The Kalamazoo Valley Blues Associations aims to partner with Kalamazoo Growlers for a probable August event, with four upcoming fundraising concerts to help finance the festival.
The Kalamazoo Blues Festival will return in 2020, but will likely take place later in the summer and at a different venue.
Support our coverage of
West Michigan's music scene
The hosting Kalamazoo Valley Blues Association announced this week that the 27th annual event will be back even though it “was not an easy decision since the festival has struggled financially over the last several years.”
To aid the cause, the association has put out a call to area blues bands to donate their time to a series of Sunday “Winter Blues” fundraising concerts at Shakespeare’s Pub in Kalamazoo, starting on Dec. 15.
After taking place this past July at Arcadia Creek Festival Place in downtown Kalamazoo, the Kalamazoo Blues Festival will “more likely” be staged in August 2020 at Homer Stryker Field, home of the Kalamazoo Growlers baseball team, said Dennis Massingill of the association’s board of governors.
“We are looking at a partnership with the Growlers and the festival could most likely be held at their stadium, which is also why it would be changed to August,” said Massingill, noting the board just made the decision to continue the festival and is still finalizing details.
“We are excited about working with the Growlers. It promises to provide a new experience to our festival-goers.”
SEEKING BANDS FOR FUNDRAISERS TO HELP KEEP ‘THIS VINTAGE MUSIC ALIVE’
Homer Stryker Field is located at 251 Mills St. in Kalamazoo. It’s home to the Kalamazoo Growlers, members of the Northwoods League, a summer collegiate baseball league.
To help cover the costs of staging the festival, the association will host fundraisers at Shakespeare’s Pub on Dec. 15, Jan. 12, Feb. 16 and March 8, with each band selected for the shows performing two 45-minute sets.
The association hopes to announce the bands for the first fundraising concert later this month.
The 2019 Kalamazoo Blues Festival featured Nikki Hill Band (with Laura Chavez), Davey Knowles, Danielle Nicole Band, Biscuit Miller & The Mix and many regional acts.
In spite of the financial challenges, Massingill said the KVBA wants to continue the annual festival celebrating the blues because it’s “committed to keeping this vintage music alive and relevant.”
Revisit Local Spins coverage of the 2019 Kalamazoo Blues Festival:
Copyright 2019, Spins on Music LLC