There hasn't been a traditional Kitchener Blues Festival since 2019.
This past summer, the festival once again pivoted and held modified events through Crossroads 2021. Now, Crossroads 2.0 is happening this weekend.
"With the weather changing, we're moving inside," said Kitchener Blues Festival President, Rob Barkshire. "We're going to be at eight different venues in the downtown Kitchener area and we have 44 shows starting Saturday at 2 p.m. and going until about 8:30 p.m. on Sunday."
Barkshire said now that COVID restrictions have eased, people are looking to get out and enjoy some live music again, "And certainly the musicians and the venues are looking for some extra business, so come on out and have a good time."
The shows are completely free and no tickets are required. COVID-19 protocols will be in place including capacity limits.
Barkshire said this has certainly been a difficult, unprecedented time for the live music industry.
He said musicians have lost a lot of business and many clubs have closed permanently across the country and locally becase they couldn't weather the storm.
"This is our way to give back a little bit," explained Barkshire. "These clubs have helped us over the years to become the kind of festival we are."
Barkshire added planning is already underway for 2022's Kitchener Blues Festival.
"We know that there could be restrictions but our philosophy has always been to plan for the big event and then step back, because doing it the other way around is a little too difficult."
The festival's 20th anniversary celebration was supposed to happen in 2020 and due to the ongoing pandemic, it still hasn't happened.
"We are planning in 2022 to have our 20th anniversary celebration. We're looking to have some really great acts come to Kitchener, mixed in with terrific local talent."
To see the lineup for Kitchener Blues Festival's Crossroads 2.0, click here.