Blues fans snag tickets over the phone, online

May 28, 2003|by SCOTT BUTKI

About 450 tickets have been sold for this weekend's eighth annual Western Maryland Blues Fest, with some people taking advantage of the festival decision to sell tickets for the first time via the phone and Internet, Hagerstown spokeswoman Karen Giffin said.

Last year was the first time the city sold tickets before the event, and then they only were available at a local business, Giffin said.

This year, blues buffs can buy tickets in advance at the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention & Visitors Center on Potomac Street, by calling 301-791-3246 or by going to on the Web, Giffin said.


The Friday evening concerts, Lotta Blues, will be in the central parking lot off Potomac Street.

About 240 people have purchased the $10 tickets for the Friday night show, Giffin said. The Friday shows start at 4:30 p.m.

Ticket prices for Saturday's downtown Street Festival cost $25 at the gate, an increase over the $15 charged at the gate last year. Tickets purchased in advance cost $20.

The Saturday shows start at 11:30 a.m.

The gate price increased because this year's festival features bigger-name artists than festivals in past years. The prices also were adjusted to be comparable to other festivals, Giffin said.

About 200 people have purchased advance tickets for the Saturday festival, Giffin said.

Festival founder Carl W. Disque said many people may be waiting to buy tickets until they're sure rain will not dampen the events.

Disque predicted that Friday's event will sell out, as it did last year.

The city has rain insurance for the Saturday event but not for the Friday night concert or Sunday's free family blues picnic in City Park, which starts at noon.

The insurance policy costs $4,300, and will pay out $40,000 if it rains at least one-half inch between 6 a.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday, according to city documents.

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