For participants, the Bloomsday course can seem never-ending, but for the musicians performing on the sidelines of the 12-kilometer course, things can be just as challenging. It's a grueling four hours of playing music without a break, working through vocal issues and hand blisters that can turn bloody. Yet year after year, local artists sign up to motivate nearly 50,000 racers up and around Spokane.
"This is a tough gig and many bands do trickle out," says Laurel Warner, Bloomsday entertainment committee member. "But that we have 20 acts returning this year proves just how rewarding playing for Bloomsday can be."
The 26-plus groups participating, whose ages range from teen through retiree, play everything from jazz and Christian praise to original heavy metal tunes. Warner says she works hard to offer styles of music for everyone run/walking the annual event.
As always, athletes can vote for their favorite roadside attraction after they finish the race by going online to bloomsdayrun.org. This year, voters can pick their top three favorites rather than just one.
"These bands are essentially volunteering their time for Bloomsday," Warner says. "Being named a crowd favorite is a big deal for them." ♦
Look out for these acts along the route:
1. Rock Club (student rock stars): Riverside & Jefferson
2. Black Gingham (rock): Riverside at dentist office
3. Dawn of Life (rock 'n' roll/blues/ funk): Riverside & Cannon
4. Too Many Men (pop/rock): Riverside at the MAC
5. Rylei Franks (acoustic rock): Riverside & Clarke at open dirt area on the south side of Riverside
6. Good Old Stuff (oldies): Riverside past Marne Bridge at dirt pullout
7. Station 7 (alternative/classic rock covers): Government Way and G Street
8. Rockwell (rock/country): Government Way & Ft. George Wright Dr. at median
9. Student Jazz Ensemble (swing/jazz/blues/old-time): Ft. George Wright Dr. at parking lot of Unitarian Church
10. David Gordon (rock): Ft. George Wright Dr. & Randolph
11. Angela Marie Project (high-energy original music): Ft. George Wright Dr. at the curve in open grass area
12. Tori Whitten (solo singer): Ft, George Wright Dr. & Elliot
13. The Nixon Rodeo (hard rock): T.J. Meenach Bridge at Doomsday Hill
14. Summit View Swank (rock 'n' roll): Front yard at 2509 E. Summit Blvd.
15. Burle Craven (singer/guitarist): Lindeke & Sinto
16. Chris Ellenberger (singer/entertainer): Lindeke & Gardner
17. In Tune (country/rock/old-time): Lindeke & Dean
18. Strykewater (rock/blues): Lindeke & Broadway at turn
19. Grass Menagerie (bluegrass/Americana): Broadway & Cochran
20. Stranglers of Bombay (classic/original): Broadway & Elm
21. Fusbol (pop/rock): Broadway & Oak at Backyard Pub House
22. Curgloft (solo loopstation covers/improvised pieces): Broadway & Maple
23. The Donner Party Band (classic rock/blues): Broadway & Ash at the "T"
24. Random Generation (classic rock): Broadway & Adams
25. Quarter Monkey (rock): Broadway & Madison
26. Last Chance for Gas ('70s rock/Christian praise): Finish line water station