Main event takes place Dec. 2 on the Riverwalk in downtown Bradenton.

We've all heard "tickets going fast."

But this time it's for real.

I've been having a great time every year at Bradenton Blues Festival since it debuted in 2012. And I look forward to attending Dec. 2 when it returns to Riverwalk. Last year, though, it was tough seeing numerous people turned away at the gate after the festival sold out early in the day.

Realize Bradenton, the nonprofit organization that produces the event, has issued a friendly reminder that I highly recommend heeding if you're considering spending the first Saturday in December along the Manatee River listening to some top-shelf music.

Noting that 60 Bradenton-area businesses, foundations, and individuals are contributing more than $200,000 in support of this year's Bradenton Blues Festival, Johnette Isham, executive director of Realize Bradenton, says another sold-out crowd is anticipated Dec. 2.

“Last year we sold out of tickets at 10 a.m. the day of the event," said Holly Eisemann, event coordinator for Realize Bradenton, in a statement. "Based on ticket sales trends this year, we anticipate to be sold out well before Thanksgiving. We don’t want disappointed fans, so we are encouraging everyone to purchase tickets today at BradentonBluesFestival.org to ensure they don’t miss out on the fun.” 

The reserved, front-of-stage seating is already sold out. General admission tickets are $35 with $20 student and $10 child tickets available, too. Tickets are $30 for groups of 10 or more. The area designated for the festival has a capacity of about 3,000.

Blues Hall of Famer Joe Louis Walker, a gifted guitarist and singer-songwriter whose recent "Everybody Wants a Piece" album earned a Grammy nomination, headlines a lineup of nationally-acclaimed acts.

Here are some fun facts about a few of the other guys playing this year's Bradenton Blues Festival:

• Curtis Salgado is a singer-harmonica player who inspired John Belushi to create the Blues Brothers characters. 

• You might not know the name Sugar Blue, but you're likely familiar with his harmonica playing, which features prominently on the Rolling Stones hit "Miss You."

• Back in 2010, Chubby Carrier & The Bayou Swamp Band released a video for their new single "Zydeco Junkie" and it became the first zydeco music video on MTV.com, where it received about 140,000 views. The album of the same name would go on to win a Grammy.

 

Have a suggestion for a great place to eat, drink, play or stay in Southwest Florida? How about a pop culture topic? Email me at wade.tatangelo@heraldtribune.com. You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.