St. Pete offers cure for the blues during three-day music festival

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Some of the biggest names in blues take up residence in Vinoy Park later today for three days of music, festival food and arts and crafts. Since 1995, St. Petersburg has hosted the annual Tampa Bay Blues Festival. This year, the rain-or-shine festival welcomes blues greats Jonny Lang, Curtis Salgado, Dicky Betts and Great Southern and more. On Sunday, April 14, guests will be treated to a day of New Orleans blues, with Tab Benoit, the Royal Southern Brotherhood featuring Cyril Neville and Devon Allman, as well as Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue.

Tickets are available at www.tampabaybluesfest.com. Onsite, tickets will be on sale at the main gate for cash only.

Didn’t get enough blues? The music continues later tonight and Saturday at St. Petersburg’s Palladium Theater, 253 Fifth Ave. NE, a short distance from Vinoy Park. The theater turns up the lights for a series of after-parties featuring a variety of blues performers in an intimate setting starting at 10:15 p.m. 

Tickets are available at www.tampabaybluesfest.com

As for parking, Blues fans are encouraged to park in either of the two city-owned downtown parking garages and hop aboard the free Blues Festival shuttle to Vinoy Park. Parking is available in either the MidCore/BayWalk garage, with an entrance between First and Second Sts. N., or South Core, located between First and Second Aves. S. Both garages will charge a special event rate of $5. Parking is also available in the Al Lang Stadium parking lot for $5 on Friday, Saturday after 3 p.m. and on Sunday.

During the day Saturday, music fans wishing to access the MidCore/BayWalk garage should approach from the south on Second St. Second St. N. will be closed between Second Ave. N. and Sunshine Lane to accommodate a construction crane. Detour signs will be in place to warn drivers of the temporary street closure.

A free Blues Festival shuttle will transport music lovers between Vinoy Park and downtown beginning this afternoon at 4 p.m. Shuttles will run until 11 p.m. Friday; Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and on Sunday from 12:30 to 11 p.m. Shuttle stops are located on the east side of First St., just south of First Ave. S., servicing the Al Lang Stadium/South Core area and just outside of MidCore/BayWalk on the east side of First St., mid-block 
between First and Second Aves. N. The Vinoy shuttle stop is located on the north side of Seventh Ave. NE, just west of Bayshore Dr. All shuttles will have wheelchair lifts. A printable shuttle map is available at www.StPeteTrolley.com.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.