Kenny Wayne Shepherd
to headline 12th annual
barbecue & blues festival
5K run-walk, paddleboat rides
return to festival in 2013
(August 2013) – The Madison Ribberfest returns for its 12th year on Aug. 16-17 with a popular lineup of blues music and barbecue along the Ohio River at Madison Bicentennial Park. Musician Kenny Wayne Shepherd will headline the event Saturday night, while Friday night will close with the Robert Randolph & the Family Band.
Friday, Aug 16
• 5 p.m.: Gates open
• 6 p.m.: Lloyd Jones Band
• 8 p.m.: Cash Box Kings
• 10 p.m.: Robert Randolph & the Family Band
Saturday, Aug. 17
• 11 a.m.: Gates open
• 11:30 a.m.: Dog House Kitchen
• 1:30 p.m.: Dust Radio
• 3:30 p.m.: Josh Garrett
• 5:30 p.m.: Carolyn Wonderland
• 7:30 p.m.: Rick Estrin & the Nightcats
• 9:30 p.m.: Kenny Wayne Shepherd
Wristbands: $20 for a two-day pass until Aug. 16, then $20 per day for Friday and Saturday. Children 12-under free with paying adult.
Information: Visit www.MadisonRibberfest.com or call (812) 265-2956
In addition, there will be the annual amateur and pro barbecue cooking competitions, along with a 5K run and walk, and paddleboat rides on the river.
The last two years have produced the largest crowds ever, and 2013 promises to be just as successful with the appearance of Shepherd, organizers say.
Still barely in his 30s, the Louisiana born axeman and songsmith has been selling millions of albums, throwing singles into the Top 10, shining a light on the rich blues of the past and forging ahead with his own modern twist on a classic sound he has embodied since his teens. He met Stevie Ray Vaughn at 7 and shared the stage with New Orleans legend Bryan Lee at age 13. As an adult, he continues to create genre-defining blues—infused rock n’ roll.
Shepherd will take the stage at 9:30 p.m. Saturday for a two-hour set to climax Ribberfest’s Blues Bash, sponsored by Craig Toyota.
“We are excited to bring Kenny Wayne Shepherd to Madison. What a great talent he is,” said Ribberfest director Kathy Ayers.
Robert Randolph and the Family Band is an American funk and soul band led by the talented pedal steel guitarist. Rolling Stone included Randolph on its list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time.
Louisiana-born Kenny Wayne Shepherd has been playing music since his teens and has sold millions of albums.
Rick Estrin, meanwhile, ranks among the very best harp players, singers and songwriters in the blues world. His work on the reeds is deep in the tradition of harmonica masters Sonny Boy Williamson II and Little Walter Jacobs, while at the same time pushing that tradition forward. The Associated Press calls his harp playing “endlessly impressive.” Estrin was awarded a 2013 Blues Music Award for Instrumentalist Of The Year - Harmonica.
Shepherd, Randolph and Estrin head an all-star cast of blues musicians that include Carolyn Wonderland, Josh Garrett, the Cash Box Kings and more. There will be wall-to-wall blues music starting at 6 p.m. Friday, then again starting at 11:30 a.m. Saturday.
Of course, no one is expected to listen to a two days of blues music without enjoying food and libations. Both are readily available at Ribberfest, with barbecue being the meal of choice. Several vendors will be available on the riverfront selling food and drinks, including two beer tents and a wine tent.
Two barbecue competitions are incorporated into the festival. Amateur cooking teams take their turn at Friday’s Madison Courier Backyard Barbecue Bash. Festival participants are welcome to watch the teams at work, and are often offered free samples after they have turned in their judged entries.
The more serious competition sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society is on Saturday. More than 60 KCBS-sanctioned barbecue teams are registered for Saturday’s judging. They will set up on Friday evening and begin turning in their judged entries at 11 a.m. Saturday.
The KCBS teams compete in seven categories: chicken, pork ribs, pork, beef brisket, barbecue sauce, “anything butt” and dessert. Winners will take away $12,000 in cash as well as other awards.
Robert Randolph and the Family Band (above) will headline the Ribberfest Blues Bash on Friday night. Rick Estrin & the Nightcats (below) perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
“We have a full list of KCBS teams, a growing list of Backyard Blast Amateur barbecuers, and we need more competitors for our KidzQ (children’s) cooking competition,” Ayers said. “We will again be awarding cash prizes to our young chefs.”
An award of $200 will be presented to first place in each age categories of 8-11 and 12-15. Second place will receive $100 in each age group.
Ribberfest promises more than just blues and barbecue, however.
For the second year, organizers have invited the “Spirit of Cincinnati” paddlewheeler to give 45-minute river cruises throughout the two days of the festival.
These will be open to the public at $15 for riders aged 13 and older and $3 for children 4-12. Children under 3 are free. Ribberfest participants who are wearing their wristbands can ride for only $10.
Advance tickets for the riverboat rides are available through the Madison Visitors Center at (812) 265-2956 or 1-800-559-2956. Ribberfest patrons who reserve their tickets in advance will receive their $5 rebate at the ticket table at the dock.
The 5K run and walk begins at 8 a.m. Saturday. The start-finish line will be on Vaughn Drive near Fireman’s Park at the foot of Jefferson Street. The route will make a 5K loop through downtown Madison, extending as far as Springdale Cemetery. The $10 entry fee includes a special Ribberfest T-shirt.
The 5K RibberRun will head west from Fireman’s Park. “The route will allow the walkers and runners to pass some of the professional barbecue teams,” Ayers said.
Those needing a break from music can divert themselves with the “Pig Toss” cornhole tournament or by strolling through “Pigmania,” the display of painted and costumed concrete pigs. Children will enjoy giant inflatable playthings at the “Piglet Pen.”
“It takes committed sponsors, a large committee and hundreds of volunteers to bring an event this size to life,” Ayers said. “We appreciate all the help and dedication. We are looking forward to a large crowd to reward our efforts.”
Admission wristbands are $20 for the two-day festival. Wristbands can be purchased at the Madison Visitors Center, 601 W. First St. and various retailers in Madison. Or order tickets online at www.VisitMadison.org. Gate prices on Saturday only will be $20. Children 12 and under are free with a paying adult.
• For more information, visit: www.MadisonRibberfest.com.
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