Festival begins as the Rose City Blues Festival, sponsored by the Cascade Blues Association, to benefit Burnside Community Council's projects for the homeless. Performers on the single main stage—a flatbed truck parked north of the Morrison Bridge—included John Lee Hooker, Paul deLay Band, Curtis Salgado & the Stilletos, Norman Sylvester Blues Band, Lloyd Jones Struggle, Bill Rhoades & The Party Kings, The Mayther Brothers, Terry Robb Band and DK Stewart. KBOO radio station broadcasts performances and has continued to do so throughout the history of the festival.