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Thursday, March 11, 2010

New Downtown Blues Festival in Works, Organizers Also Want to Take Over "Pre-Existing" Jazz Festival

Posted By on Thu, Mar 11, 2010 at 11:55 AM

St. Louisans could have a new blues festival to add to their list of outdoor summer music options, if a local production company's plans go through.

Mike Kociela, far right, at a press conference on Thursday announcing events for downtown this summer. Kociela wants to bring a new blues festival to downtown and move a "pre-existing" jazz festival downtown.
  • Mike Kociela, far right, at a press conference on Thursday announcing events for downtown this summer. Kociela wants to bring a new blues festival to downtown and move a "pre-existing" jazz festival downtown.
Mike Kociela and K. Sonderegger, who collaboratively operate Entertainment St. Louis, have plans to launch the music festival downtown this summer. Kociela and Sonderegger, who also organize the three-day Taste of St. Louis festival each October, couldn't confirm the date of the festival, but Kociela said more information would be released in the next two to three weeks.

The festival's primary music partner would be STLBlues.net, a 10-year-old Web site by Dave Beardsley, the self-described "chief cook & bottlewasher."

There's another project afoot by Entertainment St. Louis as well: The group plans to take on (but not "Shanghai," they note) a pre-existing jazz festival in St. Louis, and also move it downtown. Kociela wouldn't name the jazz festival in question.

Kociela announced the plans briefly on Thursday morning during a press conference at Flamingo Bowl on Washington Avenue. The conference was also the setting for announcements for other downtown events this summer, including the 2010 RFT Music Showcase's migration to downtown from the Delmar Loop, the debut of of a downtown farmers' market on Thursdays and the announcement of dates for this fall's Taste of St. Louis.

Entertainment St. Louis is the firm that also organizes and puts on each summer's RFT Music Showcase.

Video of the official remarks by KSDK:

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