DAYTONA BEACH, FL – The sixth annual Daytona Blues Festival, October 9-11, at historic Jackie Robinson Ballpark, downtown Daytona Beach, continues to provide the best blues experience. From the first music workshop at 2:00 pm Wednesday, October 7, to the final notes of the last after jam late Sunday night, October 11, fans will enjoy an array of music and events in a safe, comfortable beachside environment.
The main stage line up is, of course, the primary focus, and that line up is one of the best anywhere. The legendary and free after jams will no doubt create more new and unique moments. Our workshops, free welcome party, Riverfront stage, craft beer tasting, and food trucks add more excitement and fun. Finally, with all proceeds going to women and children’s health care, the 2015 Daytona Blues Festival simply cannot be missed.
The main stage music officially begins at 2:30 pm, Friday, October 9 when Canadian duo The Vaudevillian take the stage. IBC runner-up and Gibson Guitar award winning Noah Wotherspoon is next, followed by a rare Florida appearance by Watermelon Slim and his working-man blues. Kenny Neal then takes the stage with his modern swamp-blues before multiple BMA award winner Janiva Magness closes the show with her raw power and emotional complexity.
Music Saturday, October 10, starts at 1:00 pm with IBC solo/duo champion Randy McQuay. He is followed by Connecticut’s best blues band the young and talented Balkun Brothers. IBC band champion Eddie Cotton, Jr., is next and followed by blues guitar legend Jarekus Singleton. Nikki Hill then comes on in support of her incendiary new album, and one of the greatest slide guitarist ever, Sonny Landreth, finishes the night.
On Sunday, October 11, the music again begins at 1:00 pm. The opening act is IBC solo/duo runner-up Brian Keith Wallen. He is followed by two returning acts. First it’s Moreland & Arbuckle, also in support of a new album. Then the Alexis P Suter band returns to share her unique voice and boundless love. Paul Thorn then brings his energy and goodwill to the stage before Victor Wainwright and the WildRoots wrap up the event with another blistering performance.
During main stage set changes, the music continues at the Riverfront stage. Kids Rock the Nation phenom Dylan Salfer will play 2 sets on Friday. Saturday and Sunday Little Eddie, The Vaudevillian and HBCU recording artist L. Paul Jackson will perform. Fans should stretch their legs, get some food and a beverage, and enjoy even more blues between sets.
Once again, the first events are two days of music workshops. On Wednesday, October 7, the Mike Curb Institute at Bethune-Cookman University presents 3 free workshops on The Business of Music at the Center for Civic Engagement on the university campus from 2:00 pm to 8:00 pm. On Thursday, October 8, Victor Wainwright will again host his Blues Music Workshops at Bethune-Cookman University’s Robinson Music Building from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm, featuring Kenny Neal, Watermelon Slim, Victor Wainwright and more.
On Thursday, October 8, another tradition continues with the free welcome party at Bahama Breeze Island Grille, starting at 8:00 pm, and hosted by Gracie Curran & The High Falutin’ Band. Gracie and her band will also host the Friday night after jam at the same location beginning around 10:30 pm. Saturday and Sunday’s after jam host will be the Bridget Kelly Band. These jams will begin at 10:30 pm and 9:30 pm respectively. Bahama Breeze, with its great food, full bar, and ample safe and well lit parking, is an ideal venue in which to enjoy these events and the unique musician combinations they always inspire.
Saturday, October 10, fans should arrive on time, because Chick-fil-a will be distributing free sandwich coupons from noon until 2:00 pm. Expect to see cows. From 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm, our craft beer tasting sponsored by S. R. Perrott, Inc. returns, featuring over 40 different beers from 15 breweries, including 5 hyperlocal brewers and a meadery. A Saturday admission includes tickets for 3 free samples for those over 21. Additional samples can be purchased, 1 for $1 or 6 for $5.
Mike Delany of Delany Guitars has handcrafted a custom Daytona guitar for this year’s festival. The 2015 one-of-a-kind Daytona is a swamp ash body with ocean blue aniline dye and nitrocellulose lacquer finish, maple/rosewood neck with abalone markers, Amalfitano pickups, Hipshot bridge and locking tuners, and abalone capped knobs. A $20 donation enters fans in a drawing to win this beautiful guitar. A $50 donation enters fans in the drawing with 3 chances to win. The drawing will be held Sunday, October 11, at 7:15 pm, and you do not need to be present to win.
Finally, The Daytona Blues Festival is a 501(c)(3) corporation run entirely by volunteers. All proceeds from the event go to local women and children’s health care services. To date, the festival has raised and donated over $100,000 for the neonatal intensive care unit at Halifax Health, and Project WARM at the Vince Carter Sanctuary.
Buy your tickets and come for the fun, contribute to worthy causes, and stay for the best in blues music!