Parking deck bash to begin Blues Fest


This year's Western Maryland Blues Fest will kick off with a Friday evening deck party on the fifth level of the North Potomac Street Parking Deck on Friday, May 31, and continue the next two days with performances at Public Square and in Hagerstown's City Park.

"The parking deck will be transformed with a stage and tropical plants," Blues Fest Chairman Carl Disque said at a news conference Friday.

The stage will be placed so the audience will have views of South Mountain at sunset for the evening performance, he said.


As many as 200 volunteers are expected to help out for the Blues Fest, which has a budget of $170,000, Disque said.

The event is being held for the seventh year.

Scheduled performers include guitarist Walter Trout, who performed last year, Grammy-winning gospel group The Blind Boys of Alabama and Hot Tuna, featuring former Jefferson Airplane musicians Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady.

Tickets for the Friday night show will cost $7. Rudy and the Bluefish and Duffy Kane & Black Manhattan will perform at the parking deck, Disque said.

General admission will be from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Tickets are limited, so people are encouraged to buy them early. Tickets go on sale at area Sheetz stores Monday, he said.

Saturday's events begin at 10:30 a.m. on Public Square with tickets $15 for adults and $5 for children 6-12. Children 5 and younger get in free.

Black Roads Blues Band, KoKo Blue, Toni Lynn Washington and The Lloyd Jones Band will perform on the Washington Street stage.

The Potomac Street stage will feature Eddie Shaw and The Wolf Gang, Hubert Sumlin with special guest Bob Margolin, the Original Acoustic Hot Tuna and Walter Trout and the Radicals.

Sunday's free family blues picnic at Hagerstown City Park starts at noon and continues until 5 p.m. Little Bit A Blues, Ann Rabson, Carey Bell and the Blind Boys of Alabama will perform.

This year's event will have an expanded children's area where they can learn about music, do craft projects or make their own instruments.

Area children will also be introduced to blues music in school in the days prior to the event through an arrangement with the Washington County Board of Education, Disque said.

Detailed information about the Blues Fest is available on the festival's Web site at or by calling 301-739-8577, extension 546.

The Herald-Mail Articles