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17th Annual Western Maryland Blues Fest
17th Annual Western Maryland Blues Fest:
Family fun and entertainment in one!
Hagerstown, MD - Great music, great fun and great value - it's all part of the Western Maryland Blues Fest slated for May 31 and June 1-3, 2012. The Western Maryland Blues Fest serves up an annual community celebration centered on one of America's most enduring musical forms. Set amidst raw-boned guitar riffs and emotionally charged vocals, Blues Fest represents a unique partnership between City government, event volunteers and local business sponsors as they team together to present four incredible days of musical entertainment and family fun.
Over the extended weekend of Thursday, May 31 through Sunday, June 3, 2012, the 17th edition of Hagerstown's annual summer "house party" will feature an impressive lineup of national, regional and local blues and jazz musicians. Blues Fest 2012's festivities commence at 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 31 with the free "Blues Prelude" concert in University Plaza, a beautiful, City Center green space located beside the University System of Maryland-Hagerstown. Hagerstown's popular blues band, Rudy & The Bluefish, will perform a free concert from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Available seating is limited, so Blues Prelude attendees are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs or blankets. From 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 31, the Washington County Arts Council (WCAC) will host the opening reception for an exhibit of the art of Blues Fest 2012 poster artist Kate Fortin. The Washington County Arts Council Gallery is located at 14 W. Washington Street just a short walking distance from the Blues Prelude venue, so Blues Prelude attendees should be sure to visit the WCAC during or after the concert.
Beginning at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, June 1, Blues Fest kicks off its first day of multi-artist entertainment with its popular evening "Lotta Blues Show" in the City's Central Parking Lot. Four bands will provide entertainment on Friday. The regionally popular Skyla Burrell Band will begin Friday's fun with traditional Chicago-style guitar blues, followed by the exciting rhythm-and-blues-inflected sounds of The Billy Thompson Band. Friday's fantastic music offerings shift into yet another gear when Walter "Wolfman" Washington & the Roadmasters bring the sounds of New Orleans funk guitar, complemented with the talents of several of New Orleans most skilled horn players. Finally, as part of Blues Fest's 2012 Friday tip-of-the-hat to British blues guitarists, Friday's "Lotta Blues Show" concludes with Matt Schofield Blues Project, who international critics compare to a young Eric Clapton!!
On Saturday, June 2, Blues Fest 2012's excitement ramps up still further with the event's signature "Downtown House Party". From noon until 9:30 p.m., alternating stages showcase back-to-back sets by eight regional, national and international acts, beginning with Frederick, MD's popular roots blues quartet, Hard Swimmin' Fish, followed by the exciting vocals of Lana Spence and Moondog Medicine Show, then by the energetic guitar and organ sounds by Mike Westcott Band featuring Tommy Lepson. Saturday national performers include unique modern harmonica and electric guitar blues from Moreland & Arbuckle, multiple 2012 Blues Music Award nominees Trampled Under Foot, as well as The Lee Boys' sensational gospel-influenced sacred steel, followed by internationally-renowned instrumental blues guitarist Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters and the blistering blues-rock guitar of Walter Trout!!
Food, beverages, souvenirs and comfort facilities are all available within the festival site so fans won't need to miss a note of Saturday's incredible lineup.
On Sunday, June 3, Blues Fest once again "gives back" to the community with its free "Family Blues Picnic" from noon to 5 p.m. in Hagerstown's City Park. After beginning with Myersville, MD's singer/guitarist Paul Pfau Blues Band, fans will be treated to the traditional blues of Hagerstown's own Stack O' Blues, followed in turn by the original blues of metropolitan DC favorites, Bad Influence Band. Capping off Sunday's entertainment is none other than Guitar Blues Legend, Bobby Parker Band. Sunday will also boast education entertainment at the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts with separate lecture/performance workshops by Guitar Blues Legend, Bobby Parker, as well as music from the Barbara Ingram Contemporary Ensemble.
As always, Blues Fest 2012 is family friendly, featuring free Saturday and Sunday "Kids Jam Too" children's activities. Please visit Blues Fest's web site: www.blues-fest.org or its Facebook page for more details!!
Tickets can be purchased online or by calling the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau's Visitors Center at 301-791-3246. An incredible value, Western Maryland Blues Fest ticket prices are:
"Lotta Blues Show" on Friday, June 4:
˙ Adults $20 in advance (plus a $2.50 transaction fee) and $25 at the gate
˙ Children ages 6 to 12 years are $7
"Downtown House Party" on Saturday, June 5:
˙ Adults $35 in advance (plus a $2.50 transaction fee) and $40 at the gate
˙ Children ages 6 to 12 years of age are $7
Special combination Friday and Saturday tickets are available until May 29 for $50 (plus a $2.50 transaction fee). Please note combination tickets are not sold at the gate.