Blues Festival takes over Rockland
Rockland — The atmosphere in Rockland's downtown was transformed Saturday and Sunday, July 12 and 13, as the 21st annual North Atlantic Blues Festival spilled its music and thousands of fans out of Harbor Park and down Main Street.
Performers from around the nation and the world took the stage before a massive crowd gathered in the waterfront park. Many of the fans danced to the blues sounds while others enjoyed the festival from the comfort of their chairs. The weather was warm and sunny.
The Saturday night club crawl saw thousands of people fill the city's Main Street and local clubs. Benjamin announced Sunday morning there were no arrests, not even the "couple of locals" who usually get in trouble.
Sunday, July 13, began just as sunny, a tad more humid but with a good sea breeze to compensate. Highlights included the annual Raising the Blues' Raising Aspirations award presentation, given this year to Zeke Bryant, who gets a guitar, amp and music lessons. The non-profit charitable organization is dedicated upbringing music to children undergo in medical treatment or recovery; and children with physical, emotional or educational challenges.
Clouds began to roll in and the wind picked up during the last set, which ended with an unusual event: all five guitar masters who had played that day joined together for a final number — a roadie's nightmare and a blues lover's dream. It was a short dream, however; due to an approaching line of storms on the radar; Benjamin announced that the festival was over before 6 p.m.