1. Get a room at a casino or nearby hotel.
2. Camp for $50.
3. Drive back and forth.
But all have problems. Number one requires you to plan ahead. Good luck booking a room anywhere near the fest now. Number two means camping in the early fall heat with a bunch of drunks. And number three means you can't enjoy too many tall cold ones with your turkey leg on the levee and be assured of getting home safely.
This year, the Times has conceived a fourth way: The Arkansas Times Blues Bus. We're chartering a touring bus to haul blues fans to and from Helena-West Helena on Saturday, October 9. We'll leave at 10 a.m. from our offices downtown, stop at Craig's for some barbecue on the way and get to the concert in time to catch the afternoon performers and, later, the great Taj Mahal. On the way down, Little Rock's blues standard bearer Bluesboy Jag will get us in the mood with a performance in the bus. Publisher Alan Leveritt and I are riding along. Max has said he's definitely not going, but maybe if we crow loud enough we can get him to change his mind.
Tickets, which, again, include a ride to and fro, the en route concert, lunch at Craig's and a VIP ticket to the concert, are $99. Charge by phone (all credit cards accepted) at 501-375-2985 or mail a check or money order to Arkansas Times Blues Bus, Box 34010, Little Rock, AR 72203.