Will I still be able to drive to the Festival with the construction road closures/detours during the Region’s Light Rapid Transit installation?
There will be some delays and detours as a result – for the latest information on closed/open routes go to www.kitchener.ca/Pingstreet . Public transportation will be operating as well and will take you to the bus station that is close to all of the festival’s venues. You will have a new appreciation for this year’s branding theme “Diggin the Blues”
How can I support the Kitchener Blues Festival since it’s ‘free’?
TD Kitchener Blues Festival does not charge an admission fee for programming from Friday at noon right through to Sunday 6:30pm (except for the Thursday evening Concert at the OLG Clocktower Stage), but needs increasing public support through individual contributions in order to continue to produce this great internationally recognized event.
In 2016, as in past years, we encourage those who enjoy the free admission portion of the festival to contribute to the sustainability of the event. We encourage a contribution of a minimum of $5 per day.
Watch for our contribution campaign at the entrances to the BIA Stage, OLG Clocktower stage and at the information Booth at the YNC Stage at City Hall. Contributors will receive a different coloured daily sticker indicating “I support the TD Kitchener Blues Festival”
Please support this family-friendly, non-profit event, operated by a community organization and administered by a volunteer Board of Directors and over 400 volunteers!
Thank you for your support!
Where can I stay overnight?
Is there Sponsor seating?
There are sponsor areas at the YNC Stage at City Hall and the OLG Clocktower Stage: Tickets are not sold. They are part of sponsorship packages and provided to sponsors as part of their benefits. If you want to learn more about sponsorship opportunities please contact us. Raise your company’s visibility with over 150,000 visitors. Just email [email protected] to take advantage of a range of customized opportunities available to you!
Sponsor area Clocktower Stage: We are selling GOLD tickets for the Thursday Night Kickoff Concert. GOLD ticket purchasers will receive a GOLD pass for reserved seating admission, separate cash bar and a GOLD pass for access to this sponsor area (on a first come first served basis based on capacity) for the balance of the free Festival on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. A complimentary buffet is also included during the Thursday Kickoff Concert. Subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to know about breaking Blues Festival news! newsletter
GOLD Tickets for the Thursday Evening Concert
All GOLD Ticket purchasers will enjoy the best assigned seats in the front section of the OLG Clocktower tent and separate cash bars for the largest concert event at the Festival Thursday. Thursday Kick-off GOLD seat purchasers will also receive complimentary food service for this Concert. Each GOLD ticket purchaser will receive a PASS that will enable them to re-enter this area at the OLG Clocktower stage for the Friday, Saturday and Sunday free admission performances. Seating during the free admission performances is NOT assigned and is LIMITED. All licensed areas including the Gold pass and Sponsor areas are subject to licensed capacities.
What about Parking?
Pick a “P” on this map.
How do we keep it free*?
Volunteers: The positive community energy of sharing in this experience begins and ends with over 400 volunteers who make this happen.
If you are interested, you can learn a lot about the many volunteer roles that exist. Even one 4 hour shift is really appreciated! (Of course, volunteers have so much fun at our festival, most like to stay a lot longer!) Actually, joining our volunteer team means you see the festival from a different vantage point, serving drinks, selling tickets or helping out at the stages! You can learn more about volunteering here.
Sponsorship: Becoming a sponsor raises your company’s visibility with 150,000 plus visitors. Just email [email protected] to take advantage of a range of customized opportunities that are available to you! This festival is made possible by our presenting sponsor, TD joining our other great sponsors to bring 150,000 people the best free* admission blues experience in Canada. The City of Kitchener has provided support since the very first year. We most gratefully acknowledge their support. http://www.kitchenerbluesfestival.com/sponsors/why-sponsor/
Paid Concert – Fundraisers: Our Thursday Night Kick Off Concert will be our only ticketed events at the Festival. Be ready for Eric Burdon and the Animals, Foghat and Earl and the Agitators featuring Scott Holt.
*Donations: The TD Kitchener Blues Festival is produced by a not-for-profit corporation. Daily donations will be encouraged and are very much appreciated to support and sustain our free* admission shows Friday through Sunday.
What kind of seating is there at the festival?
Seating is mixed though not reserved at our 6 stages, other than the reserved GOLD seating provided at the Thursday Clocktower Concert. At the festival there are 3 separate licensed festival beer gardens with some seating. There are family areas and free* admission seating on King Street which is closed for 3 days. Folding chairs are arranged in various areas – anywhere from 200 – 800 chairs! All is first-come-first-served. Throughout downtown Kitchener you will find vibrant restaurants and clubs which support the TD Kitchener Blues Festival. Some people like to bring their own folding chairs.
Can I bring my own lawn chair?
You are welcome to bring your own portable folding chairs to the festival. For your safety and convenience there will be designated portable folding chair seating areas at each of our 3 major stage locations. Due to fire restrictions and safety concerns, personal chairs and foldable portable chairs are not permitted under the event tents – refer to ONTARIO REGULATION 213/07 made under the FIRE PROTECTION AND PREVENTION ACT, 1997. If you have any questions feel free to ask one of our many onsite volunteers who will guide you to the appropriate seating locations outside of the event tents
Does the festival take place every year at the same time?
The event always follows the weekend of the “Civic Holiday” in Canada, starting on Thursday Kick Off Concert, then all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Tourists come from all over the world and book the hotels solid for the weekend so don’t miss your chance this year!
How much does it cost?
Our festival is free* admission from Friday to Sunday! We have one major fundraising ticketed concerts Thursday.
What are the stages like?
In addition to our YNC Stage at City Hall, Downtown Kitchener BIA Tent, McCabe’s and KW Boathouse Workshop stages and Festival Children’s Stage on King Street W. near Queen St., we include a spectacular ‘big-top’ tent (reputed as largest in Ontario!) in Victoria Park, the OLG Clocktower Stage.
Our large video screens help to extend the festival experience. We have the reputation of a family-friendly festival, with a diverse audience of all ages and cultures. We encourage youth participation throughout the year with our Blues in the Schools series and the Youth Legacy Showcase in April. Our good partners at Grand River Blues Society help to make these events happen.
To have an idea of all the kinds of experiences you can expect, see the festival in a photo tour here: Photo Tour
Smoke Free Ontario: What it means at the TD Kitchener Blues Festival
- Generally speaking, it is illegal to smoke on all restaurant and bar patios, whether covered or not. This restriction will be monitored by Kitchener Blues Festival personnel, and Enforcement Officers with the Regional Municipality of Waterloo-Public Health Unit (“ the PHU”). The PHU considers a “patio” to include all areas that are licensed for alcohol, whether seating is provided or not. Patrons are encouraged to visit the following websites for further information, including the fines for non-compliance:
- “No smoking” signage will posted in key areas (entrances/exits) throughout the Festival grounds, and periodic stage announcements will be made regarding the smoking restrictions. Patrons must not smoke in any of the licensed areas at the following 3 stages:
- YNC Stage (City Hall – Carl Zehr Square),
- Downtown Kitchener BIA Tent Stage area (King Street and Frederick Street),
- OLG Clock Tower stage area (Victoria Park). A specific smoking area is being created at the OLG Clock Tower stage area.
- If Kitchener Blues Festival personnel observe a patron smoking in a prohibited area, that patron will be politely asked by Festival security to cease smoking and/or go to an area where smoking is not prohibited. Our aim is to “educate” not “eject”, but if non-compliance persists, security personnel, or if necessary Waterloo Regional Police, will be asked to intervene.
Persons requiring accessibility requirements should contact us via email at [email protected]. Support persons require a full priced ticket for admission.
Introducing Bike Kitchener’s Bikecheck – it’s like a coat check, only for your bike!
When you ride your bike to an event with Bikecheck, you can hand your bike to one of our attendants and then go enjoy the event without having to worry about your bike! All bikes must be picked up within a half hour of the end of the event.
Look for our signs this summer at the following events for a FREE, safe, and secure place to keep your bike while you enjoy the festivities.