The "Winter Blues" Music Festival was conceived in November, 2011. It started like most good things, with a glass of wine. Why don’t we start something new in Portland, Oregon? Let’s have an indoor Music Festival in the winter while we wait for the summer to return.
What a great way to get out of the gray, gloomy, rainy season -- with some great music in the middle of the season to tide us over until July! How can we support the musicians, not hurt the summer venues, and introduce the public to some Northwest favorites, as well as new Northwest talent?
Three months later the first "Winter Blues" Music Festival was born -- February 18 & 19, 2012. An amazing core group of 10 members donated a lot of their time to plan this event in a very short time. "Winter Blues" wouldn’t have happened without the sponsors who graciously helped support us for our first year.
We were very proud of our first Festival and much of our success was thanks to the following musician groups: Lisa Mann and Her Really Good Band, Knuckleheads with Satellite Malone, Woodworks, The Love, Franco Paletta & The Stingers, Rae Gordon Band, Chance Hayden and Shelly Rudolph, Stan Ruffo Band, Madman Sam, Tongue & Groove, Suburban Slim & Jim Wallace as well as Return Flight. They all participated in this fantastic event.
Approximately 750 people showed up for WBMF's first year. With raffles and a silent auction to help support two charities that were brought aboard -- Oregon Food Bank, and C.H.A.P. (Children’s Healing Arts Project). To this day, I cannot go anywhere without people asking about the WBMF…. Bands, people, venues.... It's time to plan the WBMF's second year. See you all soon and tell your friends…
About LeeAnn Gibbons:
LeeAnn has been coordinating events off and on since the early 1980’s -- starting out with Halloween parties and organizing production shows for corporate theme parties. A favorite was a free photo session with Santa. LeeAnn started in October by putting up over 250,000 lights at her house and a sign that read "Free Photo with Santa -- Bring a can of food". Up to 350 people visited the lighted sanctuary to get their photo taken with Santa. Her first Oregon Food Bank collection.
LeeAnn has been in business ownership for over 26 years now, loves to volunteer at various functions -- festivals, car shows, music benefits. She also has been promoted to Ambassador at Oregon Food Bank as well as volunteer to “Hands On” person for OFB event functions. For almost 2 years she worked the door for Trail’s End Saloon. With her love of music, desire to help support the musicians, and enjoying being the happy hostess, she has now become the Festival Coordinator for "Winter Blues" Music Festival.\
After 4 years, it has been a long struggle but proof that this is what needs to happen in the Portland area, to help not only musicians, as well as you, the people! Thank you to all that have attended, volunteered, and promote this festival it is growing every year. In 2015, we acquired our Non-Profit status. This is exciting, not only is it a tax write-off for the participant & sponsors, but also more entertainment! Also this in 2015, we collaborated with United by Music, an organization that brings people with some disabilities that have a chance to perform with a band, and show that music can heal in many areas. You can also see them at the Waterfront Blues Festival. I am proud to see this festival grow every year, with a great way to celebrate the final days of winter to bounce into spring! Hope to see you all there!