The Ford Arts, Beats & Eats festival is going big for its 20th anniversary, booking a diverse line up of national acts from the past few decades that aim to draw fans of rock, pop, funk and country.

Organizers announced Tuesday that headliners for the Labor Day weekend festival would be the B-52s and Starship featuring Mickey Thomas on Sept. 1; 311 and Candlebox on Sept. 2; Grand Funk Railroad and Dwight Yoakam on Sept. 3; and George Clinton and the P-Funk All-Stars, the Wallflowers and Detroit’s own Jena Irene on Sept. 4.

Local rock, blues, jazz, country and folk musicians musicians, health programs and children’s entertainment will round out the programming nine stages.

In order to create a more attractive entertainment line up, organizers increased the entertainment budget by $100,000.

“This milestone year features the most show-stopping, chart-topping lineup of musical acts attendees have ever seen at Ford Arts, Beats & Eats,” said event producer Jon Witz in a press release.

In addition to adding to the entertainment budget, the downtown Royal Oak festival is also ramping up efforts to offer a greater variety of food from local restaurants and caterers. National franchises like Sedona Taphouse, Bonefish Grill and Carrabba’s Italian Grill will be new this year, along with Roseville’s Lazy Bones Smokehouse.

The ABE Veggie Cafe will focus on vegetarian and vegan dishes from Ferndale restaurang GreenSpace Cafe and vegetarian food truck the Nosh Pit. In all, 40 businesses will be on site to feed hungry festival goers.

In June, organizers announced some details about expanded cultural, culinary and wellness components of the festival, along with news of a gaming competition. An exhibit on Fourth between Washington and Lafayette will host world music and community arts education collective Garage Cultural. Seventh street will showcase art from the Ziibiwing Center for Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe.

Presenting sponsor Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort will bring a Vegas-style atmosphere on Sixth Street with a free gaming experience that allows festivalgoers to win prizes like concert tickets and trips to Soaring Eagle Resort in Mount Pleasant. Competing in 30-minute intervals, contestants can play blackjack, craps, roulette and more in an air-conditioned tent for a chance at the prizes.

Arts, Beats & Eats is 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sept. 1-3 and 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Sept. 4 in downtown Royal Oak. Admission is $3 before 3 p.m., $5 after. Admission fees are donated to local charities. Visit for more information.

(313) 222-2402

Twitter: @melodybaetens

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