Oakland County is promising up to $500,000 in matching funds as part of an Arts, Beats & Eats crowdfunding campaign for local musicians, officials announced Thursday.
That could mean $1 million or more to be distributed to Detroit-area artists whose incomes have been devastated during the pandemic and the accompanying government shutdowns of performance venues.
The announcement comes as AB&E launches an alternative event – The Beats Go On – in lieu of the big Labor Day festival that typically takes over downtown Royal Oak with hundreds of area performers.
The Beats Go On aims to generate money for the relief fund via a series of drive-in concerts Sept. 4-7 in Royal Oak, along with donations raised during more than 200 online shows staged on artists’ social-media platforms starting today.
More: Arts, Beats & Eats reveals lineup of 200-plus acts for Royal Oak drive-in shows, web gigs
The public can contribute at the festival’s GoFundMe page, seeded with $10,000 from the Arts, Beats & Eats foundation.
Oakland County’s commitment of matching funds was announced by county executive David Coulter and county board chairman David Woodward.
“We’re excited to have conceptualized an innovative partnership to positively impact the livelihood of an important segment of our creative community,” Coulter said in a statement.
Musicians in Oakland, Wayne and Macomb counties will be eligible for funding. To qualify, artists must be able to show they generate at least 50% of their annual income from musical work and need to cover expenses such as health care, housing and utilities.
The full Beats Go On performance schedule, which has grown and been updated since it was announced earlier this month, can be found .