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2014-07-04 at 22:38

Blues Fest blast

By Leith Dunick,
St. Joseph FoundationGrand A Day Draw tickets are now on sale. $1,000 daily draws in November. Grand Prize draw is for $10,000. License #M738339Click Here

There’s no question who the crowd was there to see at Friday’s opening night at the 13th annual Thunder Bay Blues Festival.

Rocker Melissa Etheridge was the No. 1 draw on most people’s list, including Cindy Scheiwiller’s.

A four-year veteran of the Marina Park festival, Scheiwiller says there’s nothing not to like about the three-day party.

“I came here because this is good for Thunder Bay. Everybody has a great time. Everybody has lots of fun, whether it’s blues or rock and roll. Everybody gets along and it’s lots of fun,” she said.

The lineup this year is stacked, she added.

“I love Melissa Etheridge, the Wallflowers, Spin Doctors. Last year was awesome with Collective Soul. It’s all good.”

It marked the debut visit for Joey Furlong, who was convinced to come to Marina Park by several of her friends.

She’s glad they did.

“Actually, Melissa Etheridge brought me here. I think it’s amazing,” she said.

“It’s great. I think Thunder Bay, once again, hosts a miraculous event. It’s lots of fun and a great place for everybody to mingle.”

The headliner agreed.

Etheridge, who took the stage shortly after 9:30 p.m. and played full tilt for about 1:45, had plenty of love for Thunder Bay.

“It’s the land where the sun doesn’t even think about setting until 10 o’clock,” she said, introducing herself to the masses and talking about her ordeal of getting to the Lakehead, first traveling east to later head west.

“We’re going to wake the Sleeping Giant.”

Furlong plans to return on Saturday, when the headliners are Jimmy Vaughan and Rival Sons, and Sunday, when the Wallflowers close out the fest.

“Absolutely, all weekend long,” she said.

She won’t be alone.

Festival organizer Bob Halvorsen said the crowds are expected to rival last year’s record gate.

“As of Friday night, ticket sales are ahead of last year,” he said.

Robert Slater was among the throngs Friday night and said he’s having a blast.

“It’s excellent every year. We’ve been here every year for the last 13 and it’s been perfect. I think what it is, for my generation, it’s like a high-school reunion. You meet people you haven’t seen for years and they have good music to boot,” said Slater, looking forward most to the Led Zeppelin-like sounds of Rival Sons.

Not everyone was quite as familiar with the lineup and at least one fan might leave a little disappointed or surprised – one of the two.

“We wanted to see Alanis Morissette and on Sunday the Wallflowers,” Ricky Martin said.

Well, one out of two ain’t bad.

The Blues Festival continues on Saturday and Sunday. Gates open at 11 a.m.

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Shane Caker says:
Where did everyone park?
7/4/2014 11:15:51 PM
sandstorm says:
Plenty of parking in the downtown core :). I parked on Cumberland and walked down, last year I parked in the Parkade and.. walked down.
7/5/2014 3:19:34 AM
fastball says:
Right in front of the PUC building on St. Paul Street....about a 3 minute walk to the site.
God, three minutes - my legs are killing me! I don't know what I'd do if it was cold outside.
7/5/2014 9:52:45 AM
ring of fire dude says:
I wonder how the restaurants made out with all their parking being taken up by Blues Fest Fans ?
7/5/2014 8:06:36 AM
moonpie says:
Ya gee for a whole weekend, that's terrible. Hope they don't go out of business because of it.
7/5/2014 2:42:12 PM
unknowncronik says:
lol, if the new "ma-rena" gets built, watch the parking issues many think all will be well, but just give it time.

its the wrong place for that building, especially with so much free space around us.
stop copying what the bigger cities do...they do it because they don't have the space like we do!

its just sad what it will cost to get rid of the other bus depot & relocate the hydro station just on its own, yet nobody thinks or cares, they just want!

spend spend spend needs to come off city halls agenda!

7/5/2014 6:08:02 PM
Truthandjustice says:
Obviously you have never been to London, Ontario; the event centre right downtown and that city does have plenty of space around it. Some people just can't let an issue go. If you are concerned about the cost, fine but stop complaining about parking.
7/5/2014 11:19:06 PM
common cents says:
Obviously you have never been to London either!

The Budweiser Gardens is built in the center of London, giving it 360 deg of parking around it.

The PROPOSED center in Thunder bay has a big lake beside it, giving it 180 deg of parking.

The Bud as know to Londoners, has plenty of large parking lots around it.

Take a look at google maps.

Can you spot the difference?
7/6/2014 10:21:54 AM
fastball says:
Keep those happy optimistic thoughts coming, Captain Sunshine.
What with that amazing psychic ability to foretell the future, you should be cleaning up on lotteries and the stock market.
God, the hydro substation was scheduled for relocation years ago - this project merely accelerated the move a year or so early.
And you're right - we shouldn't copy any successful projects because...well, we're Thunder Bay, and we do things our own way around here. Don't try to slip any of that twenty-first century newfangled way of doing things past us.
7/6/2014 12:08:14 AM
eventscentre says:
They simply pulled up in their cars, parked without a thought, and went and saw a great concert. Same thing they'll do when Kings of Leon plays at the Events Centre. Foo Fighters will show up too :)
7/5/2014 7:00:59 PM
cityisgreat says:
Ha ha that's a great comment,.....I heard they were parking at Innova
7/5/2014 12:05:44 AM
mercy mercy me says:
Wow...did that girl work the stage, what a performance....she tired me out...way to go ME!
7/5/2014 12:24:23 AM
rocketship says:
Way to go!!!!!

7/5/2014 8:00:30 AM
livewire says:
I thought this was a BLUES Festival!!!!
7/5/2014 9:36:32 AM
sandstorm says:
Sure is. There are only so many Blues artists they could bring in to headline without repeating (Which is what they want to do). Were you actually at the show friday? or have you heard any of the headliners? Every single one of the headliners have an element of Blues in them. Therefore it works.

Not to mention that the name "BluesFestival" is just that now a days.. look at the Ottawa Blues Fest a couple years ago.. one night was country, next night LMFAO played... and third night was rock. So quick yer whining and enjoy the event.
7/5/2014 4:38:26 PM
unheard says:
I think you may mistyped should have been only so many blues artists they could convince to come here with out the lure of a big figure skating rink
7/7/2014 8:34:21 AM
Idontknowitall says:
Melissa put on a great show - voice still strong, and I had no idea just how good a guitarist she is. I guess we were lucky to be in an area with folks who enjoyed the show - not one word about where they were
One note to the seemingly entitled ones in the first 50 or so feet of the stage - maybe you weren't aware, but there are garbage cans and recycling boxes everywhere. It was apparent that most of the crowd behind you figured this out. We couldn't believe the garbage left behind as we were leaving last night. Cheers everyone, and see you all there this afternoon!
7/5/2014 12:01:35 PM
habsgirl says:
sandstorm....only so many Blues artists??? Really??? How is it both Winnipeg and Duluth can put on a Blues Festival and have blues music with a limited number of blues musicians then? Take a look at the line up at the blues festival in Winnipeg next month...Colin James and the Robert Cray Band, Romi Mayes; Eddie Shaw; The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer; Watermelon Slim; Driving Wheel R&B; The Perpetrators and more..and for a weekend ticket price of $49.50 and taxes...even with lodging there, it is still a better deal then here!
7/5/2014 7:32:03 PM
crazylady says:
Only so many artists-try some of these on for size. Never played here and this is just a short list. Gary Clark Jr., Omar and the Howlers, Twice as Good-2xG., Too Slim and the Taildraggers, Little Mike and the Tornadoes, Benny Jenkins Bloodline, Dixie Peach Band, Jarekus Singleton, Aloe Blacc, JP Blues Band, Selwin Birchwood, Junior Watson, Tas Cru, Big Joe Shelton, Mitch Kashmar, King King, John Campbelljohn. There are many different styles of blues.
7/6/2014 11:36:53 PM
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