Jeff Daniels appears with The Ben Daniels Band in Marquette

Blues fest rocks on despite gloomy weather. Marquette Area Blues Society’s 11th Annual Blues Fest kicks off in Marquette’s Lower Harbor. Photo Courtesy of Steve Lindberg

MARQUETTE, Mich. — The gates are open and the Marquette Area Blues Fest is now underway, with two popular bands kicking off a weekend filled with music. Tonight is the only night that the festival is free of charge.

Tonight’s lineup includes popular blues singer, actor and playwright Jeff Daniels with his band and then, at 8:00 p.m., The Jimmys, who’ve played the festival previously and had been asked back.

On Saturday and Sunday, the bands get started at 1:00 p.m. with the last performances at 8:00 p.m., so if you’re feeling a bit bluesy, grab a blanket, a chair and an umbrella and head out for tonight’s performances.

This year’s festival promises to be the best yet—starting with a FREE concert on Friday night as a “Thank You” to all of the support from the community. The Friday FREE Show features singer/songwriter and actor Jeff Daniels performing with his son’s group, The Ben Daniels Band. Closing out the night will be the horn-driven sounds of the award-winning blues-funk big band The JIMMYS from Madison, Wisconsin.

Gates open for the FREE Friday night show at 5:00pm and the music starts up at 6:00pm. No tickets are required for Friday’s show.

Saturday and Sunday will be filled all day long with a stellar lineup of blues, from local and regional bands to national and world-renowned acts.

Headlining the festival on Saturday night will be the smoky, smooth blues and soul of vocalist Johnny Rawls from Mississippi, followed by the unstoppable West Coast harmonica stylings of Rick Estrin & the Nightcats.

On Sunday, the festival headliners feature the true gritty Windy City guitar and vocals of Chicago blues legend Lurrie Bell, and closing out the weekend is powerhouse vocalist and entertainer Nikki Hill from North Carolina.

Gates on Saturday and Sunday open at Noon and the music starts at 1:00pm. Tickets are required for the Saturday and Sunday shows.

Advanced tickets are $45 for the weekend and are available through NMU EZ Tickets via phone at (906) 227-1032, or various locations around the Upper Peninsula. $10 daily student tickets (ages 15-23) available daily at the gate, children 14 and under are free with paid adult.

In addition to great Blues music throughout the weekend, there will be a wide array of delicious foods, arts and crafts, interactive artist workshops, blues merchandise, and a fully stocked beverage tent with a great selection of local craft brews, imported and domestic favorites as well as a selection of wines.

The festival will take place rain or shine. Lawn chairs and blankets are welcomed for festival seating, no carry-ins will be allowed. All times are Eastern and lineup is subject to change.

TICKET OULETS: Marquette – Jim’s Music, MacDonald’s Music, Marquette Wallpaper & Paint and the NMU Superior Dome Ticket Office. Houghton – Good Times Music, Iron Mountain – The Music Tree and Escanaba – The Record Rack.

For more ticket, lodging, and general information, check out the website at

The 11th Annual Marquette Area Blues Fest features three days of world class blues on the shores of Lake Superior in the Mattson Lower Harbor Park in downtown Marquette, Michigan, August 29-31, 2014.

It’s time to grab a chair and a blanket, then head down to Marquette’s lower harbor. You’ve heard the saying, “Living for the Weekend,” well this weekend is a special one to get ready for.

The 11th annual Marquette Area Blues Fest kicks off Friday night and goes until Sunday night. The stellar lineup includes local, national and award–winning artists. Friday night gets rockin’ with blues singer, actor and playwright Jeff Daniels and, back by popular demand, The Jimmy’s. To thank the community, the Marquette Area Blues Society has once again made Friday free of charge.

“We try and bring a little bit of something for everybody, anything from acoustic blues to old school Chicago blues, horn–driven blues to soul and R & B blues, so there is a little bit of everything,” said Mark Hamari, President, Marquette Area Blues Society.

You can buy advance weekend 2–day passes for $45 dollars or single adult day advance tickets for $30 each. Student tickets are $10 a day. The lineup is one to be admired and even festival organizers are excited to see the artists.

“It’s hard to pick a favorite but there are some acts I haven’t seen like the headlines. On Saturday is Rick Estrin and the Nightcats and on Sunday there is Nikki Hill and I hear they both put on a great show,” continued Hamari.

The festival includes a beverage tent, food vendors as well as some arts and crafts. For the complete line-up and festival information visit