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Local News / Entertainment

Monday, 17 August, 2009 10:38 PM

Music Line-Up, Restaurants and Family Activities announced for 2009 Arts, Beats and Eats

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The Melting Pot will be serve its famous chocolate-dipped strawberries at Arts, Beats and Eats.

by Jason Rzucidlo
americajr@americajr.com

 

(Quicktime Video)

PONTIAC, Mich. -- This year's Arts, Beats and Eats festival in downtown Pontiac will be bigger and better than ever. Yes, the festival lost its main sponsor, Chrysler, since the automaker is struggling to make a profit. The festival will offer free sponsorships to the Big Three automakers - GM, Ford and Chrysler. A $2 admission fee will be charged on Saturday, Sunday and on Labor Day Monday. If you want to get in free, go on Friday before 6:30 p.m. There are many great musical acts scheduled to perform on the festival's six stages over the weekend.

Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, Angie Stone, Candlebox, Phil Vassar and Puddle of Mudd are some of the headliners for the 2009 Arts, Beats and Eats Festival. Additional country acts include Whitney Duncan, The McClymonts, TJ Kelly, Annabelle Road, The Orbitsuns and Cowboy Alan. Other national acts include Stewart Francke, Justin Nozuka, Alexander Zonjic & Friends, Keiko Matsui and Critical Bill.

"There's a lot of great music, " said Jon Witz, producer of Arts, Beats and Eats. "It's going to be a great festival in 2009. The main difference is the $2 admission. We're giving folks the opportunity to support 13 non-profits. We'll be splitting the gate with the non-profits. Secondly, we'll have great value for them. On the music side, the good news is nothing's new. The same great line-up of over 140 bands on six stages. On the food side, I'm closing with the best food line-up ever."

A new "Sights & Sounds" stage will be located on Pike Street next to the Crofoot. It will feature some of Metro Detroit's emerging artists and musicians. Visitors can expect to see bands like The Blue Effect, Port to Port, Ghosts of August, Giftus, Silent Violet, Friendly Foes, Aran Ruth, Prussia, Champions of Breakfast, Charlie Slick, Daniel Zott, Misty Lyn and Big Beautiful, Tone and Niche, Hannah Fralick and Lord Scrummage.

Attendees will be able to sample fine foods from several of metro Detroit's most finest restaurants. This is not your average carnival food. Tribute, Forte, Sangria, Northern Lakes Seafood Company and Milk & Honey are just some of the restaurants that will be bringing their specialties to the festival this year. Additional restaurants include Bucemi's of Troy, Chan's Cafe, Damon's Grill, Harbor House, Red Wood Grill and Trenton Ice Cream.

"We'll draw 400,000 to 500,000 people if the weather is good and cooperates over Labor Day weekend," said Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson. "This is our 12th annual now. It has been ranked in the top 20 out of 2,000 summer festivals around the country. Some good programs. We encourage people to come on down and enjoy the weekend."

Complimentary five-minute massages will be available from Irene's Myomassology in the Flagstar Bank relaxation stations located around the festival.

Children will be the focus of the Detroit Public Television Kid's Zone. There will be fun interactive entertainment on the kid's stage, arts and crafts activities, special appearances by PBS characters Super Why and Arthur. In addition, there will be a carnival, pony ride, petting zoo and many inflatables. A puppet show is scheduled for Saturday at 1 p.m. and Sunday at 12:30 p.m.

"It has affected us a lot," Witz said about our state's struggling economy. "The end result will be good. It's affected the path that we take from start to finish. How to adopt without a title sponsor, how to work with vendors to cut prices, how to still maintain other sponsor relationships, how to get performers and entertainers to join in and work with us. The economy has made us work harder and smarter but the end result I think people will be really pleased with what they see in Pontiac."

The Oakland County Summer Arts Project will display art work by local children in hour-long exhibits throughout the festival. It is a competition for students aged 6-12 who submitted an original art piece in any medium for a chance to win prizes.

The HealthPlus Art Fair returns in 2009. Attendees will see ceramics, fabric and fiber, leather, mixed media, paintings, photography, sculpture, wood, digital art, drawings, graphics and printmaking, glass, jewelry and metal. More than 140 fine artists will have their works on display and for sale.

"Well, I think it's going to help," Patterson said about our state's struggling economy. "I think people will start to do things closer to home instead of going out of state or up north, wherever it may be. They're going to look for entertainment in they're backyard. We're right here in downtown Pontiac, right in the middle of Oakland County. We draw people from the tri-county if not the seven-county region. I think it's going to be more attractive to people today given the state of the economy."

There is a $2 admission fee on Saturday, Sunday and Monday to get into the festival. However, Friday is "free" day with free admission (before 6:30 p.m.) and free parking (before 4 p.m.) available. A free bottle of water and carnival rides will be available for the first three hours of the festival on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Parking fees will be dropped by 20 percent throughout the city. No food items will be over the cost of $5.

Click here to visit the official website of Arts, Beats and Eats.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Jon Witz addresses the media during a press conference inside The Crofoot on August 11, 2009.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Two children that will be showing their art within the Oakland County Summer Arts Project at the festival.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Information about the HealthPlus Art Fair

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Fred Nahhat of Detroit Public Television announces the kids activities.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Dan McGowan, owner of The Crofoot Ballroom

 

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