WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) — Getting a festival together the size of the BluesFest is more than just hooking up a couple of amplifiers.
It’s a year-round job requiring a lot of heavy lifting and thousands of miles on the car.
The vendors that line the walkways are an important part of the BluesFest character, including Ed and Toby Clopein.
They’re two sellers who make a point to drive down from Baltimore every year.
They and their art made out of silverware are well-known to Wheeling blues purists, having set up at every festival except one since 2001.
They say this is one of their favorites in the entire U.S., and that the Wheelers always make it friendly and musical.
Everything you needed and wanted was available. You can get right up to the stage, the after-jams you can hang out with all the musicians, it’s like a whole year’s worth of fun in one weekend, it’s just really wonderful.Toby Clopein, BluesFest silverware art vendor
The Clopeins travel to dozens of festivals just like this one from the east coast to San Francisco.
When we asked Ed the best part of setting up shop here, he says the people and the music—in that order.