Northern California Blues Festival To Debut In June

The organizers of the eight year old Blues in the Park, the Fair Oaks Blues & More Festival, announced today, the new name of their expanded event — the Northern California Blues Festival, reflecting their growing vision of what the festival represents and who it serves.

"While it took a while for us to get there, the decision to change the name to Northern California Blues Festival gives the event a whole new life," says Matson Breakey, organizer for the growing festival.

First established in 2000 by local Realtor Sterling Watkins and the Fair Oaks Recreation & Park District, Blues in the Park was a fundraiser for local non-profit WEAVE (Women Escaping A Violent Environment). In 2004, with changing dynamics and changing priorities the event was going to be cancelled, but a team led by Matson Breakey of Creative Cats Presents and co-founder of the West Coast Brew Fest and the Fair Oaks’toberfest, made it his mission to keep the event alive.

"Nobody wanted the event," says Matson. "WEAVE had other priorities and the Fair Oaks Recreation & Park District did not have the staffing to handle it alone. So, with the endorsement of Sterling Watkins, I took on the challenge of keeping Blues in Sacramento."

To do so, Blues in the Park became a community-based event supporting a number of non-profit organizations like The Make A Difference Project and Yes 2 Kollege. Three years later, Blues in the Park is still going strong and has brought out the likes of Zakiya Hooker, daughter of John Lee Hooker, and Shana Morrison, daughter of Van Morrison.

This year, with a new partnerships and a new vision, Sacramento’s only Blues festival is going through another evolution. According to Matson "this latest change is about growing the event to serve all the Blues lovers of Northern California and beyond, while serving very timely causes."

The Northern California Blues Fest will feature six artists starting at Noon and going until 10:00 pm.

"The Line-Up this year is incredible," says William Neece, who handles booking the talent for NCBF, "our headliner is the very talented and Grammy Award-winning Joe Louis Walker. Along with the legendary Chris Cain, master showman Shane Dwight, and local rising star Lara Price, it’s the greatest talent line-up we’ve had in eight years!"

Additional performers will include local favorites Strictly for Kicks and the day will start with the Steve Foster Band.

General seating tickets are available online at and at local vendors including the Fair Oaks Recreation & Park District, Sacramento Brewing and SBC’s Oasis. Tickets will be $25 at the gate, but purchase your tickets early and save $5. Seniors and students are only $15.

Gates open at 11:30 and the first band starts promptly at Noon.

Related Content

Recent Posts

New to Glide

Keep up-to-date with Glide