On May 24th and 25th, as part of the long Memorial Day weekend, a grand celebration of American music will take place in Simi Valley, California. Rancho Santa Susana Community Park will be the site of the 24th Annual Simi Valley Cajun and Blues Festival. This event, which is put on by the Rotary Club of Simi Valley, benefits a variety of charities. It is also a boost to the local economy, as musicians and fans from all over the world descend upon the community.
For years, the event was billed as the largest Cajun and Zydeco music festival west of the Mississippi River. It still is. As always, there will be two full days of Cajun and Zydeco acts but, like the previous three years, a second stage on the festival grounds will feature music that was also born in the American South, the blues. Some of the best musicians in their respective field will be playing both Saturday and Sunday on both stages.
Last year, a new tradition emerged that let the bon ton roulette into the wee-wee hours. The festival’s host hotel, the Grand Vista will be the site of the official after parties. The hotel’s Arena Sports Bar will turn into the best juke joint on the planet for two nights that weekend. These events will take place both Saturday and Sunday nights and will have continuous live music from 8:00pm until 2:00am.
On Saturday night, Lil “A” & The Allnighters will be the host band while on Sunday, The 44’s will take over those duties. Both of these outstanding bands are planning on sharing their stage with the artists who will be playing at the festival. Last year virtually every blues musician who played in front of the big festival crowd came by to relax with fans and play some blues with musicians they normally just bump into backstage.
Additionally, this year there will be a pre-festival reception on Friday night at the hotel’s Vista Room which is adjacent to the main entrance and lobby. Long time Southern California blues DJ, Art Martel, will be spinning his home made concoction of swinging, good time blues music.
All three of these events are open to the public. There will be a $5.00 cover charge for the after parties. The pre-festival reception is free. These events are produced by Straight Up Blues Productions in association with BLUES JUNCTION Productions.