Cambridge Main Street hosting GrooveFEST
CAMBRIDGE — Downtown Cambridge is preparing for a new festival, scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 16, called GrooveFEST: Blues, Brews & BBQ.
Cambridge Main Street is organizing the event to take over from its traditional mid-September event known as “Summer Send-Off.” Activities will be held in the 500-block of Poplar Street and the 400-block of Race Street.
GrooveFEST: Blues Brews & BBQ will offer a fun and funky barbecue and music festival that will tap into the musical and funky heritage of the town known as “Groove City,” which got its name from the national performing acts that performed on Pine Street in the hey day of jazz and blues.
The event will feature a free street festival along with several new ticketed events, including a barbecue competition, walking tour, interviews with festival musicians, a pop up after party and more. Activities begin at noon and run though the evening.
Tickets can be purchased for individual events along with a $55 VIP ticket.
Tickets are on sale now and are available online or by calling Cambridge Main Street at 443-477-0843. Individual tickets are available for each scheduled event activity or a VIP package also is available. The VIP Package includes a number of special festival perks, including access to the entertainers lounge, dedicated event parking and more.
In the afternoon, join in on conversation hosted by “Lady Spins the Blues” WHCP community radio show emcee Donna Flaggs who will speak with festival performing musicians including The Young Senators Reloaded, featuring front man Jimi Dougans; the Carolina Swampland blues band Uphill; SoulTET; Chris and Greyson English blues duo and more. Tickets are $10 in advance. Seating is limited.
A Regional American Blues Styles Mojo 101 Blues Workshop will be held from 3 to 4 pm. by Chris “Catdaddy” Palistrant and Adam “Deacon Blues” Nixon. In this presentation, Palestrant and guitarist Nixon discuss differences in regional blues styles. The fastpaced Mojo 101features multimedia and live performance by members of the award winning band Uphill. Individual ticket price $10.
The barbecue competition runs from 5 to 8:30 p.m and will feature Bistro Poplar, Low and Slow BBQ, Rubba Ya Cambridge Spice Company and Cambridge Eateries serving over five generous barbecue tastings across three categories of chicken, pork and beef.
Ticket holders pick their favorite dish of the day in this fun, light-hearted competition. Tickets are available for $15 in advance or $20 on the day of the event.
The street free festival begins at 5 p.m. with the barbecue competition. There will be performances by local musicians, the Cambridge-South Dorchester High School Jazz band, as well as the regional blues, funk and R&B groups. The street festival also will have free kids activities area. The street festival wraps up at 10 p.m., when the party moves inside at 447 Race Street, a fun new performance venue in downtown Cambridge.
A Pop Up Jazz and Blues After Party also is planned, which will include live music, food and drinks at the downtown performance venue known as 447. Tickets are on sale in advance for $40 and help support Cambridge Main Street and the revitalization efforts in downtown Cambridge. Food and drinks are provided by Cambridge Eateries and Chef Patrick Fanning of High Spot, Stoked and Rock Lobstah.
A full description of performances, descriptions, and full event schedule for the festival are available by request or by visiting the Cambridge Main Street website www.cambridgemainstreet.com.
Cambridge Main Street will host GrooveFEST: Blues, Brews & BBQ in downtown Cambridge Saturday, Sept. 16.