Despite a background of songs about heartache and rainy days, it was sunny skies and smiling faces that prevailed at the Maine Blues Festival in Naples last weekend.
The festival, held at 10 venues along the Naples Causeway on Route 302 (recently renamed in honor of the late Robert Neault), featured more than 40 musical acts.
The annual event typically brings roughly 5,000 people to the area. And although it’s too early to say exactly how many people came to this year’s festival, Kevin Kimball, co-founder and director, said he “wouldn’t be surprised if it was a record-breaker on attendance.”
The weather and the music were all “spectacular,” and everybody from the musicians to staff and volunteers “brought their A-games,” Kimball said.
In the lawn outside Merced’s restaurant and bar on Saturday afternoon, Meredith Alanskas was enjoying her first year at the Maine Blues Festival.
Alasnkas and her son were listening to the Colwell Brothers play on an outdoor stage. She said said she was most enjoying the music and being outside. Later in the evening, she planned to watch a family member perform.
Also at Merced’s was volunteer Peter Eliot, who was checking for wristbands, each attendee’s $18 ticket to all Blues Festival venues.
The fair weather was not an anomaly, he said. The festival has been lucky to have similar weather for the past few years. Indeed, the festival has never been rained out in its 11-year history, Kimball said.
Festivalgoer Aniya Roberts, 4, sporting a grinning face and a painted cheek, was enjoying the weather, the music–and the dancing. She was dancing with her grandmother, Connie Roberts, on the grass along the causeway, where others had gathered with lawn chairs to enjoy the music from afar. Connie Roberts said she and Aniya’s grandfather have brought her to the festival for the last few years.