From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Long Beach Blues Festival
Long Beach Blues Festival Logo (2007)
Genre Blues
Dates2 days on Labor Day Weekend
Location(s) Long Beach, California, United States
Years active 1980 - 2009

The Long Beach Blues Festival, in Long Beach, California, United States, was established fully in 1980, [1] and was one of the largest blues festivals and was the second oldest on the West Coast (first being the San Francisco Blues Festival). It was held on Saturday and Sunday of Labor Day weekend. [2] For many years it was held on the athletic field on the California State University, Long Beach campus. The 2009 festival, the 30th annual, was held at Rainbow Lagoon in downtown Long Beach. [3] The Festival went on hiatus in 2010, and has not been held since.

The festival was organized and used as a fundraiser by KKJZ, a publicly supported radio station on the CSULB campus broadcasting blues and jazz in Southern California.


The former Festival Site at CSULB campus (2003)
John Lee Hooker performing at the Long Beach Blues Festival, California, August 31, 1997

The Festival was set up in 1980 by jazz radio station KLON (later renamed to KKJZ) in Long Beach, California under the direction of Bernie Pearl, [1] who was the host of a blues program "Nothing But The Blues" on KLON at the time. The first Festival was a one-day event titled the "KLON Blues & Gospel Festival" held at Veterans Stadium in Long Beach, drawing only a small crowd of 700, resulting in a loss of $7,000 for the radio station. The Festival grew larger each year, becoming a major fund raising event for KLON. From 1996 through 2000, KLON expanded the event to 3 days utilizing the entire Labor Day weekend. It went back to the 2-day event in 2001 because CSULB wanted Labor Day to clean up the field for their use in the new school semester. The Festival venue for the second Fest and thereafter was the North Athletic Field at Cal State University, Long Beach (CSULB), with the exception of 1992 which was held at Shoreline Aquatic Park in downtown Long Beach, and at Rainbow Lagoon in downtown Long Beach beginning in 2008 and 2009.

In 2010, the Blues Festival went on hiatus because of economic conditions and was replaced with a one-day 'Blues Bash', held at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center on the CSULB campus. [4]

Past festival lineups

See also


  1. ^ a b Grobaty, Tim (May 27, 2009). "Tim Grobaty: At 30, trust Blues fest to be a must-hear". Long Beach, California: Press-Telegram Long Beach, California. Retrieved 4 December 2009.
  2. ^ Russell, Tony (1997). The Blues: From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray. Dubai: Carlton Books Limited. p. 219. ISBN  1-85868-255-X.
  3. ^ "KKJZ 88.1 FM presents The Long Beach Blues Festival". Retrieved 2012-06-04.[ permanent dead link]
  4. ^ Grobaty, Tim (July 8, 2010). "Blues Bash is replacing Long Beach Blues Festival this year". Press-Telegram (Long Beach). Retrieved 2 August 2010.