Bayfront Blues Festival sees excellent attendance, lively characters

By KBJR News 1

August 10, 2014 Updated Aug 10, 2014 at 10:54 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- Sunday was the epic conclusion of the 26th annual Bayfront Blues Festival, which brought thousands to Bayfront Festival Park, in Duluth, to groove to the sights and sounds of the rhythm and blues.

"On Saturday night when you look out and there's no green space to be found, you know, it's a good festival" said Director of Media Relations, Cyndee Parsons.

...a good festival that could be record setting.

"So far it's been one of the best attended festivals we've ever had, which is fabulous and we hope that we continue to grow" said Parsons.

And as it does grow it has many who keep coming back.

"I'm coming with this group over here from Northeast Minneapolis. There's about 40 of us that come up every year" said festival goer, Rick Lupient.

And people aren't just coming from Minnesota to hear the music.

"We've had people come from Australia, Germany, they come from all over the world" said Parsons.

This year, was made exceptionally good thanks to great weather.

"I don't really look at the lineup, I just come and have fun and you know what it all sounds good. I think this year, the weather's been fabulous. It hasn't rained yet" said Lupient.

...which helps because the festival has plenty to live up to after last year.

"Last year was the pinnacle 25 years of it being around and this year it's even bigger and better than ever" said longtime festival goer, Brian E. Krieg.

Many say the music seems to keep getting better as the festival ages...

"This is one of the better ones I think, at least for me, there's been more danceable music and I'll dance every danceable song there is..." said longtime festival goer, Erwin "Boogiecat" Laitala.

That's Erwin "Boogiecat" Laitala of Ely.
He's just one of the characters you'll see at the festival.
Just like the blues music he enjoys, his roots are also deep in the festival.

"I have been coming here since the beginning. I think it was 1988 and it was pouring down rain and I had this act that I did" said Boogiecat.

That act is his memorable dance he's done every year since.
His record is dancing to 71 songs in one day and on Sunday he was up to song number 17, enjoying himself while others enjoyed his moves.
And after seeing him dance, many would follow in his footsteps, making this year's Bayfront Blues Festival one to remember.

Tickets for next year's festival were on sale at this weekend's event and will be available until next year.

Bryce Henry