Ferndale Blues & Music Festival Kicks Off 1/24

Ferndale Blues & Music Festival Kicks Off 1/24

The thirteenth annual Bud Light Ferndale Blues & Music Festival, which features five-dozen concerts and events, will kickoff Friday, January 24, 2014. The festival spans ten days throughFebruary 2 at more than 20 venues, including restaurants, clubs, bars, stores, the public library and other locations throughout Ferndale.

"The days are short and the nights are long, dark, and cold," says festival Co-Chair and Co-founder Craig Covey. "We can't think of a better excuse to get out of the house, listen to great live music, and to enjoy friends. And it's all to support two great local organizations."

The winter music festival will benefit two local charities - the Michigan AIDS Coalition and Ferndale Youth Assistance. Volunteers will help raise money through donations collected at the door of each concert. Blue piggy banks - which have become festival icons - are also used as collection jars throughout the festival. Most concerts are free of charge and all are open to the general public.

Music offerings at the Bud Light Ferndale Blues & Music Festival are not limited to blues, but also include jazz, rock 'n' roll, club, dance, big band, 70's, 80's, disco, house and electronic music.

"We are excited about the musical line up and the growth of sponsors this year," says Larry Mills, Festival Co-Chair and Co-Founder, who started the event 13 years ago with his wife, Monica, and Covey. "Ferndale businesses really stepped up this year and helped us secure the highest level of quality bands ever," he explains.

Barbecue lovers will enjoy the seventh annual Blues Barbecue & Ribs Burn-Out, which will take place from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, February 1 in the City Library Parking Lot. Organized as an event within BluesFest, this tasty experience features eight local businesses and chefs who complete to win the award for best ribs in town. Judges include Detroit Red Wings alumni, and local elected officials and business owners.

Attendees participate too, and can vote for the People's Choice Award. Guests can enjoy more than a thousand pounds ribs, delicious sides, drinks, and live music - all inside a giant heated tent. Dino's, Suburban Buick GMC, Garden Fresh Salsa, Bud Light, and Remax are sponsors.

The thirteenth annual Bud Light Ferndale Blues & Music Festival also includes family-friendly concerts and venues. The Ferndale Public Library, Treat Dreams, and Easy Like Sundae will showcase music and events fit for a short attention span.

Organizers estimate more than 12,000 people from the region and beyond will attend the festival. More than $23,000 was raised last year for charity and it is estimated the boost to the local economy exceeds $250,000.

"BluesFest is one of our most important fundraisers each year for youth HIV/AIDS prevention programs," says Dan Martin, MAC Board President and Ferndale Mayor Pro-Tem. "It's a great opportunity to showcase our downtown businesses," he added.

Participating venues 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 top spots this year include Boogie Fever, Sneakers, New Way Bar, Ferndale Elk's Club, Soho and Como's.

"This festival raised critical funds for our work with youth in the district last year," says Joe Longo, 43rd District Court Judge and Ferndale Youth Assistance Board Vice-Chair. "Our budget is always tight, like most charities, and the festival helps us serve at-risk youth in our district."

An up-to-date schedule of events and concerts is available at

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