Organizers prepare for upcoming Blues Fest

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After 14 years, the Denton Blues Festival is still going strong and it will be here again Sept. 15-16 at Quakertown Park.

The festival will offer a jam-packed weekend as local and nationally recognized entertainers provide music and fun for attendees.

“People are looking to be entertained and have some good times in Denton, Texas, and we’re trying to be one of the providers of that,” said John Baines one of the event organizers.

Headlining Saturday night is Bernard Allison, with Sugar Blue on Sunday night.

Also appearing are Buddy Whittington and Curtis Salgado.

Both the other guys are excellent as well, Baines said.

Salgado won the Soul Blues Male Artist of the Year award in 2010.

Whittington has been a staple in the industry.

“He’s played with all the big-time artists the past 20 years,” Baines said. “

He’s at the top among guitarists. Most of his notoriety has been back up for others, and now he is beginning to do more on his own.”

Baines said some of the top blues artists of this century have come through Denton and as a lot of them have since passed on, what festival organizers hope to do is make sure the people filling the gap are coming to Denton.

“So people can eventually say, ‘I knew that person before they got big,’” he said. “We’re looking for the new talent, the brightest and best our dollars can afford.”

The festival brought in about 6,000 people last year. Baines said organizers are hoping for 8,000 to 10,000 people to attend this year.

Organizers expanded the community stage and have already booked both days of the festival, something they did not do last year.

“We worked to get talent: bands, rappers, comedians, singers, possibly some high school step shows. It’s just a variety of things,” Baines said.

The children’s area, which includes face painting, storytelling and more, has been expanded as well.

“Kids can come have a good time and parents can have a good time, too. I doubt there are very many 4-year-olds who can dig the blues.”

Baines said the dedicated volunteers have helped keep the event going as long as it has.

“We have meetings that include sometimes as many as 20 people,” he said. “There’s more energy, more young people, more blues aficionados. It’s a community-based, volunteer-based event.”

In light of the current economy and sources of stress in people’s lives, Baines said there is a need for good, wholesome relaxation.

“This is one of the venues that provides that. The outdoor setting is quite pristine. It’s very unique. We bring in a lot of good vendors for food and purchases and the talent, and then it’s free,” Baines said. “We’re hoping for nice, warm weather where people will come out and have a great time at a nice venue.”

BJ LEWIS can be reached at 940-566-6875. His e-mail address is blewis@dentonrc.com .

 


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