The Mt. Baker Rhythm & Blues Festival, now in its 21st year, was founded by Bellingham’s Lloyd Peterson with the mission of showcasing both national acts and up-and-coming musicians in a family-friendly weekend event. The event was voted top Blues Festival in America by the Blues Foundation in 2013 for “keeping the blues alive.”
The 2016 festival, which includes jazz, rock, and country-roots performers, is Friday through Sunday, July 29-31, at the Deming Logging Showgrounds. Camping is free.
Last year, for the entertainment of early arrivals, an extra show was added to the bill on the night before the festival begins. This year, Ohio’s Noah Wotherspoon plays from 8 p.m. until midnight on Thursday, July 28, with a $10 cover. The Washington Blues Society will host a beer garden during this special show.
A wide selection of food and craft vendors are on site, as well as two ATM machines. Multiple beer gardens are hosted by the Washington Blues Society.
After the main stage shuts down each evening around 11 p.m., there’s a jam at the museum building that lasts until about 2 a.m. (weekend pass are needed for admission; no day-pass attendees).
Tickets, $135 for a weekend pass; $75 for Saturday-only day pass, $70 for Sunday-only day pass, are available at Avalon Records, 1330 Railroad Ave, in Bellingham, and Hugo Helmer Music, 1025 S Goldenrod Road in Burlington, and online at bakerblues.com.
Thursday, July 28
Special show, 8 p.m.-midnight: The Noah Wotherspoon Band
Friday, July 29
5-6:30 p.m.: Carson Diersing
7-8:30 p.m.: Arsen Shomakhov
9 p.m.-close: Magnus Berg
Saturday, July 30
11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: The Wasteland Kings
1-2:30 p.m.: Josey Wails
3-4:40 p.m.: Bobby Patterson Band
5-6:30 p.m.: Selwyn Birchwood
7-8:30 p.m.: Kim Simmonds and Savoy Brown
9 p.m.-close: The Yardbirds
Sunday, July 31
11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: The Naughty Blokes
1-2:30 p.m.: The Chris Eger Band
3-4:30 p.m.: The Strange Tones
5-6:30 p.m.: The Noah Wotherspoon Band
7 p.m.-close: Popa Chubby