The 18th annual Ferndale Blues and Music Festival, which is comprised of local and out-of-state musical acts, will take place over six evenings in downtown Ferndale between Jan. 25 and Feb. 2.
The festival’s lineup will perform at seven different venues throughout the city, including Howe’s Bayou, Otus Supply, and Valentine Distillery—staples of the downtown Ferndale restaurant and bar scene. Other sites, like Dino’s Lounge and the Ferndale Elks, will host karaoke and bluesy-bar bingo.
This year’s lineup, which has scheduled up to 40 acts in previous years, includes Albert Young & the Straight 8’s, a 4-person band composed of bass, banjo, and acoustic guitar playing members, who are set to play at Howe’s Bayou at 8 p.m. on the first night of the festival.
Headliner Gedayla, a spiritual folk rock artist who hails from New York City, will sing his hits “The End of Days” and “The Thunder” on Thursday, Jan. 31 at the Jewish Ferndale.
The festival wraps up with a night concert by Jennifer Westwood & the Handsome Devils, a rustbelt band that has earned national admiration and performed alongside Patti Smith, at the Valentine Distillery.
The Ferndale Blues and Music Festival is not only a chance for participants to discover new musicians and explore the city, but also an opportunity to help children in need. Each year, the proceeds from the festival are donated to Ferndale Youth Assistance—a nonprofit organization that works to provide the city’s youth with tutors, counselors, skill-building workshops, family education and more.
Craig Covey, co-founder of the Ferndale Blues and Music Festival, says the event is special because it is volunteer based and showcases talent at local venues. “We hold the annual blues festival each year in the middle of winter,” he says, “because folks need to get out and find music and camaraderie during a bleak, cold time of the year.”
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