Annual Winter Festival in its Thirteenth Year
10 Days – 20 Venues – 60 Concerts – 2 charities – 12,000 people
(Ferndale) For the 13th year in a row, the now legendary Annual Bud Light Ferndale Blues & Music Festival will bring music and crowds to locations across Ferndale with more than five dozen individual concerts and events in at least 20 venues over ten days during January 24 to February 2, 2014. Concerts are held in restaurants, clubs, bars, stores, the public library and other locations across Ferndale.
The annual music festival is held in the middle of winter each year to raise money for two local charities- Ferndale Youth Assistance and The Michigan AIDS Coalition. It brings music and camaraderie to people from across the region – some of whom may be suffering cabin fever or winter blues. It has also become a destination, bringing thousands to Ferndale in an otherwise slow time of the year for business. Top sponsors this year include Bud Light, Absolut Vodka, Garden Fresh Salsa, Suburban Buick GMC, One Eyed Betty’s, Giffels Webster, Edtec Central, Channel 2 Fox News, and Dino’s Lounge.
“The days are short and the nights are long, dark, and cold”, says festival Co-Chair and Co-founder Craig Covey. “What better time to get out of the house, listen to great live music and party with friends?”
Most of the concerts are free and are held in a huge variety of settings including nightclubs, restaurants, bars and pubs, service organizations, and the library.
Venues this year include Dino’s, One Eyed Betty’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Sakana, Howe’s Bayou, Bosco Lounge, Rosie O’Grady’s, Easy Like Sundae and Treat Dreams. Other favorite spots each year include Boogie Fever, Sneakers, New Way Bar, Ferndale Elk’s Club, Soho and Como’s. Music offerings include jazz, rock n roll, club, dance, big band, house & electronic music, 70’s and 80’s disco, as well as the stalwart blues in all its forms.
A small army of volunteers makes the event successful as folks assigned to concerts help raise money through donations at the door and by passing the blind blue piggy banks that are icons of the festival. Blue lights always light up the downtown. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer.
The 7th Annual Blues Barbeque and Ribs Burn-Out happens on Saturday Feb 1 from noon to 6 pm in the City Library Parking Lot and is organized and sponsored by Dinos, Suburban Buick GMC, Garden Fresh Salsa, Bud Light, Remax, and more. Eight local businesses and chefs complete for the best ribs. Celebrity judges include Red Wings alumni, elected officials, business owners and others who select the best chef and best ribs. Attendees also vote for their People’s Choice Award. Bands play live music there all day and into the night. Several thousand pounds of ribs are served along with other food and drink. The event is in a giant heated tent.
There are always multiple family friendly concerts and venues including this year at the Ferndale Public Library, Treat Dreams, and Easy Like Sundae.
“This event is one of our most important fundraisers each year for youth HIV/AIDS prevention programs,” said Dan Martin, MAC Board President and Ferndale Mayor Pro-Tem. “And it is a nice shot in the arm for our downtown businesses,” he added.
“We are excited at the growth of sponsors this year,” said Larry Mills, Festival Co-Chair and Co-Founder along with his wife Monica and Covey. “The economy is improving, and the businesses really stepped up and helped us secure what is no doubt the highest level of quality bands ever,” he added.
“This festival raised critical funds for our work with youth in the district last year,” said Joe Longo, 43rd District Court Judge and Ferndale Youth Assistance Board Vice-Chair. “Our budget is always tight, like most charities these days, and the festival helps us serve at-risk youth of our district,” he added.
Additional sponsors of the festival include Sneakers, Between the Lines Newspaper, The Daily Tribune, Ferndale 115, Buffalo Wild Wings, Nick Schrock Allstate, Northland Medical Building Pharmacy, Jameson Irish Whiskey, Serve-Pro, Sakana, Urbane Life, Woodward Talk, Danny’s Irish Pub, Soho, Attorney Howard Shifman, Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner Jim Nash, Ferndale Mayor Pro-Tem Dan Martin, FYA Board President Craig Covey, The Bar Downstairs, MIP Brewers, Ferndale DDA, and the Detroit Blues Society.
Organizers estimate more than 12,000 people from the region and beyond attend the festival over the ten days. They will raise in excess of $23,000 for the charities and will bring a bounce of well over a quarter million dollars to the local economy.
An up-to-date schedule of events and concerts is available at www.ferndalebluesfestival.org