Toruń Blues Meeting is an extraordinary festival of blues music, which is famous most of all for its wonderful atmosphere, just like on annual friends meetings. The term of the festival is every last but one weekend of the November. Blues fans from all over the country permanently come to Torun’s club “Od Nowa” at this time. Festival lasts two days but there were also 3-day-events in the past.
Festival is not a competition and participants aren’t given any awards. As a consequence, there isn’t any sport-like rivalry between them. The only award they get is an audience’s ovation. The conception of the festival is to present different forms and kinds of blues and to combine the youth with the experience. On the club’s stage there have been artists representing electric and acoustic blues, boogie, jump, west coast, blues-rock, country blues and, of course, everlasting Chicago blues. There have been concerts of the bands, duos and soloists, veterans and young adepts of blues, who have a chance to present themselves in front of the wider audience on the same stage as the older approved players.
Many artists have played in “Od Nowa” club as far, such as: Tadeusz Nalepa, Irek Dudek, Dżem, Nocna Zmiana Bluesa, Martyna Jakubowicz, Easy Rider, Kasa Chorych, Mira Kubasińska, Gang Olsena, Jan „Kyks” Skrzek, Obstawa Prezydenta, Blues Flowers, After Blues, Boogie Boys, bluesmen from USA: Keith Dunn, Carlos Johnson, John „Broadway” Tucker, Michael Roach, Guitar Crusher and Earl Green and also musicians from Great Britain, Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Italy, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Lithuania, Belarus and even from distant Australia.
From the beginning till now, the role of the host has been played by Maurycy – a director of the “Od Nowa” club and a leader of the Tortilla, a Torun’s blues band (known as Tortilla Flat in the past).
Every year bluesmen and blues fans give a testimony of blues condition in Poland. During two days of festival, there are concerts of over a dozen bands on club’s stage. There are about 1.500 people who watch the performances every year.
Thanks to the atmosphere of legendary club “Od Nowa”, concerts are exceptionally hot and unique. Unusual spirit of the festival is made by its faithful fans coming to Torun year by year.
Tradition of Torun Blues Meeting is a night jam session on the club’s small stage. Participants are the musicians from different bands but often also the people from the audience. No one knows who will perform together. Hot jamming lasts till the dawn, but the record was the one that ended on a Sunday at midday!
This festival is a meeting of several generations finding the blues the most important thing.