The Monterey Herald newspaper is reporting that the acclaimed Monterey Blues Festival may not happen in 2013, the event a victim of a weak economy and lack of corporate sponsorship. The festival hasn't had much luck in attracting sponsor dollars, forcing them to cut the budget and reduce staffing from seven full-time employees to just one. If something doesn't happen to shore up the festival's bottom line, the 2013 event will be in jeopardy.
The Monterey Blues Festival launched in 1986, a mere 2,000 fans watching great performances from legends like Taj Mahal, Bobby "Blue" Bland, and Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, among others. The festival caught fire and grew rapidly, attracting 15,000 attendees by 1992, 21,000 fans by 1993, and selling out over the past few years. However the 2012 festival, lacking in big-name headliners, drew the lowest attendance in years, further adding to the event's financial woes. The festival is looking for donations from fans and maybe a few major league sponsors by November 1st in order to insure next year's event. More information on how you can help can be found on the Monterey Blues Festival website.
Here on the About.com Blues website, we honored the late bluesman Michael "Iron Man" Burks by naming the guitarist our "Blues Artist of the Month" for September and reviewing his excellent final album, Show of Strength. The Reverend also listened to singer John Nemeth's two self-produced CDs, Soul Live and Blues Live and deemed them suitably incredible, while a review of Paul Lamb & the King Snakes' live album The Games People Play rounds out the month. Enjoy!
Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown photo by James Minchin, courtesy Universal Music