Organizers of the Thunder Bay Blues Festival have announced the full line-up for this summer’s festival and fans can prepare for biggest gathering of talent in the 17-year history of the event.
“After the success of the past two festivals, we knew that we would need to set the bar very high and bring in the best talent that we could manage,” said general manager and festival programmer, Bob Halvorsen.“At the same time, we’ve made it possible for people to see them all in one place, over one weekend, and all for what works out to be less than $9 each, when purchased on a weekend pass. We consciously sought out the best artists possible – including multiple Grammy, American Music Award, Juno, and Maple Blues Award winners – who are known throughout the world as music icons.”
Headliners include a who’s who list of contemporary musicians. The festival kicks off on Friday, July 6, with multi Grammy and Academy Award winner, Melissa Etheridge, along with multi Juno nominees, Big Wreck, and Juno Award winner, Sass Jordan.
Saturday, July 7, is also jammed packed with huge headliners, including multi Grammy and Juno Award winner, Sarah McLachlan, nine-time Grammy Award, Academy of Country Music Award, American Music Award and BRIT Award winner, Sheryl Crow, along with multi Juno Award and Much Music Video Award winners, Arkells.
The festival wraps up on Sunday, July 8, but not before multi Grammy Award, multi American Music Award, and People’s Choice Award winners Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo take the stage, former Black Crowes Rich Robinson, Marc Ford and Sven Pipien along with Rich Robinson Band members Matt Slocum, Joe Magistro, Adrien Reju, and Katrine Ottosen who came together to form The Magpie Salute in 2016. Fans can expect to hear a healthy dose of Black Crowes favourites along with influences from R&B, country and spirituals, to artists such as Sly Stone, Neil Young, and The Small Faces – “A vast musical landscape which, at its core, is pure Rock ‘n Roll,” says Rich Robinson. Organizers also promise a huge East Coast kitchen party at dinner-time on Sunday, with the return of perennial favourite, Alan Doyle and his incredible band that also features fiddle sensation Kendel Carson.
There is also amazing talent deep within line-up that is sure to have strong appeal with festival goers. The line-up is rounded out with the Spencer MacKenzie Band, The Blues Brotherhood and
Mindi Abair & The Boneshakers on July 7, and Blackburn and Mary Bridget Davies, who fans know as Janis Joplin in The Janis Joplin Story, on July 8.
“We are ecstatic with the talent that we have been able to book this year, and we are really looking forward to the world-class performances that each of these acts will deliver,” says Halvorsen. The Blues Festival also continues its tradition of showcasing the rich talent living in Thunder Bay with Arley Hughes and The Angies on July 6, The Boardroom Gypsies on July 7, and Southern Comfort and The Chain on July 8.
Fans can also expect an improved sound, lighting and audio/visual experience this year due to upgrades in all of these areas.
Weekend passes and VIP weekend passes go on sale on Friday, March 23, at 11:30 am, and are available online at tbca.com, by phone or in-person only at the TBCA box office phone 807-684-4444. Single tickets, if available, will be on sale closer to the festival date.