The 15th Annual BUD LIGHT Ferndale Blues & Music Festival begins on Friday January 29th and once again brings music and crowds to locations across Ferndale with 40 individual concerts and events in at least 14 venues over nine days in January and February. Concerts are held in restaurants, bars, nightclubs, stores, community centers and other locations across the city. Additional concerts are still being added, including one in Royal Oak Township and youth groups performing at Dickey’s Barbeque.
The annual music festival is held in the middle of winter each year to raise money for two local charities- Ferndale Youth Assistance and MAC Health of Matrix Human Services, a 110 year non-profit in Detroit. The festival brings music and camaraderie to people from across the region – some of whom may be suffering cabin fever or winter blues. It has become a destination, bringing thousands to Ferndale in an otherwise slow time of the year. Top sponsors this year include Bud Light, Rosie O’Grady’s, Giffels Webster, the Artichoke Garlic Foundation, Sneakers, Ferndale Elks, Danny’s Irish Pub, Level One Bank, Soho, Como’s, Bar Down-Stairs, BTL, and OC 115.
“Even in the cold dark days of winter, people still love live music,” says festival Co-Chair and Co-founder Craig Covey. “What better time to get out of the house, enjoy great food and drink, hang with your friends, and chill,” said Covey, who was Ferndale Mayor from 2008 through 2010.
Many of the concerts are free and are held in a wide variety of settings that include family friendly locations as well as nightclubs, restaurants, bars and pubs.
Venues this year include Howe’s Bayou, Rosie O’Grady’s, Sneakers, New Way Bar, Ferndale Elk’s Club, Soho, Dickey’s, Royal Oak Community Center, Dino’s, Como’s and NEW this year Cork in Pleasant Ridge. Music offerings include jazz, rock n roll, swing, and the blues in all its forms. This year’s festival is honoring BB King, the King of the Blues, who passed away last year.
Volunteers make 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. Contact email@example.com to volunteer.
The Annual Pig Roast is back this year on Saturday Feb. 6th from noon to 6 pm at Rosie O’Grady’s. Bands play live blues music all day and into the evening. Several pigs will be roasted on the patio at Rosie’s served with sides and other foods and drinks. The family friendly event is $10 entry per person with kids 5 and under free. The barbeque pork dinner is $15 per person.
“This event is one of our largest fundraisers each year for youth and HIV/AIDS prevention programs,” said Festival Co-Founder Monica Mills, who also works for MAC Health/Matrix Human Services and is Festival co-Chair. “The event is a nice shot in the arm for our downtown Ferndale businesses,” she added.
“This festival raises important funds for our work with youth in the area each year,” said Joe Longo, 43rd District Court Judge and Ferndale Youth Assistance Board Vice-Chair. It is our most important fundraiser of the year and allows us to serve youth in the school district.”
Additional sponsors of the festival include Howard Shifman, Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner Jim Nash, Ferndale Councilman Dan Martin, FYA Board President Craig Covey, Charter Township of Royal Oak Recreation Center, Ferndale DDA, and the Detroit Blues Society.
Organizers estimate more than 12,000 people from the region and beyond attend the festival over the nine days. The event annually raise in excess of $20,000 in proceeds 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