Donations sought for June blues festival at RiverHawks Stadium

• Group seeks $2,000 in donations on Kickstarter by Jan. 19, 2013

By Steve Jones
President, Crossroads Blues Society and Festival Chairman

We want to bring a blues festival back to Rockford, and RiverHawks Stadium has agreed to let us host one there on June 22, 2013!

A blues festival in the Rockford metro area has been a dream for Crossroads Blues Society to get started up. We have set a fund-raising goal of $4,000 to make this event a reality. We are seeking corporate sponsorship in a traditional manner, and we are also trying Kickstarter as a way to get this rolling. To inaugurate this event for 2013, we want to raise at least $2,000 via Kickstarter by 6:30 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 19, to help defray the costs and allow us to bring the blues back to Rockford! (See

Public lands have always been a hard thing to utilize. The city has a 50-plus-page document to fill out to use public lands (including parks) for any private event. We have been looking for a place on private property that is conducive to making this a success, and we have come to an agreement with the Rockford RiverHawks baseball team to use RiverHawks Stadium as a venue for a blues festival. We need a place that is easy to manage, and they need people to use the stadium for other uses, and we have agreed to work together to make June 22, 2013, the day to hold the first blues festival in the Rockford area in several years.

Crossroads works with the Byron Bar Association to run the Byron Crossroads Blues Festival. This festival has been a success for the first three years of its life, and it will continue as a great Saturday event the weekend before Labor Day.

The Forest City needs its own festival. Yes, it has On the Waterfront, which has the blues and so much more. We want a festival completely devoted to the blues and music, and we know there are people out there who do, too! We are here on Kickstarter to get this off the ground and started. If we prove it can be done, we will be able to go to local businesses with the inaugural event under our belts as proof it is viable.

Crossroads is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose aim is to raise money for Blues In The Schools, which we call BITS. BITS is an effort to bring blues musicians into local schools to educate students about the roots of all American popular music and to entertain them. Help us get this festival started so we can expand our BITS program and bring a great new annual event to the greater Rockford area! Sponsorships start at only $15.

From the Dec. 12-18, 2012, issue

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