Musicians fill Downtown Kent for ninth annual Kent Blues Fest

Blues fans gather outside to hear musicians play during the ninth annual Kent Blues Fest on Friday, July 14, 2017.

Kaylee Peterson

From local bands to blues legends, thirty-one bands and musicians spread out across 23 venues in Downtown Kent Friday until 2:30 a.m. at the ninth annual Kent Blues Fest.

The Crooked River Fine Art Council sponsored the festival.

Among the musicians featured were BC Hudson and Daryl Rowland — who have played with legendary artists such as B.B. King — and Kent-rooted band John Patrick and the Outside Voices, who played the festival for their second time.

John Patrick Halling, the front man of John Patrick and the Outside Voices, said he has been a fan of the festival for years.

“You kind of get amazed for how much local talent there is,” Halling said. “As Kent continues to grow and develop, the event gets bigger and bigger.”

Halling said his favorite part of being involved with the festival is the exposure to fans who may not have otherwise heard his group.

“We’re not traditionally a blues band. We’re a mix of folk, country and classic rock,” Halling said. “This allows us to switch gears. Going back to basic blues stuff and throwing in covers is always exciting.”

The musicians performed in local venues all over town including coffee shops, restaurants and outside venues like the Hometown Bank Plaza.

Amber Hydash, a junior biology major, said the festival is a unique part of Kent.

“It’s unlike anything else they have downtown, and it’s free, so you can’t really beat it,” Hydash said.

Kaylee Peterson is the downtown reporter, contact her [email protected].