Ford Arts, Beats & Eats presented by Citizens Bank, which returns to downtown Royal Oak for the third year in a row on August 31 through September 3, has announced a change in the admission fee structure as well as parking information and for the four-day festival.
The fee for full access to the festival’s renowned entertainment programming after 5 p.m. will be increased to $5. The admission fee before 5 p.m. on Saturday through Monday will remain $3, and admission before 5 p.m. on Friday is free.
“Guests who are primarily interested in browsing the quality art displays or enjoying the family-friendly programming before 5 p.m. will pay the same entry fee that they have for the past two years. The $5 fee will generally apply to the evening crowd looking to get a great value for their money in the form of the outstanding music acts taking to the concert stages throughout the festival during primetime,” said festival producer Jon Witz. “The increase will help to offset a shortfall in sponsorship funds in our $1.8 million budget this year.”
Finding parking will not be a problem for the tens of thousands of festival attendees. Various community resources have stepped forward to ensure that festival visitors, artists, performers, vendors and volunteers will have access to plenty of parking around Royal Oak. Different organizations also are making parking space available. These include the 1,000-spaces deck of OCC (Oakland Community College) at Lincoln and Washington; 550 spaces at Royal Oak Middle School; and 2,000-spaces at Royal Oak High School at Crooks and Lexington with shuttle service.
Festival visitors will have access to various downtown public parking structures, the Royal Oak Ford lot located on Lincoln just east of Main Street, vacant/grass lots such as the one located at Main Street and the I-696 Service Drive, and various other parking lots, including the Royal Oak Farmers Market. Royal Oak parking deck permits will not be honored during the festival.
Prices for each parking lot and shuttles are posted on artsbeatseats.com.
For a green way to get to the festival, Blue Care Network has teamed up with KLM Fitness to offer free bike parking. Ride your bike to the festival and have it valeted at either the 800 spot location on Washington just south of Lincoln or the 1000 spot location on Washington near Second Street. The Bike Corral will be open from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Friday through Sunday and 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Monday.
Riding on SMART bus transportation also is being promoted as an inexpensive and convenient way to get to the event. SMART has many routes that run through Royal Oak. Details on SMART routes and schedules during the festival will be posted on artsbeatseats.com.
Proactive communications plans have been developed to keep visitors to Ford Arts, Beats & Eats updated on the status of parking areas. Ford Arts, Beats & Eats staff will be checking in with all designated festival parking areas and decks to determine availability of spaces. Updates will be posted on Twitter as well as shared with its media partner, WWJ-AM 950. WWJ will broadcast “real time” information throughout the festival on which parking areas have open spaces and which are filled.
Additional parking will also be available in a number of nearby private lots at varying prices.
Meanwhile, local residents in the surrounding neighborhoods are being mailed two parking permits per family to ensure they have access to parking spaces on their streets. Ford Arts, Beats & Eats visitors and others will not be allowed to park on those residential streets, as they will be ‘Permit Only’ for the four days of the festival. Parking violators in Royal Oak neighborhoods are subject to $50 fines and towing costs.
Through cooperative efforts, downtown Royal Oak business employees are being given free parking outside of the downtown area with shuttle bus transportation, to free up space for festival attendees. Remote parking for these people will be available at Royal Oak High School and the South Oakland YMCA. Several Royal Oak churches are also opening up their lots to festival volunteers and downtown business employees and residents: St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Royal Oak First United Methodist Church and First Presbyterian Church of Royal Oak.
The City of Royal Oak expects to earn revenue from parking operations to cover festival-related expenses incurred by City departments.
The 2012 Ford Arts, Beats & Eats takes place this year in downtown Royal Oak from August 31 through September 3, 2012 and features an eclectic music lineup, a nationally recognized juried fine arts show and some of the area’s finest restaurants, all in a family-friendly atmosphere.
The 15th annual Ford Arts, Beats & Eats, Oakland County’s Taste, Music & Arts Festival, will be held over Labor Day weekend in downtown Royal Oak, August 31 – September 3, 2012. Approximately 335,000 visitors attended the 2011 Ford Arts, Beats & Eats in its second year in Royal Oak. Fan us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @artsbeatseats. For additional public information, visit www.artsbeatseats.com or call 248-334-4600.