Boogie down at Winter Park’s Blues From The Top festival
The blues will be booming through Hideaway Park in Winter Park from Friday, June 24 to Sunday, June 26 when the Grand County Blues Society presents its Blues From The Top musical festival with 11 bands bringing their own flavor of blues to music lovers. This is also the festival’s 20th anniversary.
Maria Chavez, president of Grand County Blues Society, answered some questions about this year’s impressive line-up.
What can attendees look forward to at Blues From The Top this year?
This is a three-day music festival with top of the line nation acts, including a new Friday night concert featuring Gov’t Mule. Plus, there will be a Keeping the Blues Alive youth stage playing in between the main stage acts both Saturday and Sunday. The festival will have a great vendor village located up by the skate park and local food venders down near the main bar. There will be a silent auction at the Blue Star Connection with signed guitars by national blues artists. It’s on the Handbid app, so you don’t have to be at the festival to keep an eye on your most wanted guitar. Plus, we’ll have amazing official festival merchandise.
Will there be anything special this year since it is the 20-year anniversary?
We are doing a night show in the park Friday night with Gov’t Mule. We’ll also have great anniversary merchandise and a head nod to our founder, John Catt. On Friday night, we will observe the fact that it’s the Official Proclamation Day by the Town of Winter Park (June 24), known as the John Catt Day. Plus, we feel we’ve really knocked it out of the park this year with our incredible lineup: Big Head Todd & the Monsters, Gov’t Mule, Larkin Poe, Tab Benoit, Charlie Musslewhite, Sue Foley, Southern Hospitality featuring Damon Fowler, Victor Wainwright and J.P. Soars, Eddie 9V, Bette Smith, Southern Avenue, and Emma Marie Band, produced by the Grand County Blues Society.
There’s also going to be a special pop-up 60-minute concert with Emma Marie Band and Todd Park Moore. Only 50 tickets will be sold exclusively available to festival ticket holders. Funds raised from this Saturday night show will be for our programs and to KFFR 88.3 community radio.
How do you choose the performers who will play?
We ask our blues fans who they’d like to see the most and try our hardest to get those artists up here for our fabulous fans.
What other events does the Grand County Blues Society offer?
On the Front Range, we do our Annual Blues Star Connection Event with national blues artists. This fundraiser helps raise money to purchase instruments for children’s music therapy programs in hospitals around the country. Our goal is to help ease the pain of kids with life-threatening illnesses through the gift of music.
Plus, we like to partner with our local music establishments to bring regional and national acts to Grand County. We are proud to work closely with our schools and libraries with our Check Out The Music Programs. Not only do we do our Blues in the Schools programs, but we work with our library system to do music workshops and buy instruments to be placed in the libraries so people can check them out like a book.
Are volunteer opportunities still available for the event?
There are, for both Saturday and Sunday night, and clean up on Monday.
What else would you like our readers to know about Blues From The Top or the bands?
As a grassroots organization over the last 20 years, we are so happy and thankful to have the support of the community and volunteers of our non-profit organization. Over the years, we’ve brought in bands such as Joe Bonamassa (when he was just getting started), Johnny Winters, John Cotton, Kenny Wayne Shephard, plus so many more. We want to continue John Catt’s legacy to not only bring in music to Grand County, but to continue to keep the musical artform called the blues alive in all ages.
Tickets for the festival are available now at GrandBlues.org/bluesfromthetop.
Please stay tuned for Sky-Hi News’ interview with Warren Haynes of Gov’t Mule in next Wednesday’s issue.
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