Buddy Guy Plays Up A Storm

A lightning storm forced Buddy Guy off the stage during the Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival August 5th when rain started pouring during the final act of the two-day Annapolis, Md., event.

Don Hooker, who has promoted the festival since it started in 1998, told Pollstar the legendary bluesman got through three songs before the rain started pouring at the 20,000-capacity Sandy Point State Park.

Mike Maxson, Guy’s tour manager, told Pollstar Hooker tried to get the guitarist to stop playing, but Guy didn’t notice the nearby lightning and kept on. When he kept strumming away in the rain, Hooker told the monitor engineer that if Guy didn’t leave the stage, he was going to shut the power off.

Hooker was quoted in the Capital newspaper saying that, "I didn’t want to become the promoter who fried Buddy Guy."

"By the third crack of lightning we convinced him," the promoter told Pollstar.

Shortly after Guy left the stage, it was announced that the show was over because of the dangerous weather.

"There was a little of the booing but mostly it was just people running away because it was really raining by then. It was a downpour," Maxon said.

All of the proceeds of the festival went to three charities – Special Olympics of Maryland, We Care and Friends of Annapolis and the Johns Hopkins Cleft and Craniofacial Center.

"We’ve done it that way every year we’ve had the festival," Hooker said.

The promoter said he’s hoping to hold the annual event during June next year rather than August because of the heat.

"It was just too hot. My poor volunteers – I just don’t want to do that to them again. August in this area is pretty sweltering."