Kent Blues Fest to return for fourth year

Cassandra Neiden

The sweet sound of blues music will fill 15 venues downtown Kent for the Kent Blues Fest on July 20 and July 21.

This will be the fourth straight year that the Kent Blues Fest will be held for the community.

Bands such as The Steelheaders, Colin John, Mitch Ryder and The Detroit Wheels, Kevin Richards, The Brighter Side Band, The Jukehounds and several more will be performing.

The downtown bars and venues will be in full blues swing and are expecting a good turnout of the community.

Water Street Tavern expects to be very busy that night. Manager Rob Finch said there is usually only standing room for the blues fest.

Kent Blues Fest is a good way to bring the city and community together. Depending on tastes, there’s something for everyone, Finch said.

Finch is looking forward to this weekend because blues music is “within our niche to begin with,” he said.

But many of the restaurant owners, managers and bartenders are expecting big crowds.

“Any festival we have does bring in a good crowd because each restaurant has something,” said Pufferbelly’s Manager Stephanie Thelen.

Buffalo Wild Wings has booked Memphis Cradle. Manager Jamie Garnes said the band has big draws so the venue tries to book them early.

Dominick’s Bartender Adam Poluga says the venue’s owner is planning on upping its service so that everyone who comes to see the scheduled act, Wanda Hunt, can get a drink, even though the bar will be busy.

Manager of 157 Lounge Matt Guska said he’s looking forward to The Steelheaders to perform from 7 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. It will be the band’s first time at 157 Lounge, but will be the third year 157 Lounge will participate in the Kent Blues Fest.

“It’s a good event not only for the community but for the businesses around town,” Guska said.

The musicians are getting just as prepared for the crowd as the venues owners, managers and bartenders.

Ian Penter will perform from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m at Zephyr Pub. Penter said he performs the Delta blues-style music, which he described as grittier and old school.

Penter said he’d like for everyone to come out and see his music but urges the community to see as much music as it can.

The full itinerary for this weekend’s Kent Blues Fest can be found at the festival’s website.

Contact Cassandra Neiden at [email protected].