Campbell County’s homegrown music and arts festival returns to scenic Cove Lake State Park, Caryville, Tenn., this Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018.
The festival gates open at 10 am and close at 6 pm. Admission is free. However, a five-dollar per person/$10 per family donation is encouraged.
The 12th Annual Louie Bluie Music & Arts Festival will welcome approximately 6,000 guests to enjoy a wide variety of live music on four stages, as well as nearly 30 artisan vendors selling high quality crafts, jewelry, pottery, books and other creative items. The park’s pavilion will host the annual judged quilt and adult artists exhibit while youth artists will fill ArtSpace tent on the grounds. Visitors are encouraged to cast ballots for their favorite quilts and art, and winners receive a special “People’s Choice” award.
Louie Bluie is fun for all ages, and young people are welcome to make and learn the origin of dance ribbons, learn how to use a passport, make a drum and other crafts and play in the Kids’ Zone. And plan to satisfy your appetite at one (or more) of the many vendors in the food court.
The festival was founded to honor Campbell County’s musical heritage and its acclaimed native son Howard “Louie Bluie” Armstrong, who spent his childhood years in LaFollette.
“By design, the festival is a showcase for a wide range of international musical styles as well as creative arts,” says Manuel Mesa, executive director of the Campbell Culture Coalition, the arts organization that plans and produces the annual festival. “In addition to playing a multitude of musical instruments, Howard spoke seven languages, painted and drew, and made jewelry.”
The 2018 performance line-up features individual sets from Armstrong Legacy Trio—a triumvirate of Howard’s son, bassist Ralphe, plus guitarist Ray Kamalay and fiddler John Reynolds—and festival stalwarts Sparky and Rhonda Rucker. New this year is the inaugural collaboration between the trio and duo.
In addition, the schedule includes LaFollette native Maggie Longmire, jazz and country vocalist Robinella, bluegrass all-stars Circus No. 9, Knoxville-based Old City Buskers, traditional Irish band Sigean, salsa band Candela, acoustic band Smiley and the Lovedawg, singer-songwriter Daje Morris, old-time duo Boogertown Gap and raucous acoustic band Outlaw Ritual.
The spirited and Ogya World Music band brings the rhythmic, percussive sounds of Africa from their home base of Chattanooga. And internationally renowned folk singer John McCutcheon makes his festival debut.
Regional country and bluegrass acts will perform at the indoor Rickard Ridge Restaurant stage starting at 11:30 a.m. with Eddie Sweat and Thunder Creek followed by sets by Judy Fultz, New River Rising and New Harvest.
Admission to the festival is free, and donations will be accepted at the entrance gates and on the grounds to support the festival and its nonprofit producing organization Campbell Culture Coalition, which supports youth art programs in the county.
The 2018 Louie Bluie Music & Arts Festival is funded, in part, by the Tennessee Arts Commission through the General Assembly, Powell-Clinch Utility District, Campbell County Chamber of Commerce, LaFollette Eye Clinic, Gray Insurance Agency, LaFollette Utilities, Campbell County Commission, Town of Caryville and the City of LaFollette.
Additional festival information is available at LouieBluie.org. For information about the Campbell Culture Coalition, visit www.campbellculturecoalition.org.