit’s recycled materials. That will be managed by the Detroit non-profit Arts and Scraps. Kids are going to learn about unusual foods, creating music, and so much more. That is so important to all of those children and their families.”
About 200 national and local music acts will perform at the 2016 festival. The Michigan Lottery National Stage will feature Joan Jett & The Blackhearts and Buckcherry on Friday, Jr Jr and Our Lady Peace on Saturday, Gavin DeGraw, Three Dog Night and Laith Al Saddi on Sunday along with Cole Swindell and Ohio Players on Labor Day (Monday).
“Each year, Ford Arts, Beats & Eats presented by Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort strives to bring one of the best and most diverse free concert lineups to the state,” festival producer Jonathan Witz said. “For this year, we have put together a spectacular list of acts that I think features our best lineup ever.”
Some of Detroit’s best local bands will entertain audiences on six additional music stages. Flint Eastwood, Your Generation in Concert, Stewart Franke, Lilac Lungs and Carolyn Striho are some of the local bands scheduled to perform. The Oakland County Kids Stage will feature hands-on science activities as well as live demonstrations, puppet shows, jugglers and other kid-focused shows.
Many of the best restaurants from across southeast Michigan will be on site selling their specialties at Ford Arts, Beats and Eats. These are not your average food vendors. Look for food tents from bd’s Mongolian Grill, Noodles & Co., Srodek’s Polish Deli, La Dulce, Peking House, Redwood Grill and Woodpile BBQ, among many others.
“We’re still a new restaurant, just under a year and we’re really excited to be a part of Arts, Beats and Eats,” said Dan McCarthy, owner/operator of La Dulce Restaurant. “We’re going to be putting up some fun tapas, probably just a wide array of small finger foods, fun little open-faced sandwiches. A lot of focus on seafood and pork here at the restaurant. We have a huge focus not just on our craft cocktail program, but just our craft beverage program. We’ll be putting up our house made fresh teas.”
The festival will also offer healthy options sponsored by Priority Health. Look for the logo on restaurant menus that offer vegan, gluten-free, low-fat, sugar free or low carb menu items. In addition, Island Noodle will offer a dish with 18 different vegetables while Monty’s Beef offers low-fat, high protein, organic beef.
“Other new establishments include Rockefeller’s in Grosse Pointe, they’re doing grilled oysters and grilled corn,” said Festival Producer Jon Witz. “Marconi’s Pizza is new this year. They joined Royal Oak stars Cafe Muse, Bigalora as well as Famous Dave’s BBQ, Green Lantern, La Marsa and more. So many great tastes will be here. Our headline of the great tastes is the Soaring Eagle Cuisine Machine. It’s a fabulous food truck that does incredible grilled cheese, prime rib sliders and so many things that reflect the dining of the Soaring Eagle Casino.”
OUR Credit Union is hosting the festival’s 6th annual Food Drive benefiting the Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeast Michigan. Donors who drop off three or more nonperishable items between Aug. 21 and Sept. 1 will receive one FREE admission to Arts, Beats and Eats. Participating credit unions include 3070 Normandy Rd. in Royal Oak, 726 S. Washington Ave. in Royal Oak, 5625 E. 12 Mile Rd. in Warren and 6693 Rochester Rd. in Troy.
The 19th annual Ford Arts, Beats and Eats festival is scheduled for Labor Day weekend, Sept. 2-5, in downtown Royal Oak. Admission is $3 each day before 3 p.m. or $5 after 3 p.m.