On Friday at the Arches Stage, “Pardi Gras! A Tribute to New Orleans” will feature the N’awlins-centric sounds of Little Freddie King, Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers and longtime Cincy faves Robin Lacy and DeZydeco. Keeping with the theme, the nonprofit Gulf Restoration Network will have a booth at the event with information about protecting and preserving the ecosystems in the oil-soaked Gulf.
Cincy Blues Challenge winners The Bluebirds Big Band and Bad Men on a Mission earned fest-opening sets on the main stage Friday and Saturday (respectively), while the St. Vincent De Paul Local Stage will be rockin’ with top-notch natives all weekend. Friday’s Local Stage lineup features Il Gigante and Cheryl Renee with Them Bones, The Blues Merchants, The Doug Hart Band, Thomas Long & Blue Sacrifice and The Tempted Souls Band.
Proceeds from the fest go to the Blues in the Schools program, which strives to ensure the Blues’ future by sending musicians to area schools to educate kids about one of America’s greatest artforms and help those interested them to learn to play the Blues. A collection of those BITS students will perform at the Blues Fest main stage Saturday at 4:45 p.m.
Music gets rolling at 5:45 p.m. Friday. Admission is $10 Friday and $15 Saturday; teens aged 13-18 can get in for $5 (with an adult) and under-12 kids don’t have to pay a cent.
Get more details on the full schedule and links to the Cincy Blues Society here.