Vanilla Ice, C+C Music Factory hitting the stage at Bluesfest Windsor

Bluesfest Windsor is on this week, starting Thursday at the Riverfront Festival Plaza and continuing through Sunday. But the name of the festival may be misleading.

Beth Hart, Eddie Money also on the roster as festival expands genres

In this file photo, crowds pack the waterfront for Bluesfest 2017. This year, the event will feature some 80s and 90s artists. (Bluesfest Windsor)

Bluesfest Windsor is on this week, starting Thursday at the Riverfront Festival Plaza and continuing through Sunday. But the name of the festival may be misleading.

There's a whole lot more than blues music planned.

"We've been looking to expand it in the last few years," said Jeff Burrows, drummer for the Tea Party and artistic director of Bluesfest Windsor. 

"One of the problems is is that blues music in itself is not dying, but blues artists are naturally just getting older and there is not as many around."

This year, there will be a who's-who of hip hop acts from the late 1980s and early '90s featured. And that includes C+C Music Factory, Vanilla Ice, and Naughty By Nature. 

But not everyone has been on board with the additional genres being added to the lineup.

"We've had a lot of naysayers — we're over it," said Burrows. "We've got a grand plan and a big picture for the City of Windsor and the surrounding communities to make this a very affordable, very fun festival." 

Advanced sales are just over 6,000 tickets for Sunday alone, which was way higher than the hundred or so sold for that day last year, said Burrows. So far, the addition of the 90s artists are already paying off. 

And that's also reflected in the festival's budget.

Burrows said this year, the budget was $1.2 million as this festival has grown by "leaps and bounds." Burrow explained more money is needed to bring in these big acts. 

Blues artist Beth Hart will be taking the stage this weekend, along with Eddie Money, the Pat Travers Band, and Jonny Lang.

Those interested in the 90s wrap up can also look forward to seeing Young MC and Rob Base.

Gates open Thursday at 4 p.m. and the first band hits the stage at 6 p.m. You can get more information about the schedule and tickets at bluesfestwindsor.com.

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