OAKLAND COUNTY, Mich. – The Arts, Beats and Eats Festival in Royal Oak may have been canceled because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, but organizers are still working to help local artists.
A Go Fund Me campaign has launched to support musicians, with Oakland County planning to match every dollar raised. The overall campaign goal is to raise more than $500,000 and with to county donating up to $500,000.
“I know everyone is suffering right now but it’s been very difficult for us. We invested a lot of money into our merchandise right before the big summer like we normally do. But you can’t take t-shirts back, can’t take CDs back, so we’re kind of tied up,” said Pauly Brady with Stone Clover Band.
The Stone Clover Band will be performing and raising money to help out with costs and bills that have been piling up. The band is making sure it is ready, and every note must be right and every beat played.
Brady said this summer has been tough for them as musicians. It will be first time they performed since March.
“The state went into lock down on March 16, which is the day before St. Patrick’s Day and that’s our biggest gig of the year and all summer all of our touring and festivals were already booked and lined up but they were cancelled,” Brady said.
With Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer banning large events this summer because of the coronavirus, Jon Witz with Arts, Beats and Eats said they have to do things differently this Labor Day weekend. They’re also doing art shows by appointment and sending food trucks into Oakland County neighborhoods.
There’s also a two-day art show, a Zumbathon and a yoga class, all outside and with strict safety protocols in place including limited capacity class size, social distancing and mask wearing.
“We are doing drive-ins concerts. You have to purchase tickets in advance. Stone Clover might be sold out but we still have 15 shows available to purchase tickets. So many local musicians that our community has grown to love,” Witz said.
“We wanted to create something that moved the spirit of events forward and also have a community impact.”