Blues Festival Returns


By Kathy Knotts 

It’s been a drought for festival lovers in the Bay region over the last two years. But there’s good news for Blues fans—the Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival is back for 2022. 

The festival was postponed in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic, but organizers say the music will return to the stage this year. 

Chesapeake Bay Events, the father-daughter combo of promoter Don Hooker and Sarah Petska, announced an all-star lineup for the two-day music event at Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis. The festival, held May 21 and 22, gives all net proceeds to local charities like We Care and Friends, a nonprofit that works with the homeless, prison re-entry, and substance abuse programs. It has raised over $1 million for charity over its 20-plus year history. 

Headliners for the 2022 festival are Joss Stone and the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band. Also on the line-up are The Spinners, Samantha Fish, the North Mississippi Allstars, Bernard Allison, Danielle Nicole, Altered Five Blues Band, Elektric Voodoo, and Ally Venable among others. The festival will also feature local groups such as the Naptown Brass Band and the Chesapeake Bay Blues Band. This year’s sponsors are Bud Light, Katcef Brothers Distribution and Red Hot and Blue. 

Chesapeake Bay Events held its first festival in 1998 and quickly gained national notoriety as one of the premier Blues festivals in the world. Past headliners have included James Brown, Bonnie Raitt, Aretha Franklin, Gregg Allman, and John Lee Hooker. Early bird general admission one- and two-day passes, plus VIP packages, are on sale now ($80-$130):