Upcoming Blues Festival to be last

Marquette Area Blues Society promises best show yet in final effort

The Jimmys perform at a past Blues Festival. (Journal file photo)

MARQUETTE — The organization that has staged the past 19 annual summer blues festivals in Marquette’s Mattson Lower Harbor Park announced the upcoming event will be its last.

A press release distributed to local media Friday, had details from the Marquette Area Blues Society.

“Many factors went into the decision to make the 20th Blues Fest the final one. Most importantly, we wanted to go out strong and on our own terms, while we still have a little gas in the tank,” the release stated. “We are a small, but dedicated and passionate group of blues lovers, and to put it bluntly, we’re not getting any younger. Most of us have been involved in planning and executing the fest for the entire 20 years, and over the last few years, it has become increasingly difficult to host and present the festival to our standards.”

Other factors that came into play include the rising expenses of all elements of producing the festival and the continuing challenge of attracting and retaining the volunteers needed to execute the festival.

“Rest assured, this is not the end of the Marquette Area Blues Society,” the release detailed. “We are merely shifting our focus and direction as we continue to follow our mission statement of promoting and preserving the uniquely American art form called the blues here in the U.P.”

The organization’s plan includes hosting a quarterly blues concert series with touring national blues artists and local blues performers at different venues around the central Upper Peninsula.

“We will also continue and work to expand our Bluesday Tuesday event series at the Peter White Public Library in Marquette and grow our educational outreach programs,” it said.

The 20th Blues Fest promises to be the organization’s best yet, as some of its all-time favorite acts will appear alongside some new faces.

A line up will be announced in the coming weeks.


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