It has been an incredible month for our beloved Capital city. Spring has officially hit, and with that we are able to emerge from our various residencies and take in the Louisiana sun (for better or worse). This also means that it is officially festival season!
As time has shown, the festivals have become a great gathering point for the local community, especially as a way to bridge the gap between all parts of the Greater Baton Rouge Area. It has also provided a place for our local talent to play to a larger audience and network with other musicians.
As this month has shown, Baton Rouge festivals are continuing to feature big names in the city of Slim Harpo.
At the Third Street Songwriter’s Festival, their headliner, Jeffrey Steele, brought a show that didn’t just feel like a concert, but like an interactive set. Known for writing several hits for Rascal Flatts including “What Hurts the Most” and “Here” and Tim McGraw’s “The Cowboy in Me”, Steele brought the party that got everyone going. His show didn’t just feel like a concert; it felt like an interactive set as he played his number one hits and gave insights into how most of the songs came to be. Beforehand when local songwriters CJ Solar, Rick Huckaby and Blake Griffith opened for Steele, it felt like a welcome home party. Fans watched as the three songwriters showed off their body of work made during their time in Nashville. Each of them are fantastic storytellers with their own distinct styles and yet are able to weave together beautifully when playing together.
The same can be said for the more recent 2019 Baton Rouge Blues Festival in terms of attracting big names. Through its 25th anniversary, our city was given a chance of a lifetime to see the great Mavis Staples, Kenny Neal, and more all in one weekend. As the crowd sat along the hill overlooking the Crown Royal LA 1 Stage, Staples put on one of the most soulful performances the festival has seen since the late Charles Bradley. And the crowd ate all of it up.
Both of these festivals saw the public check out local businesses and various vendors which provides new customers and opportunities. The impact that these festivals provide cannot be overstated, and we hope to see more festivals emerge, not just downtown, but across the Greater Baton Rouge Area.