Mark your calendars for Saturday, July 14, and prepare yourself for a full day of incredible, soul-stirring live blues at this year’s Blues ON!, which will once again be held in Tacoma’s Old Town Park.
2018 marks the festival’s 27th year, as Blues ON! is a continuation of the Old Town Rhythm and Blues Festival. “Blues ON! in Old Town Tacoma was started in order to continue this blues fan favorite, when the previous organizers decided to do a festival elsewhere. In addition, we took the meaning back to the roots: music, community, philanthropy,” says Kim Archer, producer, working in conjunction with the Robert “Ted” Brown Foundation.
This free and fun music festival kicks off at 1pm and continues through the evening. “[This is] the outdoor blues concert to see in the South Sound,” says Archer. “We expect well over 1,000 people in Old Town Park this year, making it an outdoor yet intimate space to witness those amazing moments on stage. This year we’re bringing award-winning Mississippi blues Man, Dexter Allen, to the festival! If you like Buddy Guy and Muddy Waters style, this guy will blow your hair back!”
The 2018 lineup includes Little Bill & the Blue Notes (1 to 2pm), Tuck Foster & The Tumbling Dice (2:15 to 3:15pm), Rafael Tranquilino Band (3:30 to 4:30pm), The Lady A Band (4:45 to 6pm) and Allen (6:15 to 7:45pm).
In addition to the music, there will be a robust menu from Murph’s BBQ, delicious coffee from Anthem Coffee, sandwiches and sweets, beer/wine garden with great craft selections and Washington wines. “The South Sound Blues Association will be there as well, so people can join us in keeping the blues alive!” Archer says.
Last year’s event was such a success that it was honored to be nominated for a Best of Blues award—Best Community Blues Festival—from the Washington Blues Association!
Built upon the vision of Robert “Ted” Brown to make Old Town a live music spot for the blues, Blues ON! is carrying on that 25-year tradition, creating The Robert “Ted” Brown Foundation in his name. Last year, more than $2,000 was donated to the Tacoma School District K-12 music program, and they are hoping to double the donation this year.
Head down to Old Town Park for this fun-filled day of music and blues community. You can find out more online at BluesOnInOldTownTacoma.com.