No Rest For Musicians On Labor Day Weekend

Plethora of festivals nationwide has artists busy making hay while the sun shines.

Labor Day weekend signifies summer's winding down and the beginning of another school year, but across the country, festivals bring together musicians and fans for one last blast.

This year, from Maine's 23rd Thomas Point Beach Bluegrass Festival to Northern California's long-since sold-out Strawberry Music Festival, and from Plaisance, La.'s Original Zydeco Festival to the all-genre Bumbershoot festival in Seattle, which is celebrating its 30th year, there's something for nearly everyone.

Here are some particulars on some of the best of this year's Labor Day offerings.

(Click here for a full report on this year's Labor Day music festivals.)

  • Alonzo's Eat the Rich Picnic: Sept. 3; Baltimore, Md. Little Charlie and the Nightcats, Chris Thomas King.

  • Bedford Blues Festival: Sept. 1–3; Dallas, Texas. Shemekia Copeland, Randy Garibay. (817) 952-2222, Ext. 513

  • Blues Fest 2000: Sept. 2–3; Jonesboro, Ark. Big Creek Band, Bruce Page and the Heavyweights, Joe Lee. (870) 933-7070,

  • 11th Annual Budweiser Illinois Blues Festival: Sept. 1–2; Peoria, Ill. John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, Deborah Coleman, Hawkeye Herman, Kelly Jo Phelps. (309) 673-2263

  • Bumbershoot: The 30th Seattle Arts Festival: Sept. 1–4; Seattle, Wash. Deke Dickerson, Iris DeMent, Christy McWilson, Elliott Smith, Ani DiFranco, Tracy Chapman, Elvin Bishop, Ben Harper, David Gray, Bad Livers, Kelly Joe Phelps. (206) 281-8111,

  • 12th Annual D.C. Blues Festival: Sept. 2; Washington, D.C. Charlie Sayles, Jesse Yawn, Bobby Parker, Choo Charlie & the Spitfire. (202) 828-3028,

  • Delaware Valley Bluegrass Fest: Sept. 1–3; Salem County Fairgrounds; Woodstown, N.J. Ralph Stanley, Balfa Toujours, Del McCoury Band. (302) 475-3454,

  • 10th Annual Dusk-Til-Dawn Blues Festival: Sept. 1–3; Rentiesville, Okla. Act Casual with Miss Blues, Big G, Leon Blue, Blue Flame. (918) 473-2411,

  • Four Corners Folk Fest: Sept. 2–3; Reservoir Hill; Pagosa Springs, Colo. The Black Rose Quintet. (877) 4-PAGOSA

  • Great Eastern Blues and Barbecue Festival: Sept. 3; Massanutten Resort; Harrisonburg, Va. Tracey Nelson, the Nighthawks, Roy Book Binder. (800) 209-6277

  • Hog Farm PigNic: Sept. 2–3; Laytonville, Calif. Indigenous, Richard Thompson, Odetta, Ben Harper, Jackson Browne, John Trudell.

  • Johnstown Folkfest: Sept. 1–3; Johnstown, Pa. Buckwheat Zydeco. (888) 222-1889

  • 21st Annual Long Beach Blues Festival: Sept. 1–4; Long Beach, Calif. Bo Diddley, Etta James, Bernard Allison, Robert Cray. (562) 985-5566,

  • moe.down: Sept. 1–3; Snow Ridge Ski Area; Turin, N.Y. moe., Ani DiFranco.

  • 2000 Montreux Atlanta Music Festival: Aug. 27–Sept. 4; Piedmont Park, Chastain Park Amphitheater, Woodruff Park and other venues; Atlanta, Ga. Indigenous, Shemekia Copeland, Hugh Masekela, Roberta Flack.

  • Shenandoah Valley Folk Festival: Sept. 2; Orkney Springs Hotel; Orkney Springs, Va. Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. (540) 459-3396

  • Original Southwest Louisiana Zydeco Music Festival: Sept. 2; Plaisance, La. Chris Ardoin & Double Clutchin', Leroy Thomas & the Zydeco Road Runners. (318) 942-2392

  • Pete Seeger Storytelling Festival: Sept. 3; Catskill Mountain Foundation Movie Theater; Hunter, N.Y. (518) 263-9837

  • 3rd Annual Rhythm & Roots Festival: Sept. 1–3; Ninigret Park; Charlestown, R.I. Beausoleil, Duke Robillard, Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys, Peter Rowan & Tony Rice, Laura Love, Balfa Toujours, Marcia Ball. (888) 855-6940,

  • Strawberry Fall Music Festival: Aug. 31–Sept. 4; Yosemite, Calif. Guy Clark, John Hiatt, Laurie Lewis, Jesse Winchester, Rosalie Sorrels, Robert Earl Keen, Iguanas, Tim O'Brien, Odetta. (209) 533-0191, (This event is sold out.)

  • 2nd Annual Thirsty Ear Festival: Sept. 2–3; J.W. Eaves Movie Ranch; Santa Fe, N.M. Joe Ely, Butch Hancock, Corey Harris, Alvin Youngblood Hart. (505) 473-5723

  • 23rd Annual Thomas Point Beach Bluegrass Festival: Aug. 31–Sept. 3; Thomas Point Beach Park; Brunswick, Maine. Del McCoury, Peter Rowan & Tony Rice, Osborne Brothers, Jimmy Martin. (207) 725-6009,

  • 24th Annual Washington Irish Festival: Sept. 2–3; Montgomery County Fairgrounds; Gaithersburg, Md. The Baltimore All-Stars, Dervish. (301) 565-0654