The Thunder Bay Blues Festival was held on Friday, 07-08-11 through Sunday, 07-10-11.
I drove from Minneapolis to Thunder Bay in about 6 hours. I thought I planned it pretty good.The only problem was when I got to the border I forgot that Thunder Bay was in the Eastern Time Zone. So instead of getting to Thunder Bay at 3 pm it was actually 4 pm. The music started at 4 pm.
I really didn't know exactly where the festival was located, but I knew it was along Lake Superior. I've been to Thunder Bay a couple times in the past to stop and sleep before heading up to Armstrong to either fly or take the train to canoe. I got to the area...heard the music playing, but where to park? I figured there might be some signs for parking. Nope...
I drove around as I watched people coming from all different directions carrying their chairs. Finally I pulled over and asked a couple of people where they parked. The guy told me they parked at a meter and he gave me the general directions where they parked.
I got to the area as described and found an open meter. The meter was free after 6 pm. I thought it was 3:30 so I thought I needed $3 to cover the time. I put in a dollar coin and got my hour. Then I put in a $2 coin. The meter said I had 2 hours. Now that's not right. So instead of reading what was on the meter I put another dollar in...what the hell, it still showed I only had two hours time. I sure didn't want to get a parking ticket in Canada.
Now it was time to read what was on the meter. Oh, it had a two hour limit. Now I realized...again that the time was actually 4:30 pm. It's all good! Off to the festival I went with my camera gear.
I got to the gate and paid for a three day pass at 4:38 pm Eastern Time. I missed the first band.
I walked to the main stage and notice that the barrier /fence in front of the stage was a little different. The distance of the barrier was about the length of the stage. Then on each side of the front fence/barrier it continued back at about a 45 degree angle. I notice many chairs already set up with some people in them and other chairs sitting there by themselves. There wasn't one person standing at the fence. I thought that was odd, but could be due to the short distance in front. Then I noticed that two rows back from the fence the chairs went to the edge of the fence that went back at an angle to prevent anyone from going right up to the fence.
I took a few shots of the second band, Michael Abraham Trio. These were longer shots than I really wanted to shoot from, but I took a few anyways. I walked around trying to figure out what to do. Eventually when the 3rd band played I decided to go to the fence since no one was sitting in the chairs blocking access to the fence. I pretty much stayed there for the rest of the festival.
I didn't have any photo/media pass to go past the barrier up to the stage so all my shots were taken from a slightly longer distance and with a limited number of angles to get the shot.
I had a really nice time at the festival and met some great people. The music was also fantastic. The stage lighting was excellent.
Michael Abraham Trio
More Michael Abraham Trio Photos
Charles W. Ryan II (Facebook)
Chuck Ryan Photography (Facebook)