For Immediate Release Contact: Karen McFarland
June 18, 2008 563-508-6596
319-268-9151 ext. 40
COME SUN OR HIGH WATER
IH MISSISSIPPI VALLEY BLUES FESTIVAL PLAYS ON
DAVENPORT, Iowa?The IH Mississippi Valley Blues Festival will go on as planned, July 3 - 5, despite flooding in the Quad-City area. The Mississippi Valley Blues Society, producer of the festival, is arranging contingency locations for the festival in case the City of Davenport public works department decides that Le Claire Park's grass areas won't be dry enough in time for the festival.
The city and festival producers will meet next week to assess park conditions. According to the Quad Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau, the festival's economic benefit to the area is $2.5 million.
"The Flood of 2008 has Midwest residents singing the blues, and that's all the more reason to make sure our festival goes on as planned during the Fourth of July holiday weekend," says Karen McFarland, IH Mississippi Valley Blues Festival spokesperson. "By the holiday, people will be needing a break from cleanup efforts, or looking for a festival to attend because of their hometown festival cancellations. We welcome everyone to come to the Quad Cities and enjoy three great days of world-class music, great food and lots of fun with family and friends."
McFarland notes that many Iowa festivals have had to cancel portions of their event or find alternative locations. Burlington cancelled a portion of its Steamboat Days, Cedar Rapids has cancelled some of its opening events for Freedom Festival and Cedar Falls is investigating alternative locations for some of its Sturgis Falls events.
Organizers for the IH Mississippi Valley Blues Festival met yesterday to discuss two contingency locations for the festival including Davenport Municipal Airport (Mount Joy) and the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds. The airport commission will meet Monday to make a decision, and the fair has placed a tentative hold on its calendar for the festival.
"We appreciate the quick response from both the airport commission and the fairground management to assist us in our contingency planning," says McFarland. "The airport welcomed us and provided great hospitality in 1993 when we needed to move the fest due to flooding."
McFarland says the large lawn area at the airport and the existing infrastructure at the fairgrounds make both locations nice alternatives to LeClaire Park, but adds her "heart and blues soul is hoping and holding out for the LeClaire Park venue.
"For blues enthusiasts, what makes our festival extra special is that LeClaire Park is rooted in the blues, with the Mississippi River and Highway 61, the blues highway, bordering the park, and a railroad track running right along the side," says McFarland. "But no matter where this year's fest is located, festival goers can expect the same great caliber of artists the Blues Society has been attracting for the last 23 festivals?and of course, the same great fun!"
Advance three-day passes are available for $40 and must be purchased before June 30. Advance one-day passes are $15 per day for MVBS and IH Mississippi Valley Credit Union members, the credit union is presenting sponsor. Children ages 14 and under will be admitted free if accompanied by an adult with a ticket. Advance tickets may be purchased at all IH Mississippi Valley Credit Union branches, at the River Center/Adler Theatre box office in Davenport, or through Ticketmaster. One-day tickets will be sold at the gate for $18.
For 24 years, the IH Mississippi Blues Festival has attracted local, regional and national legendary blues acts, making it one of the most highly regarded blues festivals in the nation. Headliners for this year's festival include Koko Taylor, Elvin Bishop, Denise LaSalle, Otis Taylor and the Black Banjo Project, Billy Boy Arnold with Jody Williams and The Homes Brothers, plus another 22 acts on two stages. For more information about the festival, artists and lodging, please visit www.mvbs.org or call 563-32-BLUES.