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Blues at the Arch Festival returns to downtown St. Louis

This year they packed the festival into one great weekend, after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic.

ST. LOUIS — The Blues at the Arch Festival returned to downtown this weekend after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic.

Camille Brooks, with the Gateway Arch Parks Foundation, said this year it’s a little bit different.

“In years past, it's been a four-week series. So every Friday, there were concerts, but this year, we packed it all into one, fun weekend. Music last night, music again all day today and then tomorrow, there's a brunch concert featuring Skeet Rogers,” Brooks said.

The festival drew in blues musicians, artists and fans from all over the country.

“Most of them we have not had before. So we were able to pull in national and regional artists, some who have won awards with the Blues as well,” Brooks said.

Brooks said after years of virtual festivals it was time to bring the grounds back to life.

“As the philanthropic partner for the Gateway Arch National Park, it's our goal to conserve the park but also to activate it, bring people down for free events like this. We want the community to enjoy our hometown National Park,” Brooks said.

Bernie Hayes with the National Blues Museum said blues music is part of the very fabric of St. Louis, fueling people through hard times.

“It becomes part of the soul, body and psyche, because St. Louis is noted for the blues, and some of the best blues musicians in the world, either live here, or come to St. Louis, Missouri,” Hayes said. 

Hayes said this festival celebrates the strength of St. Louisans.

“Oh, its just a wonderful thing just to see everyone out again, just to see people roaming around and interacting with each other. It's just a marvelous, marvelous thing,” Hayes said.

The festival continues Sunday with blues brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Festival information can be found here.

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