The Bradenton Blues Festival will take place as scheduled on Dec. 4–5 at LECOM Park with a reduced number of tickets available, social distancing measures, and other precautions.
Bradenton Blues Festival – 2020 Changes
“If ever a year needed the improvisational style of Blues, it’s 2020. So, we proceed with the Bradenton Blues Festival—but with care—care for our musicians, our community, and our fans,” said Johnette Isham, Executive Director of Realize Bradenton, the nonprofit that produces the annual event. “We are truly grateful for everyone’s understanding and cooperation during this unprecedented time. When the coronavirus became a headline event this year, we took a pause and monitored trends. During this time, we consulted with industry experts to develop a strategy on how to continue with the festival in the most cautious way possible.”
In addition to other safety procedures, Realize Bradenton moved the Bradenton Blues Festival to historic LECOM Park, the spring training home of the Pittsburgh Pirates, and is reducing the capacity of the event. Although LECOM Park has seating for 7,500 during a ballgame, there will only be 1,100 general admission attendees in stadium seats and 150 front-of-stage seats in the outfield at the festival. The stadium offers twice as much open space than the former Riverwalk location, which permits for CDC-recommended social distancing in an outdoor environment.
All attendees will be assigned seats when their tickets are scanned at Will Call. Tickets purchased in one transaction will be seated together and separated by six feet or more from other patrons.
Additional Precautions to Note
Everyone entering the event, including attendees, musicians, volunteers, and event staff, will be screened via a touchless thermometer. Anyone exhibiting COVID-like symptoms will not be allowed to enter the venue. Face masks must be worn by all attendees when they are not seated in their socially-distanced seats and no exceptions for medical reasons. Staff and volunteers will wear masks at all times, and musicians will wear masks when not performing. Reasonable exceptions will be made for people eating or drinking while physically-distanced from others.
“We understand that not everyone can wear a mask for extended periods, so we are live-streaming the festival to a worldwide audience for a nominal fee,” said Isham. “This fee will help raise funds for the Blues Foundation’s COVID-19 Blues Musician Emergency Relief Fund, which provides immediate resources to full-time professional North American Blues musicians whose revenue the current pandemic has severely diminished.”
Realize Bradenton encourages everyone interested in attending the event to review the health and safety protocols by visiting BradentonBluesFestival.org and clicking the yellow “COVID” button in the navigation menu. These procedures were developed with professional guidance based on current data and trends. By purchasing tickets, attendees agree to follow these measures.
All ticket buyers will receive important, festival-related information by email in November, including parking maps, ticket processes, and food and beverage menus. If the 2020 festival is canceled due to extenuating circumstances, attendees will have the option to donate their total purchase as a tax-deductible gift to Realize Bradenton, to roll-over their 2020 ticket to attend the 2021 festival, or request a refund of the ticket price (not including the convenience fee).
2020 Highlights & Dates
The Bradenton Blues Festival weekend returns to downtown Bradenton, bringing three days of live music from celebrated blues musicians, Dec. 4–6, 2020. Kicking off the blues weekend is the “Blues Appetizer” Concert on Friday, Dec. 4; followed by the Bradenton Blues Festival, Saturday, Dec. 5; and wrapping up the weekend is the Bradenton Blues Brunch, Sunday, Dec. 6.
The “Blues Appetizer” Concert, presented by Mojoe Productions, Inc., is Friday, Dec. 4, 2020, at LECOM Park, and features soulful powerhouse Crystal Shawanda Band, and talented singer and multi-instrumentalist Tullie Brae Band. Only 500 General Admission tickets are available for $10 each. Music begins at 6 p.m. and ends at 9 p.m. All ticket buyers agree to follow the health and safety protocols found on BradentonBluesFestival.org.
The Bradenton Blues Festival, presented by BMO Harris Bank, is Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020, at LECOM Park. Gates open at 10 a.m. Music starts at 11 a.m. and ends at 8 p.m. Due to current ticket sales, tickets are limited. General Admission tickets are available for $45 for adults; $20 for students; and $10 for children, ages 5–12. Children ages four and under are free. Reserved front-of-stage seats are available for $125 per person. Ticket sales are available online at BradentonBluesFestival.org. All ticket buyers agree to follow the health and safety protocols found on BradentonBluesFestival.org.
The Bradenton Blues Brunch is Sunday, Dec. 6. Hosted by Mattison’s Riverwalk Grille Downtown Bradenton, featuring Damon Fowler and Greg Poulos. Check-in begins at 10:30 a.m. A limited number of tickets are available for $55 and include a three-course meal created by award-winning Chef Paul Mattison. Tickets may be purchased online at BradentonBluesFestival.org. The Bradenton Blues Brunch is produced by Mattison’s Riverwalk Grille Downtown Bradenton.
About Realize Bradenton
Realize Bradenton is a nonprofit organization that promotes redevelopment and economic growth in downtown Bradenton by transforming places, engaging people, and realizing possibilities. For more information visit the website.
About the Bradenton Blues Festival
Produced by Realize Bradenton, the Bradenton Blues Festival is a weekend concert featuring top blues musicians on the award-winning Riverwalk in downtown Bradenton. Proceeds from the Bradenton Blues Festival support Realize Bradenton’s youth, art, and music programs that are free to the community, including the “Blues in the Schools” education program.
Photos from Bradenton Blues Festival