Woodystock Blues Festival With Headliner Jimmy Carpenter Coming to Laughlin: Blues, Casinos, Camping and Lots of Fun!

Woodystock Blues Festival is coming up again soon; and this one’s going to be a doozey of a weekend! This is the second year for the new location for Woodystock. This year, Woodystock takes place in the Laughlin, Nevada, Bullhead City, AZ area. This means that beside camping out as had been done in previous Woodystock Festivals (not that camping out isn’t fun!) but this location enables Woodystock guests to stay at the nearby casinos and hotels, as well as bringing your adult toys to play on the Colorado River from the campground that is right next to Woodystock. The Woodystock Blues Festival will run April 9th & 10th, 2022.

The headliner for the 2022 Woodystock Blues Festival is Sax man/Blues singer Jimmy Carpenter. Jimmy has a new album out, Soul Doctor, and you can be sure he’ll be playing plenty of tunes from this as well as many other songs. Starting off in New Orleans, Jimmy relocated to Las Vegas several years ago. Not only is Jimmy Carpenter a great blues artist, but he is also President of the Las Vegas Blues Society; and the #2 guy in one of the top yearly blues festivals, Las Vegas’ Big Blues Bender.

Photo by Doug Deutsch

With Laughlin/Bullhead City being a reasonable drive from LA, there’s sure to be many folks coming in from there to enjoy the fun. Plus, since Jimmy Carpenter is such a fixture in the Las Vegas blues scene, you can be sure there will be a lot of them coming down for this dynamite festival. For any other further away places, there is the Laughlin Bullhead International Airport. This is great whether you’re flying in from Boise, Orange County or any other city in the US for this weekend; and even the airport website has some great deals for flying in and lodging at many great hotels and casinos.

The Los Angeles Beat talked with the man behind Woodystock, Johnny Bug Woodard Jr., about what’s going on at the Woodystock Blues Festival, and why this looks to be the most fun Woodystock yet!

Q: Hi, Johnny. Woodystock has turned into an amazing festival over the years. What inspired you to do a music festival of this magnitude?

A: I grew up in the Music world, in the late ‘70’s, and did everything behind the scenes (Roadie, Artist to the Bands, Promote and Manage Rock Bands). In those days I worked with Bands such as Stormer, Sharks, and Van Halen in Hollywood. So, it was a natural progression from being a Band Manager. Katy and I owned 10 acres out in the Desert that was serene. We decided to build a big stage for Concerts.

Q: A lot of thought has to go into choosing a headliner for one of the Woodystock Festivals. What made you decide to pick Jimmy Carpenter to headline the upcoming Woodystock?

A: Jimmy Carpenter was introduced to me by our Publicist Doug Deutsch. After talking to Jimmy on the Phone, and doing some research, he seemed to be a natural fit for our Concert.

Q: In April 2022, you’re having the Woodystock Blues Festival in the Laughlin/Bullhead City area right on the Colorado River. What made you decide to choose that area?

A: Good question. Living in Kingman (about 30 minutes away from Bullhead City) I hadn’t even considered Davis Camp. I was in negotiations with Mohave County Fairgrounds when I met Gary (in Hooches Kingman Grill) Gary works for Davis Camp, he suggested that I go look at the Pavilion at Davis Camp. Once we got there it was like “Wow” it was so beautiful that the puzzle pieces just seemed to fit. This is a fantastic location!

John and Katy Woodard, founders of Woodystock Blues Festival

John and Katy Woodard, founders of Woodystock

Q: What do you envision that guests at Woodystock will be able to do outside of the music festival? Will you be working with the local casinos, restaurants and other businesses to make this a festival that encompasses everything the region has to offer for the guests from Woodystock?

A: What really moves us (Katy and I) are the Fans that come to Woodystock. We’ve worked a lot of years to create a great experience for our fans, with our choice of Bands, that brings the magic all together. Woodystock is growing, kind of like the ‘Blues at the River’. We are the top of the Blues world in Bullhead City.

Jay Gordon’and Blues Venom

Q: Got any other news on who’s in the lineup yet for 2022?

A: This year our lineup, so far, includes Jimmy Carpenter, Crooked Eye Tommy, Jay Gordon and Blues Venom, Delta Shade, the Blue Henrys, the Reverend and the Doctor, Catbone, Anonymous, Good Hurt, and more TBA.

Q: Not only is Jimmy Carpenter the headliner, but he’s very active in promoting blues music, as the President of the Las Vegas Blues Society, and the #2 guy in one of the top yearly blues festivals, Las Vegas’ Big Blues Bender. I’m sure you’re looking forward to having a great working relationship with him. What does he bring to the table besides superb musicianship?

A: Jimmy Carpenter and I seemed to just hit it off from the first time we spoke. With his knowledge, and, teaming up with the Las Vegas Blues Society (which is the driving force behind the Big Blues Bender) it makes Woodystock Blues Festival the natural choice for Blues Music in Bullhead City.

Q: Besides just listening to great music, what is in store for those who go to the Davis Camp/Arizona Woodystock Blues Festival?

A: Davis Camp has a huge Campground for those that want to bring their RV’s, Tents, or choose to rent one of their cute Cabins. There’s a Boat Launch, and Jet Ski Rentals, and a Beach just across the Parking Lot. Hooches Kingman Grill (famous for their BBQ) will be cooking up all your favorites, along with Budweiser on Tap (proceeds to benefit Veterans United Arizona).

Gary House The Reverend Smack Jonez, Tommy Marsh and John Woodard – All at Woodystock 2022

Q: Do you have anything extra you’d like to add?

A: .The Kansas City Connection: We need to acknowledge the boost Woodystock Blues Festival received when we got noticed by the Kansas City Blues crowd. *A big shout out to the late, great, Johnny West. A true Blues fan, that would go to all the Trampled Under Foot shows, and film their Videos. Johnny was instrumental in introducing us to T.U.F. Danielle, Nick, and Kris, as well as local KC legend Rock N Rick Patterson. Rock N Rick said to me one time, that he wouldn’t just send me a signed CD, that he’d deliver 7 of them to our doorstep. Low and behold, he showed up one morning, knocked on our door and announced, “I’m Here”! I really got more into the Blues when Rick asked me to help him produce a show in Kansas City.

Where I met Danielle, Nick, and Kris Schneblin (Trampled Under Foot), Amanda and Samantha Fish, Bugsy Maugh (he played with Janis Joplin and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band) his band was Bugsy and the Insects, which Rock N Rick was part of. Yes, the KC Connection was a big deal with our Show, and continues to be, well into the future.

Q: And who are the people behind this event?

A: I am Johnny Bug Woodard together with my wife Katy Woodard, and Co-Producer Gary House (of Roadhouse Production) and the rest of our team, we put on the coolest Blues Festival on the River.

A special mention goes out to our teammates, Doug Deutsch from Doug Deutsch Publicity Services- Doug gets us out in the world ! And our other super great sound man – Jeff Cyran – Jeff’s company, Above All Entertainment, powers the sound, lighting as well as backline. Jeff gets that sound out, no matter how big the show is!!!

Q: Thanks, Johnny. See you at Woodystock!

Don Laughlin's Riverside HotelMany of the hotels and casinos will have specials available for this event. One of the most popular hotels is Don Laughlin’s Riverside Resort. The Riverside is the first hotel to be built in this resort area, and dominates a prime stretch of waterfront property on the Colorado River. You can enjoy Nevada-style gaming action and entertainment 24 hours a day in a relaxed, small-town atmosphere, as well as partaking in a number of fun activities while staying at Laughlin’s family-friendly resort. Don Laughlin’s Riverside Resort RV Park is also available for those who want to combine a stay in their RV with easy access to casinos and dining opportunities.

Other key hotels and casinos in the area include Harrah’s Laughlin, the Tropicana Laughlin, the Aquarius Casino Resortand the Golden Nugget Laughlin. For camping, a nearby option is the Big Bend of the Colorado State Recreation Area, which also offers nearby options and plenty of recreation to do.

Hooch's BBQ at Woodystock Blues Festival

Hooch’s BBQ at Woodystock

There will be many options for food at the Festival, with several vendors onsite. Once you go offsite, several popular places are nearby. Hooch’s Kingman Bar and Grill, one of the many sponsors of the Woodystock Blues Festival, offers excellent food with a relaxed feel. If you come for the whole festival, you can get a Fishfry Fryday Special Friday Night; and a very reasonable Smoked Prime Rib Saturday with plenty of fixin’s. Sunday is Wing Day with .80 wings, so you’ve got a good option for filling up before you head for home. There are also plenty of other options in the Laughlin area  for fine and casual dining too.

Other sponsors at Woodystock include Gretsch Guitars, Budwiser/Bud Light/Bud Light Seltzer, 95.7 Jack FM, Badass Blues 101.7FM and Veterans United Arizona.

Woodystock tickets and information are available through their website. The Woodystock Blues Festival takes place at the Davis Camp Park, South Beach Pavilion, Bullhead City, Arizona. Single Day passes for either Saturday or Sunday are $35, while a Full Weekend Pass is $60. Veterans with ID can get $10 off the Full Weekend Pass with Military ID. Save $5 on Full Weekend Pass by ordering online. Kids 16 and under – Free admittance when accompanied by an adult with a paid ticket. Campsite fees are extra, and are good for either tent, cabin or RV sites at Davis Camp Park. There is also an extra charge for use of the launch ramps, for either boats or personal watercraft.

Ed Simon

About Ed Simon

Ed is a native of Los Angeles who loves food and food cultures. Whether he's looking for the best ceviche in Colombia, the best poke in Hawaii, the best tequila in Jalisco or the best Taiwanese Beef Roll in Los Angeles, it's all good food! He also loves a good drink. He's had Mai Tais in Hawaii, Bourbon in Kentucky, Tequila in Mexico and Rum in Jamaica. His wine escapades have taken him to Napa, Sonoma, the Willamette Valley and the Santa Ynez Valley. And he's had beer all over the world! Music is another of Ed's passion, writing and interviewing many classic rock, rock and blues musicians. Getting the great stories of road experiences from them is a particular delight. Traveling also fits in with Ed's writing, exploring all over to find the most interesting places to visit, even in out of the way areas.
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