Hot music in Martin Luther King Jr. Park warmed up a chilly Saturday for blues fans.
"I go anyplace I can afford to listen to it," said Debbie Hearn, who made a 60-mile trip from her home near Aiken to attend the 15th edition of the Columbia Blues Festival.
Fans shrugged off an overcast sky with cool breezes and occasional drizzle as akin to what football fans endure sometimes.
"I've been in worse," Hearn said, adding that the festival was the 18th concert taken in this year.
Singer Samuel James told the crowd he felt he was back home in Maine.
"I'm afraid I brought the weather with me," he said. "Usually, I wear a suit. But I'm not brave enough to do that today."
James later shed the sweatshirt he wore over his long-sleeve shirt, but kept on a stocking cap as he played his guitar and sang.
Others in the outdoor audience liked the chance to sample a genre with Southern roots no matter what the temperature.
"It's nice to be able to sit out and listen to music," Ron Hopkins of Columbia said. "It's very soothing."
Some in the audience came a long way after learning about the festival through a network of promotions arranged by organizers and fans.
"I get to it when I can," said Jim Stanfieldc of Cleveland, adding that the weather was much better than snow at home.
Other festival-goers rated the event a good culmination of a series of outdoor concerts held around the area since spring.
"I'm surprised by the good music I've heard around here," Bill Florence of West Columbia said.