Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival is powering into the southern suburbs of Chicago this Saturday, and the lineup is earthshaking: Clapton, Jeff Beck, Doyle Bramhall II, Robert Cray, Sheryl Crow, Vince Gill, Buddy Guy, BB King, Alison Krauss, Sonny Landreth, Albert Lee, Los Lobos, John Mayer, John McLaughlin, Willie Nelson, Robert Randolph & The Family Band, Robbie Robertson, Hubert Sumlin, The Derek Trucks Band, Jimmie Vaughan, Johnny Winter, and (take a breath) Steve Winwood.
Check back with us later this weekend for a complete photo gallery, backstage reports and, on Monday, a full review. In the meantime, here’s what you need to know about the festival:
• This year is the second time Eric Clapton has brought an all-star lineup of guitarists together to benefit his Crossroads Antigua rehabilitation center. The first was held in Dallas in 2004. Bill Murray will be hosting this one.
• In addition to performances, the Crossroads Festival Village will feature a combination of guitar exhibits, demonstrations and displays — including display cases showcasing Clapton’s famous “Blackie” guitar and Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “Lenny” guitar. Both guitars are available for viewing now at the Guitar Center on N. Halsted in Chicago and will move to Toyota Park on Saturday.
• In honor of Crossroads, Fender guitar is building 100 limited-edition Eric Clapton Crossroads Stratocastors and Crossroads ’57 Twin-Amps, available for purchase now.
• For those of you going: parking lots open at 8 a.m., gates open to the concourse and festival village at 9:00 a.m., the seating area opens at 9:30 a.m., and festivities kick off at 11:45 a.m. A few hundred tickets (general admission and reserved seating) were released for sale today, according to event organizers.
• For those of you not going: MSN will be broadcasting the performances starting at 1:30 p.m. EST.
• In addition to prepping for the show by sneaking “Crossroads” into his headling shows, John Mayer dueted on the song with Eric Clapton on Good Morning America last Friday â€” watch the clip now.