Although many festivals have been cancelled due to the pandemic, the Picayune Main Street’s annual Rockin Blues Festival in Picayune will still be held this weekend.
Ryan Foret & Foret Tradition will headline the small festival featuring live music, which is in its thirteenth year. The Solid Gold Band will open for them.
“We’re an oldies band, 50s, 60s, classic country, rock n roll, a little southern rock,” said Tim Burns with the Solid Gold Band.
Despite the pandemic closing many venues, the band has been able to perform regularly recently because Burns hosts small shows at his own Picayune based venue, the Solid Gold Barn.
The barn was closed for several months and offered a few performances via live streams instead of live, but reopened as some of the COVID-19 restrictions began to lift.
“It’s been tough. A lot of musicians are suffering,” said Burns.
Burns works as a barber, so the loss of venues to play in has not impacted him financially the way it’s affected many of the full time musicians he knows.
Still this will be the first festival performance for the Solid Gold Band since the pandemic began.
Lynne Barze’ will be singing and act as an emcee at the festival along with with her husband Ted, something she’s done in years past.
“They call me the Blues Queen of Picayune. I knew nothing about Blues until I moved to Mississippi. I came up with Swamp Pop and jazz,” said Barze.’
Barze’ is a regular attendee at the Solid Gold Barn and watched the live streamed performances when the venue was closed.
“The main thing with musicians, they play for the love of playing and the love of music, so they miss that. They miss the audience,” said Barze’.
Due to COVID-19, restaurants and bars, which are a regular venue for musicians, are still subject to limitations on party sizes and when alcohol can be served.
The Governor’s Executive Order 1525 limits outdoor gatherings to 100 people when social distancing is not possible.
During the festival part of West Canal Street will be blocked off. Social distancing and face masks will be encouraged.
The CDC recommends that people wear cloth face coverings when in public with people who do not live in the same household, and especially in settings where people might shout, chant or sing. Cloth face covers are meant to protect other people in case the person wearing the mask is unknowingly infected.