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Magic City Blues Festival kicks off at new venue: MetraPark

Magic City Blues.jpg
Posted at 5:50 PM, Aug 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-05 19:50:29-04

A Billings summer favorite hit the stage Friday night at a new location.

The new venue for the Magic City Blues Festival this year is at MetraPark.

They've made some additions with a piano bar inside the Montana Pavilion.

The small stage is in an area near the First Interstate Arena, the Expo Center and the pavilion.

The big stage on the fairgrounds looks similar to what has been used downtown, but it's bigger.

"Big thing for this year was Lynyrd Skynyrd," said Will Goodridge, public relations outreach director for the festival. "It is actually such a big band that the stage required for them to perform wouldn't even fit on Montana Avenue. So that was a big part in our decision to move venues as well."

Goodridge says the big stage and the new venue might bring in some more bands for the festival, which has already seen some big names through the years.

"Steve Miller, John Fogarty, Huey Lewis and the News," Goodridge said. "So Lynyrd Skynyrd is just another one on the list of greats."

This is the 20th Magic City Blues Festival, which started in 2002. It was canceled in 2020 because of COVID.

"After 20 years on Montana Avenue, which was an amazing venue, we just kind of thought it's time to upscale a little bit," Goodridge said. "We have more room for vendors, more people and everybody can bring their own chairs this year. It's a little bit more like the South Park festivals we put on there for a couple years."

Each night the first show on the small stage starts at 5:30 p.m. and the first show on the big stage starts at 6:30.