Expect double the harmonica, twice as much guitar and two times as many sad songs about heartache and lost love if you attend the Bisbee Blues Festival this weekend.
For the first time in nine years, the event is expanding to two days. It starts on Friday afternoon and runs all day on Saturday.
Deanna La Velle, director of the Bisbee Chamber of Commerce, said organizers hope the event will be bigger than ever this year.
“When you think of a festival, you think of something big,” La Velle said. “One day to us was more of a normal music event. We want people to come to our town and enjoy it for more than just one day.”
The festival will feature two stages. The main stage, in City Park in Old Bisbee, will feature an array of regional and national performers.
Deanna Bogart, a pianist and sax player from the Washington, D.C. area, headlines Friday’s festivities.
Blues harp player Curtis Salgado from Portland, Ore. will close things out on Saturday.
Salgado took home three major honors at the national 2013 Blues Music Awards in May, including the nod for B.B. King Entertainer of the Year and awards for soul blues male artist of the year and soul blues album of the year.
La Velle said the chamber booked Salgado a few weeks before his big wins.
“We were very lucky,” she said.
The second stage, at Grassy Park, also in Old Bisbee, will showcase local talent.
The event has been moved back to Old Bisbee this year after a several years at Warren Ballpark.
“If you want to take a break from the music, you can visit the restaurants, grab a beer or go shopping in Old Bisbee,” La Velle said. “You were pretty much stuck when it was at Warren Ballpark.”
With a two-day event, the chamber is hoping fans of the fest will be willing the pay double the money.
Tickets are only available in advance as two-day passes, which run $40 per person.
They are available at all Zia Records locations in Tucson and Phoenix, online at thebisbeebluesfestival.com and at Safeway locations in Sierra Vista, Bisbee and Benson.
The festival starts at 5 p.m. on Friday and 11:30 a.m. on Saturday. Call 1-520-432-5421 for more information.