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Blues Fest cancels 2020 event out of COVID-19 caution

Rockland — The 2020 North Atlantic Blues Festival has been canceled for 2020 out of concern about the COVID-19 threat, founder and organizer Paul Benjamin said Tuesday.

“It was a tough, tough decision but I didn’t feel right bringing in thousands of people to the community and then seeing a spike in cases,” Benjamin said.

The Blues Fest is the first of three major summer festivals scheduled in Rockland for the summer. The Blues Fest was scheduled to be held July 11 and 12 this year. The event brings in 15,000 to 16,000 people each year, Benjamin said.

This would have been its 27th year in Rockland.

He said the same artists who were booked to play in 2020 have been booked to play in 2021 which is scheduled for July 10 and 11.

Ticket holders will be sent emails given them options including keeping the tickets for 2021.

Benjamin said trying to make the decision has kept him up at night. He said 10,000 brochures had already been printed and 4,000 mailed.

But he said the decision was the correct one in light of the concern that drawing in large crowds from around the country and world could lead to a spike in cases in Rockland.

No decisions have been made yet on the two other major summer festivals scheduled to be held in Rockland. The Lobster Festival is scheduled for July 29 through Aug. 2; and the Maine Boat and Home Show is scheduled for Aug. 7 through Aug. 9.

Gov. Janet Mills said Monday the state will have directives by June 1 for organizations that are planning “crowd gathering events” such as festivals.

Village Soup • Knox

2021 North Atlantic Blues Festival

Sat July 10

•••

MCMA Blues
Camp Kids

10:30-10:55 AM


11:15 AM-12:15 PM


12:30-1:30 PM


1:45-3:00 PM


3:15-4:30 PM


4:45-6:15 PM

Sun July 11

•••

MCMA Blues
Camp Kids

10:30-10:55 AM


11:15 AM-12:15 PM


12:30-1:30 PM


1:45-3:00 PM


3:15-4:15 PM


4:30-5:30 PM

Followed by an encore set
featuring Coco & Ronnie with
a tribute to Albert Collins!



Between acts Saturday & Sunday


Get the latest NABF news…

Follow us on Facebook or signup for our email newsletter
to get the latest announcements as they happen!

2020 North Atlantic Blues Festival

The 2020 North Atlantic Blues Festival has been canceled out of concern about the COVID-19 pandemic. This is something that we gave a lot of thought and decided that it is the right thing to do. The dates for next year will be July 10-11 2021 with the same artists that were booked for this year. All ticket holders will get an email from us giving you options on your tickets. Thank you for your support. Stay safe and we’ll see you next year!

 Sat July 11

•••

MCMA Blues
Camp Kids

10:30-10:55 AM


11:15 AM-12:15 PM


12:30-1:30 PM


1:45-3:00 PM


3:15-4:30 PM


4:45-6:15 PM

Sun July 12

•••

MCMA Blues
Camp Kids

10:30-10:55 AM


11:15 AM-12:15 PM


12:30-1:30 PM


1:45-3:00 PM


3:15-4:15 PM


4:30-5:30 PM

Followed by an encore set
featuring Coco & Ronnie with
a tribute to Albert Collins!



Between acts Saturday & Sunday


Get the latest NABF news…

Follow us on Facebook or signup for our email newsletter
to get the latest announcements as they happen!

2019 North Atlantic Blues Festival

 Sat July 13

•••

MCMA Blues
Camp Kids

10:30-10:55 AM

11:15 AM-12:15 PM

12:30-1:30 PM

1:45-3:00 PM

3:15-4:30 PM

4:45-6:15 PM

Sun July 14

•••

MCMA Blues
Camp Kids

10:30-10:55 AM

11:15 AM-12:15 PM

12:30-1:30 PM

1:45-3:00 PM

3:15-4:30 PM

4:45-6:15 PM


between acts Saturday & Sunday

 


Get the latest NABF news…

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to get the latest announcements as they happen!

2018 North Atlantic Blues Festival

 Sat July 14

•••

MCMA Blues
Camp Kids

10:30-10:55 AM

 

11:15 AM-12:15 PM


12:30-1:30 PM


1:45-3:00 PM


3:15-4:45 PM


5:00-6:30 PM

Sun July 15

•••

MCMA Blues
Camp Kids

10:30-10:55 AM

 

11:15 AM-12:15 PM


12:30-1:30 PM


1:45-3:00 PM


3:15-4:30 PM


4:45-6:15 PM


between acts Saturday & Sunday

 


Get the latest NABF news…

Follow us on Facebook or signup for our email newsletter
to get the latest announcements as they happen!

 

2017 North Atlantic Blues Festival

 Sat July 15

•••

MCMA Blues
Camp Kids #1

10:30-10:55 AM

 

11:15 AM-12:15 PM


12:30-1:30 PM


1:45-3:00 PM


3:15-4:45 PM


5:00-6:30 PM

Sun July 16

•••

MCMA Blues
Camp Kids #1

10:30-10:55 AM

 

11:15 AM-12:15 PM


12:30-1:30 PM


1:45-3:00 PM


3:15-4:30 PM


4:45-6:15 PM


between acts Saturday & Sunday

 


Get the latest NABF news…

Follow us on Facebook or signup for our email newsletter
to get the latest announcements as they happen!

 

North Atlantic Blues Festival: Great Music Experience in one of America’s Most Beautiful Cities

Screen Shot 2016-06-21 at 8.27.05 AMDestinations for summer vacations are numerous but few compare to Rockland, Maine. Recently recognized by Budget Travel as one of “Coolest Small Towns in America”, the citizens of Rockland take great pride in their community.

Rockland was first chartered back in 1854 and it grew quickly. This rapid growth was due to the booming industries of shipbuilding and lime manufacturing. In fact, Rockland became one of the top producers of lime and ships in the entire Northeast United States. Rockland’s history as a tourist destination dates back to the 1870’s. Resorts and hotels sprang up everywhere and the travel boom lasted until the great depression when it suffered a decline. Tourism came back to Rockland in the 1990’s as people discovered this beautiful coastal city. Rockland is home to unique shops, resturants, attractions and breathtaking vistas.

Regardless of whether you’re looking to soak in the scenery or just looking to hit the major sites and attractions, Rockland has your entertainment covered. Any trip to Rockland should include a boat tour of the harbor and the surrounding area. The coastline is breathtaking and you’ll get the opportunity to see a variety of sea and wildlife. The local parks are lush, well maintained, and perfect for almost any outdoor activity or sport. Historical sites, buildings and museums can be found all over the area. These locations will give you an up close look at the rich history that formed Rockland. A perfect way to experience the city and its people is during one of the big community events, like the ever popular North Atlantic Blues Festival.

Well into its third decade, the North Atlantic Blues Festival is one of the top blues music themed events in the region. This is an all ages show that is great for couples, families and anyone interested in having a good time, while enjoying the countries best blues music. Food and refreshments will be on hand for everyone to purchase and enjoy. In addition to the festival there will be a club crawl and other fun activities in which you can partake. Make sure to bring a lawn chair and sun screen because this event is held outdoors at the beautiful Harbor Park, right in downtown. We got the chance to interview Paul Benjamin, Representative for the North Atlantic Blues Festival, to talk about this unique music experience.

Resorts And Lodges: Tell me a little bit about the event.

Paul Benjamin: This will be the 23rd year of the North Atlantic Blues Festival. It takes place on July 16th and 17th in beautful Harbor Park. Our attendance varies, but this year we are expecting over 16,000 attendees over the two days of the festival. Typically our crowd is comprised of a wide range of demographics, but we primarily see the over 50, baby boomer crowd.

RAL: What makes this event unique?

PB: Not only do you get to enjoy some of the best blues music on the planet, but you get to enjoy beautiful Maine during the summer. It’s July, it’s warm, it’s on the ocean, and we have great blues music. Don’t forget; we serve lobster! Our festival is one of a kind!

RAL: Take me through a day at the event.

PB: We have a lot going on during festival weekend. First and foremost, all the acts at the festival are national touring artists from all over the world. Live music will be played at almost all times while the festival is open. After the festival on Saturday we will be having a local club crawl. The club crawl is open to all ages and takes place on Main St. There will be five bands playing along the street, which is closed to traffic on Saturday night. The wristband that you get from going to the festival Saturday gets you into all the clubs at no charge but have to be over 21.

When it comes to dining options, we have a variety of food vendors on hand. Also, the festival is within walking distance to some great local restaurants. No matter what type of food you prefer, you’ll find something here or close by. We also have a vendor section where you can buy everything from art to merchandise.

Here is a suggestion we have for our attendees: While we have some lawn chairs, it’s a good idea to bring your own chairs, sunscreen, blankets, etc. The environment is that of a big outdoor festival with tons of great live music. The mood is laid back, friendly and is easy to meet new people. It’s a unique experience that you’ll love.

RAL: What can an attendee expect to find for local lodging?

PB: Maine in July is beautiful and people come from far and wide to enjoy all the state has to offer. Finding available rooms can be tough during the summer. We encourage you to plan ahead as far as possible. You may need to stay in a nearby community, but it’s worth the extra bit of travel.

RAL: What does the event mean to the community?

PB: This event is huge for Rockland and the surrounding communities. Many local businesses report that this is their best weekend in sales for the entire year. In fact, we’ve won awards from two different chambers of commerce, Rockland and Camden, for the positive impact we have had on the communities.

RAL: Does the event support a special cause in the community?

PB: Yes, we support Raising The Blues, Ltd, which is a 501(c)3 non-profit charitable organization that brings music to children undergoing medical treatments. We also support local schools and the Midwest Musical Academy.

By: Thomas Schultz, Resorts & Lodges

2016 North Atlantic Blues Festival

2016NABF-Poster-web

 

 Sat July 16

BluesCaravan
11:00-12:10

ToronzoCannon
12:25-1:35


1:50-3:05

QuinnSullivan
3:20-4:40

JohnHammond
5:00-6:30

Sun July 17

AlexisSuter
11:00-12:00

MikeZito
12:15-1:20

JohnnySansone
1:35-2:45

RonnieEarl
3:00-4:15

ElvinBishop
4:30-6:00

 MickKolassa
between acts Saturday & Sunday

 


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to get the latest announcements as they happen!

2015 NABF – Photos

Photos from the 2015 North Atlantic Blues Fest

2015 North Atlantic Blues Festival

2015NABF-Poster

 Sat July 11

RobertoMorbioli
11:00-12:10

DougDeming
12:25-1:35

EddieShaw
1:50-3:05

TommyCastro
3:20-4:40

JamesCotton
5:00-6:30

Sun July 12

DexterAllen
11:00-12:00

PetersonBros
12:15-1:20

NickMoss
1:35-2:45

RodPiazza
3:00-4:15

MarciaBall
4:30-6:00

 HarrisonKennedy
between acts Saturday & Sunday

 


Get the latest NABF news…

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to get the latest announcements as they happen!

2014 North Atlantic Blues Festival

2014NABF-Poster-SM

 Sat July 12

JarekusSingleton
11:00-12:00

TeenyTucker

12:15-1:15

VictorWainwright
1:30-2:35

CJChenier
2:50-3:55

GSLS-Review-Hummel
4:10-5:25

MannishBoys
5:40-7:00

Sun July 13

MrSipp
11:00-12:00

JoannaConnor

12:15-1:20

MelvinTaylor
1:35-2:45

JimmyThackery
3:00-4:15

JoeLouisWalker
4:30-6:00

InLaymanTerms
between acts Saturday & Sunday

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to get the latest announcements as they happen!

2013 North Atlantic Blues Festival

2013NABF-websize

 Sat July 13

11:00-12:00

12:15-1:15

1:30-2:35

EddieTaylorJr2:50-3:55

4:10-5:25

5:40-7:00

Sun July 14

MattAnderson-slider11:00-12:00

12:15-1:20

1:35-2:45

3:00-4:15

4:30-6:00

between acts Saturday & Sunday

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to get the latest announcements as they happen!

2012 North Atlantic Blues Festival

Printable Schedule Download >>

Saturday, July 14

Randy Oxford Band

11:00-12:00

Albert Castiglia

12:15-1:15

Royal Southern Brotherhood

Cyril Neville, Mike Zito, Devon Allman, Charlie Wooton and Mean Willie Green
1:30-2:35

Rick Estrin & the Nightcats

2:50-4:00

Tribute to Koko Taylor

With The Blues Machine, Nora Jean Wallace, Melvia “Chick” Rogers and  Jackie Scott
4:15-5:20

Tab Benoit

5:35-7:00

Sunday, July 15

Charlie A’Court

11:00-1200

Anthony Gomes

12:15-1:20

Ana Popovic

1:35-2:45
.
.

John Mayall

3:00-4:15

Chubby Carrier
& the Bayou Swamp Band

4:30-6:00
.

Mark LaVoie and Dave Keller

between acts Saturday & Sunday

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to get the latest announcements as they happen!

2011 NABF – Photos

Photos from the 2011 North Atlantic Blues Fest

2011 North Atlantic Blues Festival

[column width=”45%” padding=”10%”]

Saturday, July 16

Nellie Tiger Travis

11:00-12:00

Eddy “The Chief” Clearwater

12:15-1:15

Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials

1:30-2:35

Billy Branch & the Sons of Blues

2:50-4:00

Magic Slim & the Teardrops

4:15-5:20

Brooks Family Blues Dynasty

Lonnie | Ronnie | Wayne
5:35-7:00

[/column] [column width=”45%” padding=”0″]

Sunday, July 17

Trampled Under Foot

11:00-1200

James Armstrong

12:15-1:20

Toni Lynn Washington

1:35-2:45

Eric Bibb

3:00-4:15

Robert Cray

4:30-6:00

[/column]

[end_columns]

Performances between sets by…


Gina Sicilia & Dave Gross