If you go

What: 2014 Leftapalooza: Mile High Tribute Band Competition, featuring:

• Message in a Bottle (The Police), 12:05-1 p.m.

• My Blue Sky (The Allman Brothers Band), 1:20-2:15 p.m.

• Pop Star Homicide (Stone Temple Pilots), 3:05-4 p.m.

• Zeppephilia (Led Zeppelin), 4:15-5:10 p.m.

• Pipin Hot Ghost Peppers (Red Hot Chili Peppers), 5:30-6:25 p.m.

• Hey, Lady! (The B-52s), 6:40-7:35 p.m.

• The Fab 4 (The Beatles), 7:55-8:50 p.m.

• The Long Run (Eagles), 9:10-10:05 p.m.

When: Noon-10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 2

Where: Left Hand Brewing Co., 1264 Boston Ave., Longmont

Tickets: $5-$10 (free for children under 5)

Info: lefthandbrewing.com

Brother/sister duo Steven Blasinsky and Deb Britton had a surreal encounter backstage at a B-52s concert in Denver a few years back. The pair found themselves singing "Love Shack," the Athens, Ga.-based band's biggest hit, with the B-52s.

Crew members and backstage minions must've done a double take during the impromptu song because Blasinsky and Britton front the local B-52s tribute band, Hey, Lady!

Turns out, the B-52's dug Hey, Lady!

"We're lucky enough to have their informal blessing for what we do," said Britton, who lives in Longmont.

Hey, Lady! is one of eight tribute bands that will perform Saturday at Left Hand Brewing Co.y's fourth annual Leftapalooza festival, which also features food, craft brews and children's activities. The festival will benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

While playing songs by other artists is a time-honored tradition among troubadours, tribute bands — where the group tries to sound like, and even look like, the original artist — have become hugely popular the past five to 10 years.

The B-52s are so impressed with Hey, Lady! (pictured) that they once invited the tribute band on stage with them.
The B-52s are so impressed with Hey, Lady! (pictured) that they once invited the tribute band on stage with them. (Special to A&E Spotlight)

"I suspect there's a kind of sentimental component to it," Left Hand spokesman Josh Goldberg said. "People want to put that old T-shirt back on and they want to be back at Woodstock."

While tribute bands are a popular draw at some area clubs, the original artists' music publishing companies look out for their clients when it comes to royalties. The companies can sue venue owners where cover songs are performed if the venue hasn't paid for that privilege.

In 2007, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) sued a club owner in Vail after a band played songs by Van Halen, Led Zeppelin and AC/DC. According to the Vail Daily News, that suit was settled when the club owner agreed to pay ASCAP $40,000.

"I did a lot of research about (royalty licensing) in the beginning," said Britton, of Hey, Lady!, which was formed in 2009, and plays about two to three shows a month. "It is a little bit frightening because you hear stories."

Goldberg said Left Hand Brewing secures a license with the various publishing companies at the beginning of each year. Licensing agreements and costs are based on a variety of factors.

"We tell them at the beginning of the year what we do, when we do it, how many people will attend, what we charge," Goldberg said. "It's not sexy, but you've got to make sure you protect your musicians."

Zeppephilia hopes to soar at 2014 Leftapalooza.
Zeppephilia hopes to soar at 2014 Leftapalooza. (Courtesy photo)

Ron Moulton, of Longmont, has been dressing up as Paul McCartney and performing with his Beatles tribute band, The Fab 4, since 1995. The band also is on the 2014 Leftapalooza lineup. Moulton, a retired air-traffic controller, said tribute bands help the original artists by bringing their music to people.

"They figure, in the end, it just promotes their catalogue (of songs)," Moulton said.

A panel of judges will score the bands during Saturday's concert in four areas: authenticity, creativity, musicianship and audience appreciation. The top three bands earn a slot at the Boulder Theater in January.

Last year, Leftapalooza brought in $26,000 for the Lymphoma & Leukemia Society, the organization committed to curing blood cancers, and Goldberg said the festival hopes to collect $30,000 for the society this year.

As for Hey, Lady!, audiences can expect to hear "Love Shack" and more.

"They can expect the usual costumes and big wigs and energy, and perhaps a surprise or two," Britton said. "We like to keep it interesting."