You will have to turn elsewhere to get the blues next spring. Chesapeake Bay Events announced that its signature event, the Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival will not grace the shores of Sandy Point State Park in 2019 — but will return in 2020.
“We needed to take a year off to evaluate the changing conditions in the outdoor concert world,” said festival mastermind and producer Don Hooker.
In recent years, Hooker reports a steady increase in the cost of talent and production while at the same time the festival has strived to maintain an affordable ticket price. “As we raise prices,” he says, “demand for tickets will drop, but with the cost of talent on the rise, we must either raise ticket prices or lower expenses by being more selective in the artists we book.”
Other factors that influenced the decision were a decrease in the number of concert-goers, an increase in the number of large concerts blocking bands from playing within a given radius and an increase in rainfall over the past few years.
“Our fans are extremely loyal and despite these changes, we have tried to respond in kind; going on with the show no matter what. Hopefully, they will understand why we needed to step back and re-think our strategy,” Hooker says.
Blues fans are asked to continue to support Special Love and We Care and Friends, the primary beneficiaries of the Bay Blues Festival proceeds.
“We will miss our CBBF family in 2019,” Hooker says, “but hopefully we will see everyone in May 2020.”