Blues festival looking for new name

HELENA-WEST HELENA, Ark. (AP) - The King Biscuit Blues Festival has been in a battle over trademark issues, and it's now looking for a new name. Everyone's invited to give suggestions.

The three-day festival, held in October in Helena-West Helena, was known for 19 years as the King Biscuit Blues Festival.

But it was renamed the Arkansas Blues and Heritage Festival last year after New York-based King Biscuit Entertainment Group asked for $20,000 for continued use of the King Biscuit title.

The New York group has owned the trademark to the King Biscuit name since 1973, though it originated in a Helena radio show.

In an effort to build more community loyalty, organizers of the Helena-West Helena festival are asking for advice on a new name.

This talk of a new name follows an announcement in November that a Memphis entertainment group had entered into an agreement with New York-based King Biscuit Entertainment to host an October music festival of its own.

They tentatively plan to call the Memphis festival the King Biscuit Music Festival.

After that announcement, Massachusetts-based bluesman Junior Jackson began an online petition asking people to continue to support the Arkansas-based festival.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)