No frets for guitar festival coordinator

A couple finds room to dance at the Walla Walla Elks during the performance of Iguana Hat Reunion.

A couple finds room to dance at the Walla Walla Elks during the performance of Iguana Hat Reunion. Photo by Matthew Zimmerman Banderas.

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Iguana Hat Reunion, including Mike Cook on guitar and Mike Hammond on drums, plays at the Walla Walla Elks on Friday evening as part of the kickoff to the 2013 Coyote Kings Invitational Walla Walla Guitar Festival.

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Billy Stoops & The Rectifiers play to a packed Sapolil Cellars.

WALLA WALLA — One of the largest Blues festivals in the Valley took place this weekend with close to 400 attendees.

Robin Barrett, coordinator of the Coyote Kings Invitational Walla Walla Guitar Festival, said the event has grown considerably in its second season; last year roughly 330 tickets were sold to see 12 bands play.

This year 17 bands performed Friday night and most of Saturday, including a 1:45 a.m. Sunday jam involving a mixture of performers at Sapolil Cellars.

For Sapolil Cellars winemaker and co-owner Abigail Schwerin, the event not only was a chance to bring in the crowds, but also to find new talent.

“I have not seen three of the bands. So as a venue owner, I am looking at the bands ... So I will probably book two or three bands over the weekend,” Schwerin said.

Coordinators estimate that of the 400 participants, approximately 60 percent were from out of town.

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