Chicago Blues Fest in Brief:
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About Chicago Blues Fest:
The Chicago Blues Festival, the world's largest free event of its kind, draws blues legends from all over to perform on one of its five stages to over a half million attendees.
Chicago blues developed after the Great Migration, when a large number of African-Americans moved to the city from the South in the early 1900s to escape prejudice and to seek work, and they brought the Delta blues influence with them -- the main difference being the Chicago blues style ditched the acoustic guitar and replaced it with an electric one. Since then, the blues culture in the city has grown tremendously and a number of blues clubs still permeate Chicago.
So its no surprise that the Chicago Blues Festival attracts renowned blues acts, and 2011 is no different with appearances from performers such as David "Honeyboy" Edwards, Lonnie Brooks, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, Billy Branch and more.
The festival starts off on Friday with a tribute to Robert Johnson in honor of his 100th birthday. Johnson wrote the city's unofficial theme song, the blues standard "Sweet Home Chicago" which has been covered by countless performers and immortalized by The Blue Brothers. Johnson became a blues guitar master at such a young age, the famous "Crossroads" legend arose that Johnson met the Devil one night at midnight and exchanged his soul for the ability to play the blues.
The festival continues on Saturday and Sunday with virtually non-stop blues music as well as brief panel discussions at 11:30 a.m. each day on the Mississippi Juke Joint Stage.
Food and drinks are sold during the event, via the use of tickets sold in strips of 12 for $8, with choices ranging from typical festival fare like burgers and pizza slices, as well as some more diverse choices like Cajun and Asian cuisines. Visitors are also welcome to bring their own food and drinks, with the exception of glass containers and alcohol.