When the Festivale fest, which celebrates Christmas beers and all manner of good cheer, invades downtown Ferndale this Saturday, Nov. 21, they won't just have red and green beers or pumpkin-spiced goods to accompany those tasty brews. Along with the Michigan and European Christmas craft beers, holiday food, and other entertainment treats, there will be a diverse and solid lineup of live music on hand.
The streets will be aglow with the holiday spirit, bonfires, Christmas trees, and street performers. Patrons are also encouraged to gather with friends in the beer garden under the heated big top that takes over the entire parking lot east of One-Eyed Betty's to watch some of the best local and national bands. To paraphrase the Blues Brothers film, they'll have both kinds of music — folk and Americana.
National touring artist, songwriter, and Traverse City local Joshua Davis, recognized in the mainstream media from season eight of The Voice, will be the tree-topper performance of the night. Performing Songwriter magazine professes that Davis has "some of the liveliest and most rocking roots music around," blending American music with gritty rock 'n' roll and vintage soul.
Davis told the Detroit Free Press earlier this summer that The Voice changed his career and draw. "Last time I went to East Lansing I played Metrospace; there were maybe 30 people there. Now I'm playing Wharton Center and over half of the tickets sold already." The day before his national TV debut on Feb. 22, Davis casually informed his fan group on his website that he might be on the show. After that airing, Davis was in for a wild ride.
Another local artist with a national following, Chris Bathgate, who emerged from the local Ann Arbor music scene while attending the University of Michigan School of Art and Design, is also a highlight on the music lineup. He received bold attention at SXSW and even did one of those awesome NPR's Tiny Desk concerts (look it up). And now, after a short hiatus, he has returned to touring and will be releasing a new EP next year.
Other local bands that will deck the halls include the CraneWives, the Accidentals, Jason Dennie, Rollie Tussing and the Midwest Territory Band, and Woven Tangles (our vote for can't-miss act during the fest).
The Festivale is this Saturday, Nov. 21; The entrance is located on West Troy Street in front of One Eyed Betty's; The event starts at noon; Tickets are $35 in advance, $40 day of show. For more information, the event schedule and to purchase tickets, visit ferndalefestivale.com.