Blues fest tickets nearly sold out, and this year’s festival has new configuration

Organizers expect tickets for this year’s Bradenton Blues Festival, scheduled for Dec. 2 on the Riverwalk, will sell out before Thanksgiving.
Organizers expect tickets for this year’s Bradenton Blues Festival, scheduled for Dec. 2 on the Riverwalk, will sell out before Thanksgiving. Herald file photo

Are you planning on going to the 2017 Bradenton Blues Festival on Dec. 2? If so, do you have tickets?

If you answered yes to the first question and no to the second, grab your credit card and get to bradentonbluesfestival.org soon.

Like, right now would be good.

As of Thursday, the festival’s web page said only a few tickets were still available and included a warning in big red letters that declared “TICKET ALERT: We are nearly sold out!” and a warning that tickets probably would be gone “well before Thanksgiving.”

Tickets are $35 for adults ($30 each for groups of 10 or more), $20 for students and $10 for children 5-12.

The lineup this year includes Sugar Blue (who played harmonica on “Miss You” by the Rolling Stones), zydeco superstar Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band, and Blues Hall of Fame inductee Joe Louis Walker.

If you prefer to get tickets by phone, call 941-621-6471.

Music from a new angle

If you’re a veteran of past Bradenton Blues Festivals (and if you get tickets before they sell out), you’ll see a difference this year. Organizers are hoping you’ll hear a difference, too.

They’re moving the stage from the spot it’s always been, with this year’s stage farther to the south and angled more toward the water.

The reason: The sound had always bounced off the area directly across the park, where the VIP seats are, leading to muddy sound in some parts of the audience. The new location should alleviate that.

It also should make the sound better for those who spend the festival outside the fences, sitting on the Riverwalk. In addition, it allowed organizers to sell 100 additional tickets.

Live theater (kind of)

There’s no shortage of amazing live theater in this area, but some of us crave even more. And going to live shows can get expensive.

The National Theatre Live series offers a great complement or alternative to seeing live shows. The productions come from one of the world’s most prestigious companies, and the casts include some of the best and best-known actors in the world.

And tickets only cost $20.

Locally, the series screens at the Ringing Museum of Art in Sarasota.

Upcoming plays include:

  • Harold Pinter’s “No Man’s Land” with Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan (Dec. 1);
  • “Peter Pan” (Dec. 15);
  • Stephen Sondeim’s “Follies” (Jan. 19);
  • George Bernard Shaw’s “Saint Joan,” starring Gemma Arteron (Feb. 2);
  • “Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” (Feb. 9);
  • Edward Albee’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” (Feb. 23);
  • “Salome,” a retelling of the classic tale by Yael Farber (March 16)
  • “Yerma,” by Federico Garcia Lorca (April 20);
  • Tennessee Williams’ “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” (May 11).

Most have 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. screenings. Call 941-359-5700 or go to ringling.org.

Marty Clear: 941-708-7919, @martinclear