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A Conversation with Rick Clarke of The Lighthouse Blues Festival



The Lighthouse Blues Festival provides a first class blues festival experience in Kincardine, Ontario, Canada raising money for local charities.


Ken Wallis interviewed Rick Clarke from the festival organization for the radio show Blues Source Canada which airs on Blues & Roots Radio weekly. The following are excerpts from that interview.




Ken Wallis

Live music is coming back and one of the biggest events of the year is coming up September 10, 11 and 12. It is the Lighthouse Blues Festival in Kincardine and to tell us all about it is Rick Clarke, President and Music Director of the festival. Rick thanks for coming on.


Rick Clarke

Well thanks for having me Ken, it's always good to talk to somebody from the Hamilton area


Ken Wallis

Well, I'm pretty excited about this festival, You've got a huge lineup of artists. Tell us as much as you can about it.


Rick Clarke

Well, I couldn't possibly go through all of them There's about 35 artists over the three days but certainly people will recognize most of our main stage artists. They're some of the top Canadian blues artists out there right now. We have Bill Durst, Jack de Keyser, Crystal Shawanda, Samantha Martin And Delta Sugar, Angelique Francis, Miss Emily out of Kingston. If people haven't heard her please try to make Friday night. We also have Joel Johnson, Murray Kinsley And Wicked Grin, Fog out of Kitchener, The Lescom Taylor Zehr Band. So, we've got a lot of talent on the main stage but we also run a free street festival. There are five stages out on the street on the Saturday that feature more local or regional talent but having said that we have people such as Larry Kurtz and Rick Taylor will be there… Al Lerman, Alfie Smith and Nicole Christian from your area. We’re big fans of Alfie and Nicole. Also Peter Temple And The Cornerstones out of Kitchener, Dan McKinnon. So there's a lot talent for us to share during the day on Saturday and it's all free.


Ken Wallis

And one of my favourites Erin McCallum is gonna be there as well.


Rick Clarke

Yes…that's what I mean. I'm going to be missing people if I try to name all 35. It's a challenge.


Ken Wallis

Well for our audience probably one of their best bets is to go to your Facebook page where the information is all there as to who's performing and when.


Rick Clarke

Yeah, we're a little behind on our website www.lighthousebluesfestival.com. We're trying to get that updated. Some of these decisions have just happened in the last couple of weeks because of the shifting situation with Covid. We're encouraged by the high vaccination rate and our public health team is trying to support us as much as they can. Facebook is the most immediate because I can change that right now. The website takes a couple more hoops so our schedule will be on our on our Facebook page


Ken Wallis

Where do folks get tickets and when are they available?


Rick Clarke

Well again with covid and public health regulations or restriction, tickets this year are only available online and that's at ticketscene.com. We had our first block of 100 which was a capacity cap that we felt that was what we could start with, so we went with a block of 100 about a week ago. They were sold out in about four and a half hours so our next block it's going to be a bit bigger, a block of 400 and hopefully those will go on sale later this week.


[NOTE: TICKETS HAVE ALREADY BEEN ON SALE] This year will likely disappoint some people who won't be able to get tickets. There won't be any tickets sold at the door or at any of our retail outlets and the capacity is going to be restricted this year. It's not going to be a wide-open situation as it has been in the past. The alternative was to just cancel and it wasn't given any consideration. We're going to go ahead with a festival. It's just going to be a bit smaller,


Ken Wallis

I would assume for folks that are attending they should bring their own chairs if they want to sit?


Rick Clarke

Yes, we provide a couple of hundred chairs that we have as part of our stock. But yeah usually it's a good idea to bring your own chair.


Ken Wallis

Well I'm really looking forward to attending and I hope a lot of our listeners will be able to snag some tickets. I understand that the festival raises money for local charities as well.


Rick Clarke

It's a non-profit organization so all of our proceeds go to our community groups that support the festival. Chief of which is of course The Kincardine And District Lions Club, that's our major community service organization but we also support Big Brothers and The Bruce County Blue Society, our local blue society gets a healthy chunk of our proceeds for their blues in school program and we try to take care of a few others. Especially this year because of covid they haven't been able to do their own fundraising so we're out there this year. Even last year when we canceled the festival we went out and supported most of our regular community service groups just out of our own reserves because they were hard hit with the pandemic and weren't able to do traditional fundraising and they looked to the festival for some financial support.


Ken Wallis

You're doing an admirable job and I think it's great that musicians are getting to perform and fans are going to get to listen and see them. Rick, thank you so much for your time it's been a pleasure talking with you.


Rick Clarke

Thank you Ken and hello to all of our friends in the Hamilton area that support our festival. We're looking forward to seeing you in September


Ken Wallis

It’s going to be a great time!


Important Message

The Board of Directors of the Bruce Telecom Lighthouse Blues Festival are closely monitoring the COVID 19 situation on a daily basis and have decided to move the festival dates to September 10, 11, 12, 2021. It’s their hope that with the current province wide vaccine roll out, conditions will be safer, more favourable, for the festival fans and artists.




Website: www.lighthousebluesfestival.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/lighthousebluesfestival