Rain doesn’t bring Blues Fest down

Dawn Einsel

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Video by Dawn Einsel

Beder’s establishment hosts blues acts on Wednesdays throughout the year and said that Friday nights usually see a full bar by midnight. However, with Michael Stanley and the Midlife Chryslers headlining, the tavern was at capacity by 7 p.m.

He said he noticed that students started to come around toward the end of the night and most stuck around once they made it downtown.

Burford said he has a plan to draw attention from this new generation of blues fans. He wants to expand the festival by bringing in more musicians with various sounds and styles.

This, he hopes, will help to diversify the crowd. He specifically would like to book acts like Patrick Sweaney, whose last album was produced by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys. Sweaney was originally booked for the fest, but had to drop out due to a scheduling conflict. The Water Street Tavern has tried to book Auerbach in the past.

“I try to look for acts like that,” said Beder. “But it’s very difficult to find those acts that have that blues feel and a mass appeal.”

Though finding more mainstream performers may be the best way to ensure a higher showing from the other side of Main Street, one aspect will bring students like Carmen Robinson, no matter who takes the stage.

“As long as it’s free,” she said.

Contact entertainment reporter Dawn Einsel at [email protected].