Ladies will sing the blues at music festival


The Fishers Blues Fest will have a special theme.

The two-day free festival, set for Sept. 2-3, will feature a Ladies in Blues lineup Sept. 3 at the Nickel Plate District Amphitheater in Fishers.

There will be four female performers with the headliner being Joanna Connor from Chicago.

“She is called the Queen of Blues and she is great,” said Marissa Deckert, assistant director for the Fishers Parks and Recreation Dept. “We had her booked last year and it got rained out (the second night) and she wasn’t able to play, so we’re really excited.”

This is Connor’s first appearance in the Blues Fest. She will start her set at 9:15 p.m. Performances begin at 4:15 p.m. each night and end at 10:45 p.m.

Deckert said to commemorate the 10th annual Blues Fest, organizers wanted to do something a little different and discussed different ideas.

“As we started looking through various acts, we realized we hadn’t ever highlighted women entertainers in blues, and there are so many of them,” Deckert said.

The other female performers are Veronika Jackson, Nora Jean Wallace and Melody Angel.

“Every genre of music is deeply rooted in the blues and deeply rooted in the South, and that’s what we are trying to highlight this year,” said Deckert, whose husband, Justin Deckert, has played bass in a variety of blues bands. “You can listen to blues that are pop influenced and rhythm and blues. We’re trying to get that guttural blues music this year.”

Deckert said all eight acts are making their first appearance at Fishers Blues Fest.

The music festival was held in 2020 amid the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“What I love about this event is that this was one of the only events we held through COVID in 2020,” Deckert said. “We ended up striping the grid within 6 feet of each other. It was incredibly successful during one of the most challenging times. It speaks to the desire for people to come out and want to see blues in Fishers.”

Attendance was not limited in 2021, but Deckert said social distancing was encouraged.

“At this point, the comfort level is a little different from last year,” Deckert said. “We’ll still encourage people to stay home if you are sick and distance yourself at your own comfort level.”

Deckert said about 4,000 people annually attend Blues Fest, which is near maximum capacity for the space.

“With this event, people seem to come and go throughout,” Deckert said of the festival, which is for all ages.

There will be multiple food and beverage vendors. Four Day Ray Brewing and MashCraft will offer beverages for sale.

Free parking is available in the Switch, police and Spark Apartment garages. Street parking also is available throughout the Nickel Plate District and downtown Fishers.

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Blues Fest Lineup

Sept. 2

  • 4:15-5:15 p.m.: Jamiah Rogers
  • 5:45-6:45 p.m.: Nick Alexander
  • 7:15-8:45 p.m.: Grady Champion
  • 9:15-10:45 p.m.: Larry McCray

Sept. 3 

  • 4:15-5:15 p.m.: Veronika Jackson
  • 5:45- 6:45 p.m.: Nora Jean Wallace
  • 7:15-8:45 p.m.: Melody Angel
  • 9:15-10:45 p.m.: Joanna Connor