2019 PARTNERship Opportunities

History of the
Ann Arbor Blues Festival

Did you know that North America's first electric blues festival was held in 1969 on a small field in Ann Arbor, Michigan? Incredibly, a small group of University of Michigan students gathered what may have been the greatest lineup of blues musicians who ever lived for a 3-day celebration of Chicago-style electric blues. B.B. King. Muddy Waters. Howlin' Wolf. Freddie King. John Lee Hooker. Luther Allison. Big Mama Thornton. Charlie Musselwhite. Buddy Guy. T-Bone Walker. The list goes on and on. The lineup in 1970 was equally star-studded, cementing Ann Arbor's reputation as the premier blues festival in the country.  


Held two weeks before Woodstock, the Ann Arbor Blues Festival invariably draws comparisons to that other famous festival. While Woodstock was remarkable largely because of the sheer size of its audience, the Ann Arbor Blues Festival was all about the music, leading some music commentators of the time to declare that the Ann Arbor Festival was “without [a] doubt the festival of the year, if not the decade.” 


By 1972, the festival had been rechristened as the Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Festival, adding Count Basie and Miles Davis to its growing roster of music industry legends attracted to this Midwestern mecca of jazz and blues. Atlantic Records released a 2-record live album of the 1972 Blues and Jazz Festival, featuring performances by Koko Taylor, Freddie King, Sun Ra, Dr. John, Bonnie Raitt, and Otis Rush, among others. 


Like all good things, however, the shine eventually faded, and the last Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Festival was held in 2006.

For the past three years, a small group of blues enthusiasts has steadily recreated and re-energized the spirit of those early festivals in anticipation of the 50th anniversary of that very first electric blues festival.  Their efforts to restore Ann Arbor’s reputation as a world-class destination festival have already led thousands of fans from across the country to hear some of the greatest artists in the world perform at the revived Ann Arbor Blues Festival. 


We expect 2019 to be a celebration worthy of the Ann Arbor Blues Festival pedigree. With a projected audience of over 10,000 people coming together to celebrate the Festival's historic legacy, there will be plenty of opportunities to connect with your desired audience, over three days of live concerts and exhibitions, as well as through an active social media presence that reaches hundreds of thousands and a variety of concerts and promotional campaigns planned throughout the year.



Some of the Benefits

Available for PARTNERs

  • Product or corporate name directly tied to Festival name (i.e., The Ann Arbor Blues Festival Presented by Your Company)

  • Partner’s name or logo on all media releases, advertisements, festival flyers, program materials, and event web site

  • Partner logo on official Festival vehicle wrap

  • Partner website linked on Festival website

  • Partner’s participation highlighted in social media campaigns throughout the year

  • Partner advertisements directed to qualified Festival website visitors through targeted remarketing throughout the year

  • Partner’s name and logo prominently displayed on the main stage banner

  • Partner’s representative can appear onstage to introduce one of our acts

  • Partner will be thanked and mentioned often onstage in between acts

  • Partner will receive space for a tent or booth on the Festival grounds and passes for partner representatives to staff the tent to promote the Partner’s organization and distribute advertising collateral before and during the Festival

  • Advertisement in the Festival program

  • Meet & greet with select Festival artists

  • Autographed Festival merchandise

  • VIP Festival tickets

  • And More . . . 





Ask how we can customize a partnership package to help you engage with fans


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