"I Calls Em Like I Sees Em!"

Sep 7, 2010

Arts, Beats, and Eats 2010

Festival during the day
This was the first year that the Arts Beats & Eats festival was held in Royal Oak after many years of it being held in Pontiac.  I was certainly super excited to hear that it was going to be close to home for a change which I thought was awesome not to mention convenient until we started making our plans to go out there.  I jumped on the site to do some research to plan for making our way out to the festival and the first thing I saw was that we had to pay to get in & I don't ever recall paying to get in when I went to the festival out in Pontiac but it was either $3 or 3 canned goods & the money went to charity but if the money is for charity then shouldn't it be optional?  Doesn't matter, we got wrist bands from a friend & didn't pay because I'm sorry but I've donated hundreds of dollars to charity this year & my giving season is done!  Next I found out that parking was going to be $15 everywhere...all meters were being shut down & all lots would be charging $15...even if you were not attending the festival and I thought this was the biggest freaking rip off ever.  Basically you want me to come to your OUTDOOR festival & pay $18 just to get in the gate...how is that even cool?  That's why I stopped going to the Movement festival downtown, I don't think I should have to pay to be outside.  

Festival at night
Anyway, I found out that you could park at Hazel Park Raceway or Royal Oak High School & pay $10 and get a free shuttle to the festival so Wendy & I opted to park at the track & shuttle it over.  When we got there we got our food tickets which were 16 for $10 but of course a beer was 9 tickets so you were 2 tickets short if you just came to drink which was total bull shit, like really, they couldn't make it 8 tickets for a beer?  Well Wendy & I wanted to get our eat on so we bought tickets & began looking for food which was a freaking nightmare!  The streets in Royal Oak are way too narrow for this type of street fair...we spent a lot of time standing & waiting for people with strollers to get the fuck out of the way (they should designate a family day).  During a street fair the booths are at the curb so there is a row of people browsing booths & then a row of people on the move & then in the middle are the people who are standing out of the way but there isn't room for that here.  You could not look at the art in a booth unless you were actually in it...everyone outside the booths was trying to get to another booth and it got real old real fast.  Waiting in line for food was a major challenge because there wasn't enough room to stand nor was there space between booths to stop & eat or sit or wait for your friend who is ordering food when you aren't.  Bottom line is that this festival was a cluster fuck and so long as it remains in Royal Oak I will not go back.  The stages were all tucked in alleys, the bathrooms were also set up in an alley with an 8x10 sign in a tree illustrating where there were...needless to say we walked around for like a half hour & I was ready to pee my pants before we found the potty bank.  The one booth we really really wanted to hit up was cup.cake & we couldn't find them...we fought that effing crowd multiple times going down every street looking for them & no luck.  

The food I did have was really good but it was not worth fighting the crowd, the strollers, paying for parking, and not a single place to sit & rest.  Aside from the food which by the way the booths should compare who is bringing what because I had a hard time choosing which pulled pork sandwich to order & there should have only been one booth serving them.  Anyway, aside from the food the only good thing about going out here was that we found "Lost & Found Vintage" a kick ass vintage shop in Royal Oak that I need to go back to with my credit card & enjoy!  Aside from not finding cup.cake there wasn't a nut guy & no street festival is complete without the nut guy...no cinnamon roasted anything for me at this festival & that really bummed me out.  So, like I already said I will not be attending this festival again until it moves back to a more spacious location & I know I'm not the only one who feels this way.  Check out the photos (courtesy artsbeatseats.com)...does that look like fun to you? 
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Anonymous said...

You did have to pay the last year in Pontiac I believe, this is now basically standard for any festival. I also stopped going to DEMF because of the price to attend it!

It is ridiculous, but that is a showing of times. If you want to enjoy the festivals, plan on paying - End of story. Things are not the way they used to be.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more. Wanted to try it, did and won't again. I love Royal Oak, just not for the festival. As for us, only two hours left of the festival and we still had to spend the full $ 3.00 to get in and $15.00 parking. The bands were good, I'll give you that. But the Art's part...not much to see. I would rather just go to R.O. and shop and eat at one of their great restaurants. And as for the 'Eats'...they didn't offer any deals until 8:45 at night. Should have offered the deals an hour before closing. Just sayin'...

Kel said...

I didn't make it to Pontiac the last year it was there, I was out of town so I wasn't sure if they charged or not so thanks! I went to 4 or 5 other street fairs this summer & didn't pay for any of them & parking was either free or metered, there were no extra parking fees at any fair I attended & that's the way it should be. If I spend all of my cash on parking & entry then I won't be spending any at the festival so why go?