Show Review of the Month Arts, Beats & Eats

April 2024, by Sunshine Artist Editor

September 1-4, 2023; Arts, Beats & Eats, Royal Oak, MI. Contact: Arts, Beats & Eats, Inc., Shannon Wojtas, 302 W. Fourth St., Suite #440, Royal Oak, MI 48067: Phone: 248-541-7550; Email:; Website: Application fee: $35; Space fees: $515 to $1,200; Space sizes: 10x10 to 20x10; 100% outdoors; Exhibitors: 115; Attendance estimate: 300,000. 

Artist Aaron Reed makes a sale during 2023’s Arts, Beats & Eats. Photo courtesy of Jaime Love Photography 

Compiled from FastAudit reports 

Arts, Beats & Eats ranked FA82 in 2023’s 200 Best list. Seventy-one percent of the artists who reviewed 2023’s event said they would exhibit there again. 

“It was my first show, and I had an amazing time!” said an artist whose medium was painting. The artist made about $3,300 and would do this show again. 

An exhibitor whose medium was other said it was “one of my best shows to date.” A sales total was not reported, and the vendor would return in the future. 

An artist whose mediums are fine art and photography had $1,000 in sales. The artist said there was lots of traffic but not people interested in art. “The majority walk the streets but don’t enter or engage the artist’s tent,” said this artist who does not plan to participate again. 

A jewelry artist found it to be a festival crowd, with people in attendance for food and concerts. “It is too bad sales are low end,” said the artist who made about $1,300 and will not exhibit there again. “The management is great — very organized and friendly.” 

Promoter’s Self‑Review 

Shannon Wojtas said 2023’s Arts, Beats & Eats was a solid one overall. “Sales seemed strong Friday and Saturday, but we struggled with high temperatures Sunday and Monday, and many saw a dip in sales as a result,” she said. 

Wojtas, the event’s art director, estimated attendance at 300,000 and said artists’ sales ranged from on par to previous years to slightly under the last few years. Many artists asked for an upgrade in artist amenities, she said. 

She said something learned at the show that will improve future ones was that rather than providing small snacks throughout the day, they are going to provide lunch for the artists each day. “We are also going to start opening the artist hospitality tent at 9 a.m. for artists who set up early and offer coffee all day,” Wojtas said. “We also moved our award ceremony cocktail party to a new location this year. It was too close to the main stage for the event, and it was really loud. We will be moving the party back to the artist hospitality tent next year.” 

They have also been making small adjustments to the layout at the corner of Washington and 7th, the north entrance to the art fair, and Wojtas said it was starting to feel too sparse to her. “To improve this, we will be adding two to four artist booths to this area for 2024,” she said. 

The best improvement they made in 2023 others might learn from was related to the free tickets they offer to their largest patrons. In 2023, they also offered free parking, and the patrons were appreciative. “I think it helped get them out to the event more than once,” Wojtas said. 

Her message to those thinking about exhibiting at show in the future is, “Please consider joining us. We have a very strong and consistent attendance at the event every year. Our patrons range from first-time art buyers to collectors. We try every year to make our artist amenities better and have a dedicated staff to help wherever we can. We are always looking for new and exciting artists.” 

Swarts Brothers Art attracts customers during the 2023 Arts, Beats & Eats. Photo courtesy of Jaime Love Photography