history

Dedicated to Lansing

Michigan BluesFest started in 1994. Lansing’s alternative radio station, 92.1 WWDX, signed on as media sponsor, and MessageMakers became its founding business sponsor.

The festival featured such renowned artists as Kid Rock, Marcy Playground, Duncan Sheik, Nineteen Wheels and local showstoppers such as Powerface, Knee Deep Shag, The Lash, and The Weepers.

For 2002, the festival committee decided to transform the fall music festival into Old Town BluesFest and was pleased to announce 94.9 WMMQ as the new radio sponsor.

In its early years, the festival brought out roughly 2,000 people; now that has increased to over 5,000.

BluesFest’s updated format has featured nationally recognized blues artists such as Junior Watson, David “Honeyboy” Edwards, W.C. Clark, Carl Weathersby, Sharrie Williams, Smokin’ Joe Kubek, Bnois King, Reverend Raven, Toni Lynn Washington, Byther Smith, Grana’ Louise, bugs Beddow band, Alberta Adams, A.C. Reid, Son Seals, plus popular performers from around the state such as Lady Sunshine and the X Band, Calvin Cooke and Sacred Steel Ensemble, Mojo Phoenix, Those Delta Rhythm Kings, Root Doctor, Doug Deming and the All Stars, JR Clark, and The Automatic Blues Band. (More detailed list of past artists are available.)

Michigan BluesFest is THE place to listen and dance to the sounds of a powerful blues beat.

recognition of excellence

2012 Michigan Festivals and Events Association (MFEA) MichiganFun Awards – Best Green Practice – 2nd Place (for 2011 festival)

  • 2012 MFEA MichiganFun Awards – Promotional Poster – 3rd Place (for 2011 poster)

  • 2008 MFEA MichiganFun Awards – T-Shirt Design – 2nd Place

  • 2008 MFEA MichiganFun Awards – Printed Promotional Material, Multi-Page – 2nd Place (City Pulse insert)

  • 2007 Ava Awards Honorable Mention for BluesFest 2007 PSA

  • 2007 MFEA MichiganFun Awards – Promotional Item – 1st Place (complimentary tickets)

  • 2005 MFEA MichiganFun Awards – Press Release – 1st Place

  • 2005 MFEA MichiganFun Awards – Promotional Item – 1st Place (BluesFest tent cards) & 3rd Place (BluesFest/BluesFest fans)

  • 2005 MFEA MichiganFun Awards – TV Ad – 1st Place

  • 2005 MFEA MichiganFun Awards – T-Shirt Design – 2nd Place

  • 2005 MFEA MichiganFun Awards – Printed Material – 2nd Place (BluesFest complimentary and sponsor tickets) and Honorable Mention (BluesFest postcards)

  • 2005 MFEA MichiganFun Awards – Website – 3rd Place

  • 2005 MFEA MichiganFun Awards – Brochure – Honorable Mention

  • 2005 MFEA MichiganFun Awards – Event Photograph – Honorable Mention (“Electric Guitar”)

  • 2005 MFEA MichiganFun Awards – Promotional Poster – Honorable Mention

  • 2003 MFEA MichiganFun Awards – Best Overall Achievement

  • 2003 MFEA MichiganFun Awards – Best T-Shirt Design

  • 2003 MFEA MichiganFun Awards – Multimedia Website Design

  • 2003 American Advertising Federation Silver Addy Award, Visual and Audio Elements of Advertising, Illustration: Single – 2002 illustration

  • 2002 American Advertising Federation Addy Award, Visual and Audio Elements of Advertising, Illustration: Flat or Dimensional – 2001 illustration

  • 2002 American Advertising Federation Citation of Excellence, Collateral Material, Poster: Single – 2001 poster

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We rely on the generous donations of our community and patrons to allow us to produce free and low cost programming for our community. Please help us continue by giving here (This will take you to a secure page to make a donation into our MICA account):

Michigan Institute for Contemporary Art

1210 Turner St.

Lansing, MI 48906

517.371.4600

MICA@micharts.org

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