If you're going to the 16th annual Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival, which runs through Sunday, July 6, in Gov. Tom McCall Waterfront Park, here's a primer.

Main attractions

• 100 acts on four stages with special focus on women in blues, including Etta James, Susan Tedeschi, Linda Hornbuckle, Bettye LaVette, Fiona Boyes, Janice Scroggins and Joanna Connor

• 3 blues cruises: two afternoon and one late at night

• 90-year-old boogie-woogie pianist Pinetop Perkins' birthday party

• Rock 'n' roll legend Steve Miller with harmonica great Norton Buffalo and slide guitar whiz Roy Rogers

• A movie about Stax Records, 'Only the Strong Survive'

• Funk, soul, zydeco, gospel, acoustic and big-band blues

What to bring:

• $5 and two cans of food per person, per day

• Water, sunscreen, sunglasses (poncho if the weather is gray)

• Low lawn chair (or you'll be sent to the back)

Don't bring:

• Pets

• Alcohol (it's sold there)

• Glass containers


The blues festival fills waterfront park between RiverPlace Hotel and Southwest Taylor Street. Nearby parking fills up quickly, so try downtown lots or the east side, across the Hawthorne Bridge, or ride a bicycle or take TriMet.


Friday: Noon-10 p.m.; fireworks follow

Saturday: Noon-10 p.m.; blues cruise and Reel Blues film follow

Sunday: Noon-9 p.m.

On-site offerings

• ATM machine

• First aid tent

• Bicycle parking

• Food and drink vendors

• CDs, posters, clothing and pottery vendors

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