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13th Annual Ferndale Blues & Music Festival Kicks Off Friday

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FERNDALE (WWJ) - For the 13th year in a row, the Ferndale Blues & Music Festival is bringing music and crowds to locations across Ferndale – with more than five dozen individual concerts and events in 20 venues over ten days.

The festival, which takes place from Jan. 24 to Feb. 2, is held in the middle of winter each year to raise money for two local charities — Ferndale Youth Assistance and The Michigan AIDS Coalition. It brings music and camaraderie to people from across the region, some of whom may be suffering cabin fever or winter blues. It has also become a destination, bringing thousands to Ferndale in an otherwise slow time of the year for business.

“The days are short and the nights are long, dark, and cold,” festival cofounder Craig Covey said in a statement. “What better time to get out of the house, listen to great live music and party with friends?”

Most of the concerts are free and are held in a huge variety of settings including nightclubs, restaurants, bars and pubs, service organizations, and the library. Music offerings include jazz, rock n roll, club, dance, big band, house & electronic music, 70’s and 80’s disco, as well as the stalwart blues in all its forms.

The 7th Annual Blues Barbeque and Ribs Burn-Out happens on Saturday Feb 1 from noon to 6 p.m. in the City Library Parking Lot. Eight local businesses and chefs will complete for the best ribs. Celebrity judges include Red Wings alumni, elected officials, business owners and others who select the best chef and best ribs. Attendees also vote for their People’s Choice Award. Bands play live music there all day and into the night. Several thousand pounds of ribs are served along with other food and drink. The event is in a giant heated tent.

There are always multiple family friendly concerts and venues including this year at the Ferndale Public Library, Treat Dreams, and Easy Like Sundae.

Organizers estimate more than 12,000 people from the region and beyond attend the festival over the ten days. They will raise in excess of $23,000 for the charities and will bring a bounce of well over a quarter million dollars to the local economy.

An up-to-date schedule of events and concerts is available at www.ferndalebluesfestival.org.

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