Soaring Eagle Arts, Beats and Eats Festival Returns with Cannabis Collaboration and Expanded Activities

June 24th, 2024 Events & Conferences
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Organizers of the Soaring Eagle Arts, Beats and Eats festival in the Detroit area have announced key highlights for this year's four-day event over Labor Day weekend, including the return of the House of Dank cannabis sales and consumption area.

This year, the festival marks the beginning of a collaboration between House of Dank and Baker College, launching an educational certificate program aimed at preparing students for employment in the legal cannabis industry.

House of Dank and the Arts, Beats and Eats festival, held in Royal Oak, Oakland County, gained national attention last year for introducing cannabis sales and consumption at the event.

Mike DiLaura, Chief Corporate Operations Officer and General Counsel for House of Dank, emphasized the uniqueness of this initiative. "Nobody has done anything like this across the country," DiLaura stated. He noted that this year's secure cannabis area would also host some celebrities.

At a recent press conference in Royal Oak, DiLaura announced, "We will work with Baker College on their new cannabis programs. There are all sorts of jobs up and down this industry."

The cannabis industry, encompassing both recreational and medical sectors, is valued at several billion dollars.

Kelley Suggs, Public Relations Manager for Baker College, which has a campus on South Lafayette, revealed that the college will offer three certificate programs in cannabis retail, cultivation, and product development. "As the cannabis industry continues growing at an unprecedented rate, the demand for skilled professionals is higher than ever," Suggs said. She highlighted that the partnership with House of Dank aims to bridge the gap between education and employment.

Event producer Jon Witz underscored the significance of the city- and state-approved cannabis area, noting it was the first of its kind at such a large-scale event. "You could not smell the cannabis smoke," Witz explained. "People who wanted to enjoy the product could, and those who didn't, didn't know it was there." Witz praised House of Dank for bringing "one of the most creative activations" to the festival.

Witz also shared a personal testament to cannabis use, explaining that he opted for cannabis over prescription narcotic painkillers following a serious bicycling accident last year, which resulted in 10 broken ribs, a collapsed lung, and other injuries.

The festival will announce its headlining musical acts in late July, with Witz adding that the event will feature 150 local bands.

Last year, the festival attracted 345,000 attendees and raised over $386,000 for local charitable organizations. David Woodward, Chairman of the Oakland County Board of Commissioners and a Royal Oak resident, acknowledged the festival's positive impact. "The county has been a steadfast supporter of Arts, Beats and Eats," he said. "Arts, Beats and Eats has generated $7.3 million for community and charitable groups since it began."

While Witz did not reveal the headlining acts for this year's festival, he hinted cryptically during a TV interview that one of the headliners "resembles what I'm doing now," while looking into the camera.

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