Started in 1976, the Big Muddy Blues Festival is held in St. Louis, the River City, and its prominence is due to its Blues Patriarchs, which includes Henry Townsend and Benny Smith. With its four stages located in the Landing entertainment district, the Big Muddy Blues Festival is considered to be an artistic success, showing a rich heritage of the Blues sound of St. Louis. The main stage of the festival, the Budweiser River Stage, was substituted for the Pinnacle Entertainment Stage, now used for local and regional events. Admission to the Big Muddy Blues Festival is free. Visitors are allowed to take lawn chairs and cameras. Besides this informality, they are encouraged to leave comments concerning the organization of the Festival in the Big Muddy guestbook, which is seen as the only online forum for its fans. The Big Muddy Blues Festival is open to everyone who craves free blues concerts which are performed outdoors. With its manifold musical menu, including more than thirty-five acts, the festival is considered to be one of the state's eminent events of cultural importance. The Saturday highlights include: David "Honeyboy" Edwards, the Holmes Brothers, and the Texas guitarist Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown. Then, on Sunday, the Big Muddy Fans have the chance to observe Handy Award winner Alvin "Youngblood" Hart, New Orleans guitarist John Mooney and singer Mavis Staples. The Festival also has a number of the prominent representatives of St. Louis, including Music Award winners Fontella Bass and the Soulard Blues Band, and guitarist Bennie Smith. With so many bands and musicians performing in one place, the Big Muddy Blues Festival turns out to be a place where a wide variety of regional and national tastes are reflected. In 2005, as ever before, the Festival served as a testament to the blues roots of St. Louis. It featured the permanent participants of the show: Mr. Arthur Williams, the Soulard Blues Band, Oliver Sain and the St Louis R&B All Stars, Patti and the Hitmen, Leroy Jodie Pierson and Brian Curran. Among the groups first represented at the festival were: Big Babe Martin and Chump Change, Crying Shame, Alvin Jett and Hired Help. The 2005 Big Muddy Blues Festival was a tribute to Johnnie Johnson, the great St. Louis pianist, who expired this year. The concert at Mississippi Nights featured Robert Lockwood, Bo Diddley, and the Johnny Johnson Blues Band. All of them were performing on Friday and Saturday evenings at Laclede's Landing. The greatest surprise of the Festival came from the Johnnie Johnson Blues Band and Donya Oxford, who received a standing ovation. One of the rock architects, and the creator of the "Bo Diddley Beat," Bo Diddley, did not perform much during the 2005 Big Muddy Blues Festival. However, expectations were met on part of Robert Lockwood Jr., who has brought his seven-piece band to play jazzy blues. The next celebration of the Festival is scheduled for September 2006. The organizers of the festivals will start accepting submissions in March and will announce line-up in May.