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Local artists to benefit from new Arts Beats & Eats virtual and drive-in music series

With donations, ticket sales and a pending grant from Oakland County, the series aims to raise $500,000 for area musicians

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

The traditional format of Royal Oak's Arts Beats & Eats isn't happening this Labor Day weekend, but the music portion, a big summer gig for many local performers, will continue in various ways with familiar names.

Last month organizers announced that the annual event — an art show, carnival, food festival and community fundraiser known for live music from local and national acts — would instead include, among other features, a series of virtual and drive-in events called "the Beats Go On." This means performances from hundreds of artists, many which are regulars to the Arts, Beats & Eats stages each year. 

Latin, jazz and folk musicain Marbrisa performs a virtual concert as part of "Beats Go On."

See some in person Sept. 4-7 at live, drive-in concerts from local musicians of many genres on a traditional stage in downtown Royal Oak at Sixth and Main streets. 

Hear country music from Raye Williams, the Orbitsuns, George Aneed and Jennifer Westwood and the Handsome Devils, rock and roll from Steffanie Christi'an and Eva Under Fire, R&B from Thornetta Davis, Alise King and Larry Lee & Back in the Day and more, as well as Stone Clover, Polish Muslims and tributes to classic rockers like Grateful Dead and Santana. 

Tickets for the 30-minute shows are $30 and admit two people in one vehicle, with room for 50 vehicles per show. Revenue from ticket sales will go to the musicians. 

View the schedule and purchase tickets at artsbeatseats.com/drivein-concert-series

Be entertained at home with a virtual concerts Aug. 27 through Sept. 3. These are supported by various sponsors like Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort, Short's Brewing Company, Priority Heath, Jeep, Pepsi, T-Mobile and Flagstar Bank, and there's also a donations link on the website. 

Laith Al-Saadi, Paulina Jayne, Joe Jaber and the Last Divide, Ali McManus, Djangophonique, Alan Turner, the Beggars, Pretty Stringz and the Fellas,  and the Detroit School of Rock & Pop are among some of the performers scheduled for virtual concerts. 

View the full schedule at artsbeatseats.com/virtual-showcase-supporting-local-musicians

Guitarist, singer Laith Al-Saadi

“Working with Oakland County health officials, we found a safe way to bring people together in a fun, physically distanced way to help support local musicians while giving people access to the type of entertainment they’ve been missing," said event producer Jon Witz in a press release announcing the details of "Beats Go On. "All events have been constructed in collaboration with the Oakland County Health Department and meet current State of Michigan event guidelines.”

With ticket sales, donations, a GoFundMe page and a pending grant from Oakland County, "Beats Go On" could reach its $500,000 fundraising goal, which will benefit the artists. 

Mike Ward plays his guitar and sings to a large crowd at Arts, Beats, and Eats in Royal Oak on in 2018. He's part of the virtual line up this year.

“We’re keenly aware of the impact of COVID-19, not only on our residents and businesses, but also on our creative community,” said Oakland County Executive David Coulter. “At a time when live performances have all but been halted, our music community has demonstrated its continued resilience. Arts, Beats and Eats is a county gem and we deeply appreciate efforts to continue its spirit under safe conditions this year. We know artists and musicians want to get back on their feet and have safe avenues in which to perform and display their art.”

The Detroit News is a media partner of Arts, Beats & Eats, which will also have an "Art by Appointment" feature in lieu of a public art exhibit. Additionally, organizers aim to satisfy the "Eats" facet of the festival by bringing food trucks into select Oakland County neighborhoods. 

Learn more at artsbeatseats.com

mbaetens@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @melodybaetens