The 2016 Ventura County Blues Festival is celebrating its eleventh year. Formerly known as Michael John’s Simi Valley Blues Festival this festival has become one of the most anticipated blues festivals in Southern California. It has been through some changes and now with a new home, The Studio Channel Islands Arts Center in Camarillo, it promises to be better than ever. Moving the festival to the Arts Center will reduce expenses, allowing for an increase in donations to local charities and non-profits.
The festival is the vision of Simi Valley resident Michael John Basowski. Michael has been a musician all his life and had dreamed that someday he could do something which would make an impact on his community. He founded the Ventura County Blues Society whose primary purpose is to provide funding to charities through blues music to benefit the people of the community by spreading education about, awareness of, and participation in blues music, an original and vital American art form.
Being a blues musician, the idea of a blues festival was the ideal way for Michael to turn his dream into reality. At the first festival held in 2006, Michael John teamed up with the local non-profit organization Write4Hope which was instrumental in helping with the logistics for the event and made it possible to hold the first three blues festivals in Oak County Park in Simi Valley. In addition, Michael John’s family and friends have donated their time and talent to help make this event a yearly success.
The Ventura County Blues Society is the presenter of the Ventura County Blues Festival and look forward to carrying on this tradition for many years to come. Because of the support of sponsors and the generosity of all the volunteers donating their time we anticipate the Annual Ventura County Blues Festival will continue to grow as it has each year.