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The colorful characters of Magic City Blues

Q2 caught up with folks watching Arterial Drive
Posted at 1:08 PM, Aug 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-04 15:08:38-04

BILLINGS — Saturday saw the second night of music at the annual Magic City Blues Festival in downtown Billings.

Hundreds packed Montana Avenue to take in a variety of different acts over the course of the weekend.

From the front gate to the main stage, it takes all kinds to pull off a successful blues fest.

Before you step into the blues-wonderland, you're going to meet Jackson Mariolarbi. He's been working the blues fest for 10 years

"My role here is to greet and direct people to the proper lines," Mariolarbi said.

He welcomed every single person at the gate with great enthusiasm.

"Pretty much you've got to make sure you get all the energy out at once so that when they get into that festival they are ready for a good time," Mariolarbi said. "I mean it's Magic City Blues of course it's a good time."

Magic City Blues is in some ways like any other concert. There's always going to be some folks in the crowd that can't wait to cut a rug.

Tammy Vogel was shaking her groove thing with local Billings band Arterial Drive Saturday afternoon.

"I love to dance, and I love Arterial Drive," Vogel said. "They're awesome. They are going far."

Vogel has been to the blues past for the past 10 years. She said it's the music that brings her back every year.

The drinks are also an important piece of good live music. Paul Morup has been serving up spirits to blues fest patrons for a long time.

"I think it's probably the biggest festival of the summer definitely here in Billings," Morup said. "It's the only time of the year you get to shut down Montana Avenue. A lot of people don't realize that Montana Avenue is a state highway. It's a much bigger deal."

Morup said it's the people that make Magic City Blues the fun night that it has become.

"There's people here that I only see here," Morup said. "I mean, I live in Billings. They live in Billings. But, there's these two ladies that I see every year and they're the Tanqueray and tonic girls. I like to have their drinks ready for them."

The band Postmodern Jukebox were the last group to take the stage at Magic City Blues 2019.