The Old Town BluesFest is a two-day FREE music festival that brings national, regional, and local acts to an audience of roughly 15,000 people from across Michigan and nearby states.
BluesFest’s music truly is living music, history in the making. Each artist at the festival is asked to play an original composition, something that hasn’t been played at any other festival.
This year’s festival will take place Friday, September 18 (4pm-12:30am), and Saturday, September 19, 2009 (2pm-12:30am), in the streets of Old Town, surrounded by the best of the Capital City’s art galleries as well as unique retail stores and grand architecture. Vendors lined the streets offering ethnic food, beverages, art, clothing, and crafts, and nearby galleries and boutiques opened their doors during festival hours.
BluesFest will become better stewards of our environment this year, implementing on-site recycling under the direction of a volunteer “Green Team.” A green pledge booth will feature hundreds of giveaways, free watering stations are available and volunteers will wear donated organic T-shirts.
From the 2008 Old Town BluesFest, ‘New Hawaiian Boogie by George Bedard’ shot by Scott Allman.
Dedication to Lansing
Old Town BluesFest started in 1994 under the name OctoberFest. Lansing’s alternative radio station, 92.1 WWDX, signed on as media sponsor, and MessageMakers became its founding business sponsor.
The festival featured such renowned artists as Kid Rock, Marcy Playground, Duncan Sheik, Nineteen Wheels and local showstoppers such as Powerface, Knee Deep Shag, The Lash, and The Weepers.
In 2003, the festival committee decided to transform the fall music festival into Old Town BluesFest and was pleased to announce 94.9 WMMQ as the new radio sponsor.
In its early years, the festival brought out 2,000-3,000 people; now that has increased to over 15,000.
BluesFest’s updated format has featured nationally recognized blues artists such as Junior Watson, David “Honeyboy” Edwards, W.C. Clark, Carl Weathersby, Sharrie Williams, Smokin’ Joe Kubek, Bnois King, Reverend Raven, Toni Lynn Washington, Byther Smith, Grana’ Louise, bugs Beddow band, Alberta Adams, A.C. Reid, Son Seals, plus popular performers from around the state such as Lady Sunshine and the X Band, Calvin Cooke and Sacred Steel Ensemble, Mojo Phoenix, Those Delta Rhythm Kings, Root Doctor, Doug Deming and the All Stars, JR Clark, and The Automatic Blues Band.