The Tomato

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Event organizers cave in to public demand for more ‘blues’

Photo: Marta Kierkus

This summer’s Bluesfest will be undergoing a radical thematic change now that event organizers are finally giving in to calls to incorporate more “blues” into the festival.

“Every year people ask for more blues and I think it’s time we finally give them what they want,” said the event’s head organizer Marc Gotaband.

After it was revealed that this year’s line-up once again does not contain many traditional blues acts, fans of the music genre were quick to make their feelings known.

“It’s called ‘Bluesfest’ so why are there rappers and rock groups performing?” said Linda King, chair of Ottawa’s Blues Music Appreciation Society.

This desire for more blues has not gone unheeded by organizers like Gotaband, who are now committed to providing as much blue as possible.

“We’re planning to put up blue signs, blue stages, blue lights, we’re even asking our vendors if they can dye their food blue for us,” he said.

He says this motif will even extend to this year’s musical acts, who will be required to dress in blue clothing and perform songs that relate to the colour blue. But this decision is not without its detractors.

Garth Bennett, an expert on the colour blue, says the event organizers are missing some crucial information when it comes to their new colour scheme.

“All they’ve said is ‘more blue,’ but that could mean anything,” he said in a recent interview with the Tomato. “Music fans deserve to know if they are going to be walking around in festival grounds full of navy, indigo, or teal.”

“While it’s encouraging to see them finally listening to their audience, they need to give more information on the shade of blue they’ve chosen.”

This move to an exclusively blue colour scheme has predictably offended local fans of blues music.

Yesterday, the Blues Music Appreciation Society published a news release calling the colour change “a gross slight against blues music, since everyone knows that the blues sound best when played against a red background.”

The release goes on to say the event’s new look “clearly shows that the festival has once again turned their back on blues music by using a colour scheme that’s more suited to hip hop and rock music.”

While community members and music experts are all up in arms, the performing artists themselves have joined this chorus of dissent.

Shaun Mockett, band manager for the southern rock group Lynyrd Skynyrd, said “the guys will not play if the organizers are so focused on blue. It’s not part of their image. These guys are rednecks, not bluenecks.”

Similar colour-related concerns have been raised by the group Deep Purple, who are also scheduled to perform this summer.

However, the country rock band Blue Rodeo has yet to vocalize any objections.

While organizers assure the new singular colour scheme won’t negatively affect the lineup, they’re still in the process of looking to recruit more blue-centric acts like the Blues Brothers and Blue Man Group.