By Van Mitchell
Special to The Sun
The 25th annual Edmond Jazz and Blues Festival scheduled for this weekend at Stephenson Park has been postponed due to the prospect of inclement weather and the ongoing recovery efforts of last Monday’s tornadoes.
Mark Neighbors, chairman of the Edmond Jazz and Blues Festival, said a final decision was made Thursday to postpone the festival until a later date this summer.
“We had to postpone the festival this year,” Neighbors said. “We are hoping we can find another weekend and do it at another date.”
Neighbors said it was a combination of potential bad weather and ongoing activities related to the recovery efforts that led festival officials to postpone.
He said some of the activities included a public memorial service Sunday for the tornado victims from Moore and Oklahoma City as well as a benefit concert next week at the Chesapeake Arena in Oklahoma City organized by country music star Blake Shelton.
“We felt due to the devastating weather events that happened this week and with the tornado memorial on Sunday and the concert to help raise money we felt like it would be better if we bowed out so more people could go to those concerts to help raise money and help the victims,” Neighbors said. “We thought it was bad taste to do a big concert party when people are suffering so much still.”
The concert was scheduled for both Saturday and Sunday with performances by Big G; the Roland Bowling Band; Shadow man Blues Project; Watermelon Slim; The Professionals; The Civilized Tribe; Smilin’ Vic and the Soul Monkeys; The Jeremy Thomas Quartet and Equilibrium.
The festival attendance has steadily increased from about 1,000 people to now between 12,000 to 15,000 attendees.
For more information about the Jazz and Blues Festival, go online to http://www.edmondjazzandblues.org/.