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Diverse Bluesfest Windsor lineup features rapper Flo Rida, DJ duo Loud Luxury, and more

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….there’s no denying that Bluesfest Windsor 2020 will have the most diverse lineup in the history of the event so far.”

Dalson Chen, Windsor Star, March 7/20 Read article.

Clockwise from top left: Rapper Flo Rida, DJ duo Loud Luxury, Hugh Dillon of Canadian hard rock band The Headstones, and Chilli and T-Boz of TLC performing at various venues. / Postmedia News Group

From club rap to hard rock to electronic dance music — there’s no denying that Bluesfest Windsor 2020 will have the most diverse lineup in the history of the event so far.

“Diversity is what we were shooting for this year,” said Rob Petroni, president of LiUNA Bluesfest Windsor.


“Everybody understands that a bluesfest has morphed into a musicfest.”Earlier this week, organizers revealed most of the performers of the summer event — set to take place at the Riverfront Festival Plaza over two weekends, July 10 to 12 and July 17 to 19.Featured performers include multi-platinum rapper Flo Rida, DJ duo Loud Luxury, 1990s pop act TLC, and veteran Canadian rock bands such as The Trews, Big Wreck, The Tea Party, The Headstones, and Moist.“The more genres that we bring in, the more people we satisfy,” Petroni said.Self-proclaimed “king of the club” Flo Rida will kick things off by headlining on opening night, July 10.

With catchy club anthems to his credit like Low, Whistle, Right Round, and My House, the Miami-based rapper is guaranteed to get concert-goers out of their seats.“What we have learned is that people want to come to the Plaza to dance,” Petroni said. “We have tried very hard this year to make a party atmosphere.”

Rapper Flo Rida on stage at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, in March 2012. PIERRE OBENDRAUF/Montreal Gazette


July 11 will offer The Trews, hard rocking Oshawa duo The Standstills, Ohio roots rock band Red Wanting Blue, and Essex County’s own Billy Raffoul.Raffoul’s performance will be a family affair: He’ll be joined by his father Jody Raffoul and his brother Peter Raffoul.“Billy has been on tour all over North America,” Petroni said. “But we think this is the first time he’ll be with Jody and Peter on a big stage. People in this area know how talented this family is.”
On July 12, the festival will be visited by the Saints and Sinners Tour, offering a who’s who of 1990s Canadian hard rock: Big Wreck, The Headstones, Moist, and The Tea Party.“I think that’s one of the best Canadian tours this summer,” Petroni enthused. “They’re all taking turns headlining. I believe The Tea Party will headline that night.”

Hugh Dillon, frontman of Canadian hard rock band The Headstones, performing live. /Postmedia News Group


The variety continues the following weekend with another first for Bluesfest Windsor: A night totally devoted to electronic dance music.Loud Luxury — an in-demand Toronto duo who have been making waves in the EDM world — will raise the energy level on July 17.
Petroni said on Thursday that he’s working on securing another big name in EDM for the same night.“At one time, you couldn’t have a DJ at Bluefest,” he said. “This opens things up to a whole new fanbase.”The next night, July 18, will be all about pop music: Chilli and T-Boz of TLC will perform renditions of such hit songs as Waterfalls, Creep, and No Scrubs.Opening for them will be Jenny Berggren of the Swedish pop act Ace of Base, singing tracks like All That She Wants, Don’t Turn Around, and The Sign.“It’s another party night,” Petroni promised.

Chilli Thomas and T-Boz Watkins of pop act TLC performing in Montreal in June 2015. JOHN KENNEY/Montreal Gazette


The final day of the festival, July 19, will be dedicated to the music that made the event’s name: Blues.
International blues artists slated to perform include The Cash Box Kings, Carolyn Wonderland, Mike Zito, Albert Castiglia, and more.Petroni credited the Canada South Blues Society for selecting the July 19 lineup. “It’s their 20th anniversary,” he said. “They have done a fantastic job of promoting the blues in and around the Windsor-Chatham area.”But Petroni also feels it should be obvious that musical diversity and expanding tourism potential are the event’s goals moving forward — the Bluesfest name notwithstanding.“We are re-branding soon as Windsor Music Week,” Petroni said.LiUNA Bluesfest Windsor 2020 happens at the Riverfront Festival

LiUNA! Bluesfest Windsor Special Announcement

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Windsor ON LiUNA! Bluesfest Windsor, and musician Eric Gales, regret to announce that due to a Canada Border Services Agency decision earlier today, Mr. Gales has been denied entry into Canada and will not perform Friday, July 12.

“While we are greatly disappointed Eric will not be joining us emphasized,” Mr. Petroni, “I am pleased to announce that Detroit’s award winning band, Laura Rain and The Caesars will bring their funky soul and rhythm and blues sound to complement our dynamite Amazing Blues Night featuring eight-time Grammy award winner, Buddy Guy and blues sensation Sugaray Rayford.”

Media Contact:
Rob Petroni, President

Bluesfest Windsor Extends FREE Offer To ROXODUS Ticket Holders Stunned By Cancelled Event

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Windsor ON The organizers of Bluesfest Windsor ‘feel the pain’ concert goers are now experiencing following the abrupt cancellation of ROXODUS, the widely promoted and much anticipated rockfest scheduled for July 11 – 13 near Barrie, Ontario.

Bluesfest President, Rob Petroni, says they will gladly step up with a Made In Windsor offer to any Roxodus ticket holder interested in attending Bluesfest Windsor’s Friday and Saturday concerts (July 12 /13) featuring headliners Buddy Guy and Morris Day and the Time.

“We’ll let them in FREE, Friday and Saturday, providing they present a valid ticket – printed or digital,” Petroni emphasizes. “We’d love to have them experience our hospitality, the riverfront venue and of course our world-class production and featured artists.”

Petroni also stressed that proceeds from revenue generated through concession sales over the four-day event are donated to local charitable and not-for-profits in support of their community initiatives. Roxodus’ loss is an opportunity for Bluesfest Windsor to extend their marketing reach.

This Friday, An Amazing Night of Blues features eight-time Grammy award winner Buddy Guy plus Eric Gales and Sugaray Rayford, followed on Saturday night by a Celebration of Prince with headliner Morris Day and The Time plus Purple Reign. Both nights are expected to draw huge crowds.

Details of the event are available at and

Media Contact:
Rob Petroni, President 519.564.9522

Hot New Rockers Join Bluesfest Windsor Lineup

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Windsor Now in their fourth year on the professional music scene, local rock/pop band Autumn Kings is making music that matters. Their fan following is exploding after a four-month tour in 2018 with performances at packed venues between Ontario and British Columbia – concerts with international touring acts Sublime w/ Rome, Pop Evil, Awolnation and MuteMath. Recently, the Kings were the opening act for legendary rockers The Tea Party at Windsor’s Caesars Colosseum.

As of late February, the band’s independently released 12-song debut album ‘Silver Screens’ has generated a major buzz online with over 2,600,000 Spotify Streams and 4,200,000 combined plays across Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube.

“We’re excited to see a local band like Autumn Kings on the road to international success,” said Rob Petroni, President of LiUNA! Bluesfest Windsor. “They were breaking into the music scene when they performed for us in 2017 and we’re especially pleased to invite them back to kick off our Hot Rock Night, Saturday, July 6 th with Billy Raffoul and featured headliner X Ambassadors.”

LiUNA! Bluesfest Windsor runs over two weekends – Friday, Saturday, July 5/6 and Friday, Saturday, July 12/13. Event details, artists’ bios, schedule and tickets are available at Tickets can also be purchased at all Scotiabank outlets in the city and county.

Media Contact:
Rob Petroni, President

Best of Windsor Essex Attractions & Events Awards 2019

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Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island announced the winners of the fourth edition of the Best of Windsor Essex Awards, based on public nominations, during a special ceremony held at St. Clair Centre For The Arts last Thursday (March 28). The voting ran from February 4th through February 24th, 2019 with the goal of putting together the most comprehensive list of the “best things to see and do” in the region. Read More…

Bluesfest Windsor receiving the Tourism Windsor Essex and Pelee Island Best of Windsor Essex Award for Best Music Festival for the second year in a row at St. Clair College Centre For The Arts on March 28, 2019. Photo by Eric Bonnici / Eyes On Windsor.

Windsor Star Readers Select Bluesfest Windsor – Favourite Local Music Festival

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Congratulations! You are a Best of #YQG recipient.

Best of #YQG, formerly known as Best of Windsor Essex gave readers a chance to name their favourite businesses in over a 100 categories. This year has a new name and some new categories to cover the many amazing businesses the YQG area has to offer.

This year’s Best of #YQG survey featured over 140 categories. Voting closed on December 27th, 2018 with more than 1,200 readers participating.

It is with great pleasure we inform you that Bluesfest Windsor is the winner in the best LOCAL FESTIVAL AND EVENT category.

As one of the Best of #YQG winners, please accept the enclosed window decal and certificate to display as you deem appropriate.

In celebration of the winner and runner-up businesses, we will be producing a special Best of #YQG publication to be distributed on May 4, 2019. This much anticipated special section will give your business direct exposure to a potential 229,000 print and online readers. The section will also be available online for the entire year giving you exposure to thousands of unique visitors daily on

You also have the opportunity to tell your story in the Best of #YQG special feature. Please see the accompanying details and speak with your Media Sales Consultant to take advantage of this exclusive opportunity.

Congratulations on being one of the Best in the YQG area!

Amanda Reid
Media Sales Manager
Windsor Star

LiUNA! Bluesfest Windsor Special Announcement

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Windsor ON LiUNA! Bluesfest Windsor, President, Rob Petroni regrets to announce that due to a scheduling conflict, Sheila E. is unavailable to perform during the Celebration of Prince concert Saturday, July 13.

“While we are disappointed Sheila E. will not be joining us,” emphasized, Mr. Petroni, “I am pleased to announce that Detroit’s award winning R&B band, Katheleen Murray and The Groove Council, will perform on the Celebration of Prince night with our featured headliner, Morris Day and The Time plus the Purple Reign band.”

Media Contact:
Rob Petroni, President

Four Exciting and Special Concert Nights Are Scheduled For LiUNA! Bluesfest Windsor 2019

By | Latest News

Windsor 90’s Throwback, Hot Rock Night, A Night for Amazing Blues, and a Celebration of Prince, are four special concert nights featuring legendary performers and rising stars coming to LiUNA! Bluesfest Windsor 2019.

“On behalf of LiUNA! Bluesfest Windsor’s Board of Directors, I’m very pleased today to release our full list of headliners that began with our earlier announcements in December,” stated Rob Petroni, festival President and Business Manager of LiUNA! 625.

Friday, July 5, 90’S THROWBACK kicks off the four-day music fest, returning (after last year’s overwhelmingly successful concert and dance party) and featuring Vanilla Ice, Rob Base, Young MC, C&C Music Factory ft. Freedom Williams plus 2-Live Crew and Tone Loc.

Saturday, July 6, HOT ROCK NIGHT features world-class rockers X Ambassadors from Ithaca, NY. Their bombastic sounds and hit songs have garnered multi-music awards across the continent including a gold-certified album for VHS and double-platinum hits like Renegades and Unsteady as they continue to win fans and sell out concerts worldwide.

Leading off Saturday’s HOT ROCK NIGHT, singer, songwriter rising Canadian rock star, Billy Raffoul brings his blues rock raspy voice and raw sense of storytelling to the Bluesfest stage. With the launch of his first EP 1975 and packing North American tour performances, Raffoul is receiving critical acclaim from music media and a rapidly growing fan following.

Friday, July 12, A NIGHT FOR AMAZING BLUES features Buddy Guy. Blues purists, aficionados and genre newbies won’t want to miss the legendary blues icon performing his classic hits and new tunes from his18th solo LP and latest album, The Blues is Alive and Well. At 82 year’s young and a touring schedule akin to a rising star, with seven Grammys and countless music awards, Bluesfest’s special night with Buddy Guy will simply amaze!

Also heading up blues night and making his first appearance in Canada, renowned guitarist and blues rock singer, Eric Gales is fresh off headlining sold-out concerts in the UK, South America and Europe and is set to release his new studio album The Bookends. With 15 studio albums to his credit, the first released at age 16, Gales is recognized as the guitarists’ favourite guitarist by the likes of Carlos Santana, Joe Bonamassa, Dave Navarro and many others.

Setting the stage for blues night is multi-blues award nominee, soul blues singer Sugaray Rayford, returning to the Bluesfest stage. Rayford’s live shows feature his 8-piece band and deliver a high-energy vibe with a celebratory flair as he whips the crowd into a frenzy like a Gospel Preacher.

Saturday, July 13, CELEBRATION OF PRINCE, presented by Morris Day & The Time and Sheila E. plus Purple Reign. Morris Day, Master of Cool, with his smooth vocals and dynamic dancing was a high-school classmate of Prince and also a founding member and performer in his band, The Time. Going solo in 1984, today, Morris Day & The Time perform hit songs like Jungle Love to standing-room-only crowds across the country.

Sheila E. is a world-class percussionist, singer/songwriter, author and humanitarian. Her trailblazing career, still without bounds, began in the mid- ’80’s when she became the biggest and brightest of Prince’s protégés. Her fierce, dynamic energy onstage has made her a major concert draw since the ‘90’s, captivating audiences around the world with a variety of styles from Latin, and jazz, to R&B and pop. With groundbreaking hits like The Glamorous Life and A Love Bizarre, plus career credits that include the likes of Ringo Starr and Diana Ross, Sheila E. will create a new dimension of entertainment for Bluesfest fans.

Purple Reign is an award-winning live show produced by and starring Jason Tenner. Playing the Las Vegas strip for almost two decades, Tenner’s funk, neo-soul, pop and rock sound, plus his Prince-like persona has been a hit sensation with audiences from around the world and his led to a guest musical appearance on the David Letterman show.

Kathleen Murray and The Groove Council, Detroit’s legendary blues and R&B artists and long-standing Bluesfest Windsor performers, will open the Celebration of Prince concert.

Bluestowne, the destination for food, refreshments and blues artists performing under the Big Tent between main stage sets, will also feature Scott Holt, Hurricane Ruth, Greatest Hits Live, South River Slim and additional artists in the works!

Reimagined and revitalized five years ago when Rob Petroni took the helm and began securing major corporate sponsors to attract world class artists to perform on the Windsor waterfront, today, LiUNA! Bluesfest Windsor is a million dollar plus production, expanding to new heights each year.

“My focus has always been to feature exceptional quality musicians, emphasize genre diversity and to grow and broaden our fan base by creating a highly entertaining and memorable experience,” says Petroni.

After Bluesfest’s second break-even year, Petroni presented his national organization, LiUNA! with a signature sponsorship proposal that would assign the most progressive union in the country the naming rights to the festival and all related marketing. Since they’ve been on board, the LiUNA! brand and the organization’s regional stature have gained considerable attention for their role as a significant community partner for volunteerism, and the funding of special needs for numerous charitable organizations, most notably, Transition To Betterness.

“Ticket sales for the 2019 concert which began last month, have exceeded last year’s early bird sales by 30%,” added Executive Director, Carol Petroni. “And that’s only through online sales! Watch for our retail outlets to be announced by mid-February,” she emphasized.

Download a PDF of the release here.

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