The Fargo Blues Festival is an annual 2-day, 12-band blues explosion that features worldclass blues performers. In 20 years, it has established itself as one of the premiere blues festivals in the upper midwest while continuing to grow. It has hosted some of the biggest blues names in the world such as Keb' Mo', Delbert McClinton, John Mayall, Charlie Musselwhite, Johnny Winter, Pinteop Perkins, Anson Fundurburgh, Jeff Healey, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, and many more. In fact, it has hosted 40+ Grammy Award winning / nominated bands, 3 members of the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame, Blues Hall Of Fame, dozens of WC Handy Award winners, and veterans of the original Woodstock! The show has received national exposure and a thumbs up from Dan Ackroyd (aka Elwood Blues) on his nationally syndicated House of Blues Radio hour.
Fargo, ND has become a hotbed for young and upcoming blues talents. Jonny Lang, Shannon Curfman, and The Keller Brothers all started their respective careers right here in Fargo North Dakota. Coincidence? Pat Hayes from the Lamont Cranston Blues Band put it best at the sold out 1st annual Fargo Winter Blues Fest, "It must be something in the water."
Where is the blues festival held at?
The Blues Fest is held on the grass at Newman Outdoor Field, the home of the FM RedHawks, a professional American Association baseball club. To see the stadium, got to www.fmredhawks.com It is a 1st rate venue!HAmerican Association
Where is the stage located and where do we sit?
It is "festival seating." The stage is placed in the outfield and the crowd spreads out on the grass in lawnchairs and blankets. Many people arive early to "mark their territory." People also sit in the bleachers or go "'upstairs" in the shade under the concourse. (roofed area) There are a few picnic areas in the stadium and of course, beer gardens.
Can I bring a cooler into the stadium?
No. There are many beer and food vendors inside Newman Outdoor Field. The beer and food vendors is part of the festival experience.
What's up with the food & gift vendors?
There are roughly 40 beer food and gift booths. Some are located "downstairs" on the playing field and some are located "upstairs" under the concourse. You will find many of the same food vendors that you will see at the RRV fair, the street fair, and at F-M Redhawks games. Other things include back massages, tie dye shirts, sunglasses, jewelry, cigars, and much more. 4
Can I leave the show and come back later?
Yes. Do not lose your ticket
Can I bring a camera?
Yes. Camera's are allowed. If a band does not want to be photographed, our staff will let you know. Only news media may bring a video camera.
Is smoking allowed in the stadium?
Smoking is allowed in designated areas.
Can I bring a lawnchair?
Yes, lawnchairs are allowed and encouraged. Just make sure it's not one of those old fashioned spiked ones. Also ground markers are not allowed.
Can I bring my kids to the show?
Yes, kids 8 and under are free with a paid adult. There is a small kids playground Although we are more laid back and family friendly compared to some of the other festivals, we ask you to use common sense when bringing your kids.
Are there alot of restrooms?
There are clean bathrooms located "upstairs" and porta potties located "downstairs on the field area. The upstairs bathrooms alone are sufficient for a sold out Redhawks game. There will not be a long line to use the bathrooms.
What's the deal with the campground?
The campground is located a few blocks from the stadium at the (west side) FargoDome tailgate lot. You can bring an RV, pop-up camper, van, car, or motorcycle. You can place a tent in the shelter belt. Camping is at a first come first serve basis. No dogs allowed in the campground or baseball stadium!
There are no hookups. There will be "portable bathrooms" on hand..
Be sure to bring a grill and a cooler. Contained fires are allowed. One pass is $30 in advance. One camping pass per vehicle with a limit of 4 people per vehicle. If your a last minute camper, you can purchase your pass for $35 at the campsite.
Camping begins Friday at 8:00 am and ends Sunday at noon. You must leave by Sunday at noon.
What is the backstage area?
Backstage passes are on sale now and are going fast! This pass includes 3 meals (1 Fri 2 Sat), limited beer, pop, water, access to the VIP tent, backstage access (within' reason), and "meet and greets" when available. We reserve the right to temporarily clear out the backstage area. NOTE: Backstage passes may be purchased at the blues festival.. See the "Mother's Music" tent.
What should I bring?
Of course, this depends on how you will be attending the show. If your just going to see a couple of bands, you probably don't need all of the below. If you plan on taking in the entire festival experience for both days, we suggest most of the following...
Layer of clothes- It can be very hot in the day and cooler at night
Drivers License- If you plan on drinking alcohol.
Pens- In the autograph tent, many of the bands will sign items for you. If you have a special item, you may want to bring a sharpie pen.
Your tickets! Do not lose your ticket or you will need to purchase them again.. Very strictly enforced
Blankets- Blankets are fine but please do not bring rubber tarps.
Cell phone- Feel free to bring them with you.
Umbrella Umbrellas are allowed in the back rows only.
Sunglasses- If you forget your sunglasses, we will be selling them
Cap If you do not have a cap, we will be selling them too
Money Many of the vendors only accept cash. You may want to buy some of the bands CD's or a Blues Fest T-shirt.There is an ATM machine localted "upstairs."
Bring a hackey sack. It's a huge area, so if you can find enough space early in the day, bring a nerf football to toss around. No hardballs please.
Bugspray- The field is extensively sprayed but we recommend it just to be on the safe side.
Are there any "Blues After Hours?
Yes. If you want to see some live music when the blues fest is over, there are many live bands playing over the weekend.Click here for more details!
Is there handicap parking and assistance?
Can you drink alcohol outside of Newman Outdoor Field?
Alcohol is permitted inside the stadium but not outside the stadium in the NDSU parking lots. $100 Fine.