Rotorua Blues Festival

Wednesday 7 May 2014, 12:37PM
By Andy Phillips & The Cadillac Walk

8th ROTORUA BLUES FESTIVAL - Lakeside                  Queen’s Birthday weekend

Queen’s Birthday weekend and Blues once again go hand in hand in downtown Rotorua for the annual Blues Festival (WED. 28 May – MON. 2 June 2014), presented by the Bay of Plenty Blues Club Inc. Rotorua’s restaurant precinct, ‘Eat Street’ will be alive with the sounds of live blues throughout Saturday and Sunday of the long the weekend.

Running from midday through to late evening both days, a wide variety of blues styles will be featured.  There is no entry charge. This year’s festival features two headline acts from Australia.  Shaun Kirk, a festival favourite in his home country is an exhilarating interpreter of Delta blues, with influences from Tony Joe White, B.B. King to Eric Clapton. He is a one-man band. A must see artist.  We also delighted to welcome back ‘Cadillac Walk’, a three piece band in the Southern  Texas Blues style. If you enjoy Freddie King & Stevie Ray Vaughan, these guys are for you.

Returning to the Rotorua Blues Festival is Ralph Bennett-Eades (Nelson). He is a seasoned performer and a serious interpreter of the Delta blues. His guitar slide work is sensational. Mike Garner (Tauranga) also returns with his band, this year featuring harmonica virtuoso, Neil Billington. Mike always takes us on an interesting musical ride with these shows, and his performances at the festival will do the same. Kiwi Blues at its best. More acts to be announced.

Once again the Lakeland Queen, the Mississippi style paddleboat which travels the Rotorua Lake, will feature two shows. Saturday afternoon will see headline act Shaun Kirk supported by the Wellington duo Carol Bean & Ray Ahipene Mercer and Sunday afternoon will feature headline act ‘Cadillac Walk’ supported by Ralph Bennett-Eades.  Tickets are available from the Lakeland Cruise office (Lakeside) from 1 May, and also online through eventfinder.co.nz.   Book early as these Blues Cruises always sell out before the event.

This year sees the return of the evening seated concert, to be held at the Novotel-Lakeside.   ‘Room Full of Blues’ will feature Kokomo (Tauranga) and Brilleaux (Tauranga), performing their acoustic shows. These two acts compliment each other well and are a must see attraction. Tickets will be available from the venue and online through eventfinder.co.nz. A Youth Blues Seminar will be held on Friday afternoon for school age students, featuring headline artist, Andy Phillips. This seminar is very popular with the young musicians and is made available free of charge to the schools, and on Sunday there will be a dedicated workshop for selected students who will get a chance to play alongside the professionals.

For full details and programme updates, visit www.bopblues.com/bluesfest

Simon Elton
Festival Director
Rotorua Blues Festival