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.