Classic and new blues fans alike can put on their dancing shoes to enjoy the Blues Bash this Labour Day weekend at Ship Point in the Inner Harbour.
The three-day event, hosted by the Victoria Jazz Society, is back with live blues and R&B starting at noon Sept. 2 and continuing into Monday. Organizers expect similar numbers as last year, with 18,000 people expected over the three days. Most concerts are free, apart from the weekend’s two headliners.
Society spokesperson Simon Page believes the headlining acts will be crowd-pleasers.
“This year we’re really excited to have Matt Schofield from the UK,” Page said. “(He’s) one of the top contemporary blues players around.”
The style of Schofield, who plays a more classic British blues style, is in contrast to the festival’s Sunday headliners, who offer a more contemporary style.
The name Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer may sound terrifying, but their music is harmonic and upbeat, Page said.
“(They’re) sort of bringing blues into the more modern sound. We had them at Blues Bash two years ago and everybody really liked them.”
Old favourites are back, with free afternoon performances and a 600-person capacity beer garden. There are slight rearrangements to the layout this year: visitors have more space to hit the dance floors, or stop for a quick bite at one of the local food trucks. Organizers say the sight lines of the performances have improved.
The event tends to be a hit with – you guessed it – blues music lovers, but really, Page hopes there’s something for everyone in the other shades of blues.
“We definitely have a big, loyal audience that comes back every year. Within the blues framework, we try to bring all different kinds of it,” he said. “It’s all really upbeat, fun music, really danceable I think. It’s something really all types of music lovers can get behind.”