History Of Mile High Blues Festival
The history of the Mile High Blues Festival includes the acts and the venue. The two-day Henderson, Colorado festival started in August 2009 with performances at the Mile High Marketplace Event Center Complex, located a few minutes away from downtown Denver. The Greater Denver area has a rich history of music and concerts. The history of the Mile High Blues Festival is not complete without a brief nod to the original Mile High Blues Festival. Technically, the new enterprise should have a "new" designation, but since the last festival lapsed sometime in the mid-2000s, the promoters figured new fans might not be aware of the years without a big blues blast.
The Mile High Marketplace Event Center complex is an 80-acre property that incorporates both an indoor and outdoor venue area. Property co-owner Jim Hurrell transformed the former outdoor flea-market in 2007 to add enclosed, upscale venues suitable for concert performances. The festival is an annual event held in the permanent tent area called the "Shasta Peaks" that adopts the architectural styling of the Denver International Airport. The large pointed tent tops allow diffused lighting while keeping the weather out. The 25,000 square foot tent space has a 40-foot ceiling with fans that keep the air circulating through the venue space.
The history of the Mile High Blues Festival includes three main stages. The Main Stage features performers beginning in the afternoon and the music continues until dinnertime. The Marketplace State is located at 3rd Avenue and "L" Street and focuses on one group with duplicate performances. The Future of the Blues Stage
The two-day festival integrates acts on three stages. Blues soloists and groups performing in 2009 included Eden Brent, John Hammond and Jimmy Thackery. Acts for 2010 featured Jimmy Hall, Mike Zito, Ashley Cleveland, Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band and Ruthie Foster. Soul Collective, Rick Estrain and the Night Cats and Ryan McGarvey and the Delta Sonics performed both in 2009 and 2010. Dan Treanor and the Afrosippi Blues Band also took the stage at the 2010 event.
Part of the entertainment related to the Mile High Blues Festival includes the food and the public display of cooking. BBQ, Creole and Cajun food are featured over the two day events. The event also encourages blues education. A portion of the event profits are channeled to the Colorado Blues Society, an organization dedicated to keeping Blues music alive in the Rocky Mountain State. The history of the Mile High Blues Festival also features the activities occurring during the event in the area adjacent to the concert stages. The 2010 festival also featured blues DJ performances from platter spinners from throughout the U.S.
Learn the harmonic and blues dancing at the festival. If you're a fan of harmonica playing, the related concert event invites ticket holders to practice their skills at harmonica workshops conducted by festival performers. The instruction is open to all and previous professional experience is not required. The dance instruction covers all elements and styles; from the formal tango to "gettin' janky," the funkiest form of blues dancing. Classes require separate registration.
The festival's after-party event is open to all concert goers. Guests can hobnob with acts from the festival and meet with one featured performer at a local Denver bar or restaurant. Tickets for the after party event are sold separately from the main event tickets. The 2010 featured guest for the event was Mike Zito.