Old Town BluesFest is a renowned blues music festival with a long and vibrant heritage. It is often referred to as the Michigan BluesFest since it is held annually in Lansing, Michigan. It takes place in the Old Town area, which is well known for its vibrant history and beautiful architecture.
The festival was started in 1994 by the Old Town Business and Art Development Association as a small scale event. Initially called OctoberFest, its name was changed to Old Town BluesFest in 2002 to reflect its renewed focus on blues music.
While the lineup is centered around the blues, it has featured many different genres over the years. Artists like Marcy Playground, Kid Rock, Cash O’Riley, James Reeser & The Backseat Drivers, Chris Canas Band, Cee Cee Collins, Good Cookies, Big Boss Blues Band, Sugar Ray & the Bluetones, The Alligators, and Taylor Fernandez have performed at Old Town BluesFest in the past.
The festival is free for everyone to enjoy, and thousands of people from Michigan and other parts of the country attend it every year. There will be lots of other fun to be had in addition to live music like delicious food and beverages, vendors selling beautiful handicrafts, and activities for children.
Old Town BluesFest is free for everyone to attend. It is a community event that is run by volunteers and made possible by the generous donations of individuals and corporate sponsors.
Guests have the option of buying an admission pass to the Turnaround Lounge, which has often cost around $10 for both days of the event. This will give you access to a front-of-stage seating area. The lounge is also the only place where alcohol will be sold. Patrons will have to be over the age of 21 with a valid ID to enter this area.
Lansing is about one and a half hours from Detroit. The festival takes place in the streets of the Old Town area. Turner St. and East Céasar E. Chávez Avenue are usually the epicenters of all the action. You may face roadblocks or construction when driving to the area. Be sure to check the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) website for road alerts before deciding on your route.
Guests may be allowed to park a car for free on the streets surrounding the festival as well as the west side of Old Town. There will also be a designated accessible parking lot on East Céasar E. Chávez Avenue. Driving and parking larger vehicles near the Old Town area may be tricky during the festival. Consider parking your rig at your campsite and taking public transportation to get to Michigan BluesFest.
Fans can get to the venue by hopping on a bus operated by the Capital Area Transportation Authority(CATA). There is a stop right on East Céasar E. Chávez Avenue. Another hassle-free way to get to the festival is by riding your bike along the River Trail. Bike racks will be available close to the performance areas, so be sure to secure your bike before heading to the event.
Old Town BluesFest does not offer camping options as part of the event. However, you’ll have plenty of RV parks and campgrounds to choose from in the region. Be sure to book your spot well ahead of time to avoid missing out on the best campsites.
Lansing is a popular area among RVers since it is the capital of Michigan, and there is plenty to see and do. Sleepy Hollow State Park is an excellent option if you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. It is about 20 miles from the area where the festival is held.
The concerts take place on stages set up on the streets of Old Town. So you’ll need to get from one stage to the next on foot or by bicycle. Bicycles will not be allowed in the performance areas. Patrons with disabilities will be able to get around using wheelchairs, scooters, and other mobility devices.
The festival has a laid-back vibe, and most guests will be dressed in casual fall clothing. Opt for tried and true music festival attire like t-shirts, shorts, light sweaters, and maybe even jeans. Dressing in layers is a good idea so that you can be prepared for the colder evenings and nights.
Sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, and comfortable walking shoes are a must. Pack a small day bag with all your essentials. A limited number of chairs will be available close to the stages, but these tend to get filled up fast. Carry a small, low backed lawn chair so you won’t have to count on festival seating.
Take frequent breaks to get off your feet and sit down in the shade. Water will be available for purchase. Stay close to your group and keep your phone charged at all times. It’s best to leave your pets at home. The loud sound and crowds at the festival may alarm them, and they may not be allowed in some areas.
Nothing beats the autumn chill like warming, hearty dishes on a cooked on a roaring campfire. Pick up supplies at one of the local stores in Old Town and head to your campsite to cook up some skillet cornbread or an apple cobbler. Check with your camp manager before lighting an open fire, and remember to have fire safety equipment on hand.
Whether you’re in the mood for a light snack or an elaborate multi-course meal, you’ll find it in Lansing. Stop by one of the bakeries in town for some excellent coffee and baked goods. Try something new from the selections of Japanese, Italian, or Chinese cuisines. The city has no shortage of great restaurants to choose from, including a handful within the Old Town area of Lansing.
Food can be purchased from food trucks and food vendors at the Old Town BluesFest. Visitors will get the chance to sample some of the best flavors Michigan has to offer. Alcohol will only be available at the Turnaround Lounge for which you’ll need an admission pass. A wide selection of beers, wines, and spirits will be sold only in the lounge.
Private and public officers will be providing security for the event. Your bag may be checked, so make sure you’re not carrying any banned items like outside alcohol, weapons, drugs, or drug paraphernalia. If you misplace something, you can head to the lost and found area near the merchandise booth.
With daytime temperatures ranging in the low 70s, visitors may be treated to warm, pleasant weather in Michigan. If the weather turns severe, arrangements will be in place to get patrons to safety. The stages and some of the seating areas will be covered in case it rains, and there are several structures nearby where you can seek shelter.
Festival patrons will have access to basic first aid stations at the Michigan BluesFest. In the event of a medical emergency, call 911. Restrooms, including accessible facilities, will be available close to the festival area. Drug store and emergency room services are situated less than three miles from the Old Town area of Lansing.