(EUREKA SPRINGS, AR) – The sounds of rockin’ blues will be again be echoing through The Ozarks that surround this party city when the Annual Blues Weekend returns June 16-19 for a repeat performance. This year’s event will join the greats such as Chicago Blues Festival in Grant Park, Telluride Blues and Brews Festival, The Big Muddy Blues Fest in Memphis and Crescent City Blues Festival by adding an outdoor Festival Stage at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge (TCWR), located just south of Eureka Springs on State Highway 23. Event Promoter, Charles Ragsdell explain the shift, “All the great festivals use an outdoor stage and our attendees have been calling for it for years. What is unique in Eureka Springs is we will have Blues throughout the day at the refuge and rock Downtown Eureka Springs at the Basin Park and in the clubs in the evening. In our little way its like combining the open air Telluride Blues and Brews with the dynamic energy of Beale Street festival.” Eureka Springs Blues Festival just last year was recognized by American Blues Scene Magazine as one of the top ten Most Beautiful Blues festivals joining Telluride described as “situated in an amazing, lush mountain atmosphere.”
Music starts Thursday, with Downtown Eureka Springs and The Basin Park Hotel getting loud with The Return of legend Chris Duarte. Duarte, returning to Eureka Springs for the first time since his ten-year run of Duarte Weekends plays the late night show on Thursday and Friday nights in the Barefoot Ballroom Stage high atop the 1905 Basin Park Hotel located in the middle of Eureka Springs’ entertainment district with many of the clubs therein sporting their own blues sounds all weekend long.
“Blues Weekend signifies the rich history of Eureka Springs as a live music capital of Arkansas. Every year thousands flock to Eureka Springs for our Blues Weekend, an annual festival of music and fun,” said Tammy Thurow, president of the Greater Eureka Springs Chamber of Commerce. “This year, downtown will be as fun as ever and with the introduction of the outdoor festival stage we expect it to be as big as all outdoors because it is… outdoors. The Turpentine Creek Festival Stage will welcome one performance on Thursday, five on Friday, six on Saturday, and three on Sunday. Proceeds will go to TCWR’s non-profit efforts to rescue then maintain big cats like lions and tigers… and yes, even bears.”
Clubs around town that will be showcasing blues entertainers during the festival include Rowdy Beaver, New Delhi, Chelsea’s, Pied Piper and Rockin’ Pig. The Headline entertainer that kicks off this year’s festival is a Eureka Springs’ blues favorite Chris Duarte, who triumphantly reappear on the Barefoot Ballroom Stage of the 1905 Basin Park Hotel after a six-year hiatus. Both of Duarte’s performances will be at 9 o’clock on Thursday and Friday. Friday’s show oopens with Kory Montgomery at 7PM.
“Vibrant and relevant, the best way to describe this year’s Blues Weekend,” Thurow added. “More than 30 entertainers and bands will be sending up positive musical energy at seven venues over four days and nights. The Eureka Springs Blues Weekend has the reputation of being one of Arkansas’ biggest parties. Our 2016 event will not disappoint.”
Full details of venues, performers, days and times can be found at EurekaSpringsBlues.com. Tickets for Chris Duarte’s two concerts can be obtained at ReserveEureka.com. Many hotels and motels throughout Eureka Springs are offering special Blues Weekend rates. That information can be found at EurekaSpringsOnline.com.