When it comes to blues music, Westport is not exactly Chicago or Memphis.
And when you’re talking barbecue, Kansas City and Atlanta come to mind far quicker than this place.
But over the past 6 years — thanks to the Blues, Views & BBQ Festival — the Westport Downtown Merchants Association has done a phenomenal job putting our town on the music and culinary maps.
The 7th annual event — set for Saturday and Sunday, August 30-31 on Labor Day weekend — will make all previous ones look like county fairs.
Blues, rock, brass and funk fans will be blown away by the lineup. The WDMA has signed Spin Doctors, Rick Derringer and a host of other big names — Bill Kirchen, Pop Chubby, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Raw Oyster Cult and Reverend Raven and the Chain Smokin’ Altar Boys, to name a few — and rented the new Levitt Pavilion for 2 days of fantastic entertainment.
There’s 9 hours of music each day, for the very cool pre-pay price of $50 Saturday and $25 Sunday ($60 and $30 respectively, at the door). A 2-day pass is just $70 — and kids under 12 are free, with a paying adult.
(For Westporters only — and only through August 17 — the Saturday all-access pass is $40. The regular pre-sale price is $50; on-site, it’s $60.)
Meanwhile, the “Family Fun Fest” — in the library and Imperial Avenue parking lots — features plenty of food (including Bobby Q’s, but also from Blue Lemon, Meltmobile, Rolling Cones and others, plus of course a worthy selection of beverages); the always popular BBQ competition; rib- and pie-eating contests; cooking demonstrations; music (including School of Rock kids); bouncy stuff, and all that jazz.
And the price for that has been cut, from $25 last year to just $10. Kids 12 and under go free.
The WDMA does a great job — often without proper credit — promoting free community events, like the Fine Arts Festival, Halloween Parade and Art About Town. They donate to other non-profits, and with projects like Tunnel Vision they beautify downtown.
The Blues, Views & BBQ Festival is the WDMA’s signature event. In just 2 weeks, Westport will be smokin’.
(For advance tickets and more information, click on http://www.bluesviewsbbq.com or call 203-505-8716. Gates open at 11 a.m. Music starts at noon, and goes straight through to 9:30 p.m.)