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Michigan art fair news: Arts, Beats & Eats moves to Royal Oak!

Breaking news -- it's official -- the hugely popular art, music and food festival held on Labor Day
weekend is leaving its birthplace, Pontiac, MI, to move to a new address -- cool, captivating, hip downtown Royal Oak. Jonathan Witz, producer of ABE, made the announcement this afternoon at Sangria Tapas Cafe in Royal Oak. I've been part of the arts of this event since its inception 12 years ago and have seen firsthand what was a very promising and exciting and financially rewarding event full of the nation's top artists slowly become a victim of the huge shoulder to shoulder crowds and the crumbling local economy. What had started out as a happy "Ann Arbor alternative" for those who were tired of the AA crowds lost much of its luster. Heck, it's been tough in Michigan for a long time now. The recent recession where the rest of the country seemed to be slipping into hard times was nothing new to people in business in Michigan. Therefore, this is great news! Royal Oak is a lovely residential suburb, full of young families, excellent schools, cool restaurants and good shopping. It is going to be really interesting to see how the huge event adapts to this new footprint, but I'm telling you, that if anyone can make it work it is Jon Witz, a man with more ideas, moxie and readiness to make things work than the average guy. Here's wishing you good luck on the move, Jon. Thanks to the city fathers of Royal Oak welcoming the event. Stay tuned for a solid economic turnaround. Read the announcement in the
Royal Oak Tribune.

Views: 132

Comment by Barry Bernstein on December 8, 2009 at 7:24pm
This is really great news!!! AB & E was/is a great event that might have died if it had stayed in Pontiac. I've been following this at the Free Press web site and it seemed like the Royal Oak community was pushing for this to happen. Royal Oak really wanted the show to move there. I always thought our show could become the premier event in Michigan, even better than Ann Arbor. Now we need to attract all the really good artists that used to do the show.
Comment by Rich Peterson on December 10, 2009 at 10:06pm
We were in the first ABE and it was very good for us however it "down hill" from there and stopped participating very soon after. I (Rich ) grew up in Royal Oak and it has become a very upscale place. However I am not sure Royal Oak has the space for ABE let alone compete with A2.
Having said that we will apply for this years show after avoiding it for ten years. P.S. I know the short and long of the area plus my mom lives 3 miles from there so how could we loose?
Rich- husband of Sherrill- see picture
Comment by Deena Maurus on December 21, 2009 at 10:45pm
I would love to apply to be in the show this year - can anyone point me in the right direction as far as applying, is it juried, etc. What are the other art shows in Michigan that are worth applying to? Thank you so much. I think Royal Oak will be a great venue for this. Ann Arbor is getting too big (and Royal Oak is closer to where I live!)
Comment by Connie Mettler on February 1, 2010 at 9:05pm
Hi Sara, first off I am one of the art directors of Arts, Beats & Eats, so I may be biased, but let me assure you there is nothing made of beer cans in the show. It is hard to say if it will be worthwhile for you but I do believe that if any Michigan show is going to work this year, this will be the one. A great location, extensive promotion and great energy should make it work.
Comment by Connie Mettler on February 1, 2010 at 9:06pm
Deena, I didn't see your comment earlier -- the applications will be online shortly. We will be using Juried Art Services. Send me your email address and we'll make sure you are notified when we start taking applications.
Comment by Connie Mettler on February 2, 2010 at 9:19am
Heck, Sara, we're all "originally from Detroit" -- LOL.

Not sure about the hotels yet -- but it is an issue we will be addressing. There are lots of places at I-75 around 14 Mile, which is probably where we'll be looking.

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