After 10 years in Grafton, the Paramount Blues Festival will be held this weekend in a new location and with a new name.
The Paramount Music Festival will be staged in Port Washington’s Coal Dock Park Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 2 through 4.
“We’re very excited,” organizer Kris Raymond said. “Lime Kiln Park (in Grafton) was a great place to be, but we basically outgrew it.”
The new location on Port Washington’s lakefront offers those attending the festival a host of other activities to enjoy, she said.
Those include a sailboat regatta Saturday and a Venetian Night parade of decorated boats through the harbor, sponsored by the Port Washington Yacht Club, at about 8 p.m. Sunday.
“I think it will be so fun to have sailboats in the viewing area,” Raymond said. “While you’re looking at the stage, you’ll be looking at Lake Michigan. You can see the lighthouse. When you turn around to get food, you’ll be looking at the harbor.
“It’s so beautiful, and there’s just a lot of things for people to do. People can walk to downtown, shop and have lunch or dinner. You won’t be bored at this festival.”
So far, Raymond said, the change in venue has been greeted warmly by those who have traditionally attended. There’s been an increase in ticket presales, with online sales up 30%, she said.
The new name, the Paramount Music Festival, reflects the fact that the blues have influenced all genre of music and many of those will be represented at the fest.
“Some people say they don’t like the blues, but they don’t know what it is,” Raymond said, “It’s part of every type of music we listen to.”
Blues is the focus, and headlining the festival at 8 p.m. Saturday will be Mud Morganfield, the eldest son of legendary bluesman Muddy Waters.
Morganfield, who was brought up surrounded by many of the finest blues musicians of their time, learned from the best. His father gave him a set of drums for Christmas each year, but the bass guitar later became his instrument of choice.
He has become an accomplished musician, with original works rooted in traditional Chicago blues but updated to reflect today’s music.
Morganfield has had a number of acclaimed albums, including his most recent work, “Son of the Seventh Son,” and has won numerous awards, including the 2015 Blues Blast Award for traditional blues album for “For Pops,” a tribute to his father.
Headlining the festival at 8:30 p.m. Friday will be Tommy Castro and The Painkillers.
Castro, who started playing guitar at age 10, released his first of 14 albums in 1996. His original songs reflect blues, soul and West Coast rock, and have won numerous honors.
In his four decades long career, Castro has won six Blues Music Awards, including the B.B. King Entertainer of the Year Award.
On Friday, when the gate opens at 4:30 p.m., the festival begins with a performance by Shonn Hinton & Shotgun at 5 p.m., followed by The Jimmys at 6:30 p.m.
Saturday’s performances begin at noon with Steve Cohen, followed by Lil Davy Max at 1 p.m., The Blues Disciples at 2:30 p.m., Davina & The Vagabonds at 4 p.m. and Rev. Raven & The Chain Smokin’ Altar Boys with Westside Andy at 6 p.m.
Joe Filisko and Glen Kaizer will begin Sunday’s performances at 12:30 p.m., followed by Studebaker John and the Hawks at 2 p.m., Tim Castle’s Country Legends Tribute at 4 p.m., Billy Bon Scott’s AC/DC tribute at 5:45 p.m. and Whiskey of the Damned at 7:30 p.m.
A classic car club display will be part of the event on Sunday.
The gate opens at 11:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.
The festival features open-air lawn seating, so festival-goers are encouraged to bring their own blankets and chairs.
There will be a limited number of chairs available for rent.
If the weather is warm, a couple of shade tents will be set up.
Daily admission Friday and Saturday is $20. There is no admission fee Sunday.
Free shuttle service to the festival will be offered from Comfort Inn and Hampton Inn & Suites, both in Grafton, Motel 6 and Walmart, both in Saukville, Country Inn & Suites in Port Washington and the Port Washington outdoor pool.
Major sponsors for the festival are Ozaukee Press, Port Washington Tourism Council and Blues After Hours Radio.