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Reverend Keith A. Gordon

Monterey Blues Festival Bankrupt

By April 4, 2013

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Clarence Gatemouth BrownThe Reverend has been receiving a bunch of emails as of late asking about the Monterey Blues Festival and whether or not there is going to be a 2013 event. I wrote about the troubled festival back in September 2012 and how they were cutting the budget and reducing staffing while trying to find corporate sponsorship for the annual event. Sadly, it appears that their efforts were for naught; after doing a little digging, I've found a story in the Monterey Herald newspaper of an estate sale in early March that liquidated the festival's remaining assets. The festival evidently filed for bankruptcy shortly after my previous blog post about their financial difficulties.

The loss of the Monterey Blues Festival is another blow to an already troubled industry. Although there are still a lot of blues festivals held each year, the number is dwindling, and most are forced to add popular rock and pop artists in order to attract big enough crowds to pacify corporate sponsors and advertisers. The Monterey Blues Festival was one of the major annual events on the circuit. Launched in 1986, performers like Taj Mahal and Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown performed in front of a mere 2,000 fans that first year. By 1993, the festival brought in 21,000+ music lovers and it continued to sell out in the following years. The Monterey Herald article mentions that a couple of California-based are interested in continuing the festival, but under a new name which, of course, means that it won't be the Monterey Blues Festival. Long story made longer...no, good readers, there will be no Monterey Blues Festival in 2013.

Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown photo by James Minchin, courtesy Universal Music


April 9, 2013 at 3:56 pm
(1) Ariel says:

So sad to read about this. It is important to notice that this is not new since the crowd have been asking for more an more pop and rock shows included in blues and jazz fests, in order to add a diversity of genres

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