The long-running Baton Rouge Blues Festival is helping push local swamp blues legends, like the late greats Slim Harpo, Rudy Richard and Silas Hogan, to the forefront of people’s minds.
The festival originated in 1981 and, over the past five years, has become one of the nation’s fastest growing blues festivals. This weekend, more than 50 musicians will grace the festival’s five stages. And with so many different artists and sounds, attendees are sure to find something that’s right up their alley.
On Saturday, the lineup includes Kenny Neal, Darcy Malone and the Tangle, Tyree Neal, Alex Abel and OMT. On Sunday, the lineup features Samantha Fish, Lazy Lester, Erica Falls and Terry “Harmonica” Bean.
Throughout the weekend, attendees will be able to browse products from a variety of art vendors, whose works include paintings, photography, ceramics, sculpture, glass, metal, wood, leather and mixed media. Southern and Louisiana food will be available for purchase throughout the festival grounds from food trucks and booths. And kids will have plenty to do at the Kids Zone, with teams from Knock Knock Children’s Museum and others providing activities.
And the fun isn’t just limited to Saturday and Sunday. Friday afternoon’s Live After Five will be blues-themed with local favorite Chris Leblanc and Friends performing at 5 p.m. Following the concert, walk over the rooftop of the Commerce Building for the Baton Rouge Blues Festival Rent Party with Lane Mack. The annual festival pre-party is based on the tradition of blues jams to help the musicians pay rent. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the show is 8-10 p.m. Tickets are $35 in advance and $40 at the door.
The 24th annual Baton Rouge Blues Festival takes over downtown this Saturday and Sunday, April 14 and 15. The fest runs from noon-10 p.m. each day. Festivities will be located in and around Repentance Park and Galvez Plaza. Admission is free.
Editor’s note: Mavis Staples was originally scheduled to perform Saturday. She unfortunately had to cancel due to the death of her sister, Yvonne Staples.