The 10th annual Big Sky Rhythm & Blues Festival fills the tiny town of Noxon, on the banks of the Clark Fork River, with smokin’ hot blues Aug. 2-4.
“This festival has become a favorite annual destination for families and veteran festival seekers alike,” says organizer Frederica Peto. “It’s a great place to bring the family with a laid-back, casual atmosphere.”
The festival kicks off at 6 p.m. Friday evening, Aug. 2, with a pre-party on the main stage at Pilgrim Park. Enjoy barbecued hamburgers and hot dogs while listening to Robin Barrett with Tiphony Dames, the Coyote Kings and special guest Diego Romero; bassist Cros with drummer Richard Sabol; and Texas blues and roots musician Randy McAllister. Festivities end with a giant jam until “the cows come home!”
Admission is $40, or free to festival pass holders.
Saturday’s line-up, beginning at noon, features Bryan Warhall, Franco Palleta and the Stingers, the Stacy Jones Band, the Step Brothers, Amanda Fish and Jimmy D. Lane. Special guests David Raitt and Montana’s own Steve “Big Daddy” Kelley will sit in with some of the bands. The All-Star After Hours Jam follows the last set.
On Sunday, the main stage hosts Montana bluesman Kevin Van Dort beginning at noon followed by Mark DuFresne. In keeping with Big Sky Rhythm & Blues tradition, the Big Sky Big Jam starts at 3:30 p.m. The jam – a perennial crowd pleaser – is open to all.
Musicians – including percussionist LA Smith – offer free workshops from 9-11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday for kids and teens interested in learning to play the blues.
The festival also offers food vendors, brews from Big Sky Brewing and plenty of on-site camping and RV space, as well as nearby lodging.
Tickets are $77 for a weekend pass if purchased online by July 31 or $85 at the gate; admission is $40 for Friday’s kick-off party (free for pass holders).
For more information, head to BigSkyBlues.com.