Detroit area rock fans will want to check out this Labor Day weekend’s Arts, Beats & Eats Festival, which will feature “X Factor” season three runner up and Marine City native Jeff Gutt playing back-to-back on Aug. 30 with “American Idol” season 13 runner up and Farmington Hills native Jena Irene. The festival runs from Aug. 29 through Sept.1.
Gutt will play with band members Gary Pittel, Cyamak Ashtiani, Casey Jenkins and Brandon Brown at 7 p.m. and Irene will take the stage at 8:30. The festival will host four days of bands playing the Michigan Lottery Stage National Stage in Royal Oak, with genres ranging from classic rock, to alternative rock, to pop disco and country.
Gutt, 38, amassed a huge international fan following aka the JAGarmy, following his inspirational “X Factor” journey. He finished in second place and was pleased to maintain creative control and pilot his own musical destiny after receiving major exposure from his second time at bat on the reality singing competition circuit.
His signature powerhouse vocals and dynamic range, coupled with his keen ability to tap into the emotional core of a song and connect with his listeners earned Gutt wide critical acclaim during his “X Factor” run. He also garnered a huge loyal fan base, with over 180,000 Facebook and over 100,000 Twitter followers.
He assembled his band with great care, putting together what he referred to as a “super group” of musicians in an Examiner.com exclusive interview, which prefaced their debut show at Detroit’s landmark Masonic Temple in May. Since then, Gutt and the band have been busy writing and recording new songs with the intention of finding the right avenue to promote and distribute their first record. Their first single “Shadows and Light” can be heard on YouTube.
Irene, 18, has just wrapped the “Idols Live” tour, so she has been released from her show contract. According to a recent Oakland Press interview, Irene is also ready to start writing and sending material to labels in hopes of landing a recording contract. Irene is also known for her vocal power, piano playing prowess and signature raspy, rock sound.
Other artists slated to appear at the festival include popular ‘80s bands Night Ranger, .38 Special and Loverboy.
Now in its 16th year, Arts, Beats & Eats aims to provide quality family entertainment at low admission prices with $3 admission ($5 after 5 pm) with portions of the proceeds going to Arts Advocacy, the City of Royal Oak and 50 percent of the remaining admission fees going to support local charities.
The festival also features the Juried Fine Arts Show with finalists vying for cash prizes and food from assorted vendors. Click here to visit the Arts, Beats & Eats website for more information.