BY JOSH PRESLEY
The 19th annual Howlin' Wolf Memorial Blues Festival is just a few short weeks away, and festival workers have been working to prepare for the artists and the influx of visitors and blues enthusiasts to the community.
The festival is hosted by the Prairie Belt Blues Foundation, and doors will open 6 p.m. Aug. 29 at the Mary Holmes College auditorium in West Point. The first act will begin at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door.
PBBF Vice President and Blues Festival Coordinator Richard Ramsey said PBBF is in the process of structuring volunteers for the festival and going through protocols for ticket, merchandise and concession sales.
"We're locked and loaded and ready for the festival," Ramsey said. "PBBF is very honored and excited to promote blues heritage in northeast Mississippi, since our state is the birthplace of the blues."
He said the blues foundation has stepped up with the entertainment this year. The lineup for the festival includes George Porter Jr. and the Runnin' Pardners, who have opened for the Rolling Stones. Mr. Sipp: The Mississippi Blues Child, who was recently featured in the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," will also be on the bill, along with Texas blues artist Carolyn Wonderland and Lightnin' Malcolm and Stud.
"I've spoken with all our acts and they're getting with our stage production people and getting set up," Ramsey said. "They're excited to come and we're excited to have them."
PBBF President Milton Sundbeck said in a previous interview that there was a desire to take the festival to a new level. He said PBBF's goal is to honor all blues legends and to promote West Point for growth and development.
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