The Taylor DeRousse Trio performs a song during the Arts, Beats & Eats introductory press conference.

The Taylor DeRousse Trio performs a song during the Arts, Beats & Eats introductory press conference.

Photo by Mike Koury

Arts, Beats & Eats to get rid of plastic containers, hopes to allow cannabis

By: Mike Koury | Royal Oak Review | Published June 19, 2023


ROYAL OAK — Arts, Beats & Eats will be making its big return later this year, and along with it, some bigger changes.

Organizers and stakeholders gathered at a press conference June 7 at Royal Oak’s Baker College campus to announce the return of Arts, Beats & Eats,which will take place Sept. 1-4.

Event Producer Jon Witz told C & G Newspapers that he was thrilled to bring the festival back this year.

“It’s just going to be an amazing show, and it’s going to be something for everyone to enjoy and hopefully have a great experience,” he said.

The 2023 edition of Arts, Beats & Eats will have dozens of musical acts and food options, as well as a juried art show, but the event will be making some big additions this year.

One change, as announced by Mayor Mike Fournier at the press conference, is that Arts, Beats & Eats will no longer serve beverages in plastic.

“That means no more plastic bottles for any of the beverages, all of our beer, soft drinks, water bottles, they’ll all be served in easily recyclable cans,” he said. “There won’t be any plastic cups either. All those beverages will be served in biodegradable corn-based cups.”

The decision behind this move, Fournier said, follows the climate action plan that’s been in motion in Royal Oak.

“Whether it’s looking at the city’s desire to reduce greenhouse gasses or how a three- or four-day festival, we consider our waste and plastic use, you know, as a community, we have these values and we try to embrace them in everything that we do,” he said. “I’m glad that Arts, Beats & Eats and everybody here is on board even with the small things.”

Another big change announced, though it has yet to be confirmed, is the sale and consumption of cannabis at the festival.

Chief Corporate Operations and General Counsel for House of Dank Mike DiLaura said at the press conference that the festival has been working with the state and city on getting approval.

“We’re hopeful that in the next few weeks we’ll be able to confirm that Arts, Beats & Eats and House of Dank will officially be the largest festival in America that has ever introduced legal cannabis sales and consumption into the festival space,” he said. “This will truly be historic, not just for Arts, Beats & Eats and the city of Royal Oak, but for our company, the industry here in Michigan, and the industry worldwide.”

Witz said on June 18 that the event hasn’t gotten approval from the state yet, but he said the approval is “very likely.” The Royal Oak City Commission previously approved cannabis sales and consumption in a designated area at this year’s festival.

Witz stated that the most exciting part of the event for him as a producer is being able to bring people together.

“We’re unfortunately in some crazy times out there and a festival like ours brings people together, reminds them what they have in common — love of family, love of culture, love of music, love of art, you know, and realizing we have to find what’s in common, and that’s always been my favorite,” he said. “Having 300,000-plus people from all walks of life with different views just realizing, hey, we’re human beings and we like to hang out together.”

For more information on the festival, visit