The “Wortley Village Jazz and Blues Festival”:https://wortleyjazzbluesfest.weebly.com/ is a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon in August. This year was the 9th annual festival but my first time attending; it won’t be the last. Wortley Road was closed off for a couple of blocks to accommodate most of the stages and one stage was on the green surrounded by an art and crafts sale.
Wortley Village is in the heart of Old South in London, Ontario. Wortley Street is home to a variety of boutiques, cafes, restaurants and pubs and has a unique village feel. The arts and crafts event started at 11:00 am and the music was on tap from 1:30 to 6:00pm. I arrived in time to wander the stalls on the green while listening to the Music Makers on the portable stage. It was a warm afternoon so it was nice to be able to stroll up the street and listen to the various bands (the London Rhythm and Soul Revue featuring Denise Pelley; Soul Sausage; Rachelle Courtney Jazz Ensemble; and Chris Murphy and Mardi Gras Mambo) while taking refuge now and then in the open shops and their air conditioning. Many people brought chairs and settled themselves down on the street to take in the shows. One couple stopped by and treated the audience to an impromptu dance show as well. Each band plays a couple of 40 minute sets with a short break in-between.
While having an iced mocha at the Black Walnut Bakery I received a text that a storm was on the way so I headed outside and made my way back down the street and along to my vehicle. I made it half way home before the heavens opened up. There was still another set to come of bands at each stage but unfortunately they got rained out (Doug Varty and Beatles in Blue; Delta Stone and The War Dogs; Galea and the Galvanizers; Adam Lamoureux Quartet; and Floating Point). The storm was short lived but it was fierce!
The festival is a free event though there are buckets at each stage for donations. Parking is available on the side streets in the area.