The 9th annual Greater Ozarks Blues Festival wrapped on Saturday night with a blistering set by Buddy Guy. From our tiny perch, a few impressions:
•The site -- a Positronics lot along Campbell Avenue, just south of The News-Leader -- was BTE. Friday night saw the stage-end bowl full; the newspaper had a crowd estimate of 3,000. By the time Guy took the stage on Saturday night, the bowl had expanded past the asphalt, across the gravel and well onto the grassy side of the lot. The estimate is 5,000, which seems a little low from what we saw. But hey, it was in the paper.
•Speaking of the daily: We chatted up Michael Brothers, the paper's entertainment columnist, as he roamed the grounds on Friday. Boffo guy, good taste in music. Taller than his mugshot.
•Speaking of media types: The inside site buzz was all about Downtown Now, a new glossy monthly -- not so much the mag as the current issue, which was No. 2 in more ways than one. The cover story was a curiosity, discussing Buddy Guy, Springfield's whiteness and the 1906 lynchings. And that was just the lede. The rest of the ramble had people shaking their heads in disbelief; more than one person said any hopes for a honeymoon period with the mag was over.
•Speaking of Downtown Now: A man claiming to represent the mag wandered into a VIP tent set up for the main Bluesfest sponsor. The man asked if this was the "media tent," because "usually there's a catered media tent, right?" Umm, wrong. He was pointed to a public tent but sniffed with disdain, "That's for the public." He then declined an offer to be escorted out of the VIP tent -- "I can walk myself out" -- and was last seen scanning the horizon, looking for the enchanted, catered media tent.