Long Beach is considered to be of great cultural importance due to the number of music festivals, including the Cajun and Zydeco Festival, the Aloha Concert Jam, the Bob Marley Reggae Festival, the Long Beach Blues Festival, and the Long Beach Jazz Festival.
Held first in September 1980, the Long Beach Blues Festival is now seen as one of the most important cultural events nationwide. The 26th Annual Long Beach Festival continued the tradition of featuring the best of the blues. It was headlined by the legendary celebrity Etta James and The Black Crowds.
The festival was held at the California State University during Labor Day weekend on September 3-4. The performers of the festival included Howard Tate, Los Lobos, Bobby Rush, and Café R&B on Saturday, and Bobby Bland, Johnny Rawls, Otis Clay, Guitar Shorty, and The Black Crowds on Sunday.
The price of the ticket brings in $50 a day for each day, and $75 for both days of the festival. The members of KKJZ have a $5 discount. Children under twelve are free. It's also possible to get tickets on the Radio Station KJAZZ website. Drinks and food are available during the festival.
The Long Beach Blues Festival 2005 featured the Grammy winning soul singer Solomon Burke, who evokes the best memories of Gospel Blues. Though suited perfectly to the indoor show rather than the desert sunlight of the Long Beach Blues Festival, Solomon Burke is worth sound and sight.
Another prominent participant of the festival is Milton Campbell, who gives the spectators some of his classic Delta Blues. The frontman of the Blasters, Dave Alvin, shared the stage with Little Milton.
Being a member of "Who's Who" for a long time, Leon Russell has broken out on his own of late. At the 2005 Long Beach Blues Festival he presented some of his new creations.
The celebrated showman of the day, Buddy Guy, and his band performed soul check. Buddy is able to make the public sing, especially on its "Feels Like Rain." It is taken for granted that no blues festival is complete without "Sweet Home Chicago," by Robert Johnson. This year, the hit was performed by Buddy Guy.
The majority of blues stars performed during the second day of the festival, including The Black Crowds, Guitar Shortly, Bobby Bland, and Buddy Guy. The Long Beach Blues Festival is supported by Radio Station KJAZZ.
Today the Long Beach Blues Festival is regarded as the event of particular importance as far as cultural approach is concerned. Together with the Big Muddy Blues Festival, it fosters cultural development of the nation through the perception and understanding of the eternal, and high, form of art.