ARTS&LIFE: B.B. King coming to Bluesfest,
Who says there’s no blues at Bluesfest?
The organizers seem to be putting that canard to rest by announcing, on the festival Facebook page, that B.B. King and his guitar Lucille, will close the 2013 festival on July 14.
According to Bluesfest director of operations Mike Rouleau, this is the first time the legendary guitarist has played Bluesfest in its 19-year history.
Festival CEO Mark Monahan says the timing has finally worked out to bring King to the festival. In the past he has often played festivals in Europe during the summer.
While he denies that this announcement is an attempt to redress the Blues balance at Bluesfest, Monahan did speak to another issue that surfaced last year.
He said the festival received a lot of feedback from past festival goers that Bluesfest did not cater to the boomer crowd.
For the past few years the festival has been bringing in a diverse mix of musical acts and has tried to strike a balance between catering to the desires of a very diverse audience. The increase in electronic dance music is an example of that. Last summer the fest featured two of the biggest names in EDM, Tiesto and Skrillex. Monahan says the organizers want to continue to attract more young ticket buyers. But that doesn’t mean they want to turn away older ticket-buyers.
“I am cognizant and aware of that (concern that was expressed last summer) and I am trying to strike a balance,” he said. “Because it’s such a diverse audience it’s impossible to please everyone. ... I’m hoping people can find something they like and not feel the need to point at what they don’t like.”
Tuesday’s announcement is likely to begin the annual buildup of speculation about who is coming to the festival in advance of the announcement by the end of April of the full slate of performers.
Legendary blues musician B.B. King and his guitar, Lucille, will close this year’s Bluesfest on July 14.