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Arts, Beats & Eats is now ticket-free. - COURTESY PHOTO

  • Courtesy photo

  • Arts, Beats & Eats is now ticket-free.

There won’t be any more awkward experiences with food and drink tickets at Royal Oak’s longstanding Arts, Beats & Eats festival, which is officially returning Sept. 3-6 at full capacity after taking a year off in 2020 due to the pandemic.

The old ticket system, in place since the festival began in 1998, required attendees to buy a fixed number of tickets, which were then exchanged for food and drink — and more often than not, resulted in unused tickets at the end of the day.

But this year, in an effort to reduce wait times and contact points, attendees can simply buy food and drink directly from the vendors via cash and credit card.

“We are excited to announce that there will be a one-step process for our consumers with no more lines just to buy tickets,” festival producer Jon Witz said in a statement. “We also see more clarity with understanding our cost of goods, less touch points, and only one line to wait in. The acceptance of cash and credit clearly offers our patrons improved convenience, and frees up more time to enjoy our art and entertainment.”

The fest also announced a new partner in the cannabis brand House of Dank, which will operate a new House of Dank Lounge — but it doesn’t mean that pot is now offered to attendees alongside ticketless food and drink. Cannabis use is prohibited on festival grounds, but the lounge will have non-high CBD products to try, as well as experts on hand to answer questions, entertainment, and House of Dank-branded merch available for attendees age 21 and older.

The festival is expected to release its music lineup on Aug. 4.

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