Swamp blues originated in the 1950s among Black communities in Louisiana, and to this day, its legacy is honored at the Baton Rouge Blues Festival. One of the oldest of its kind, the celebration, which will take place from April 21 to 23 this year, centers the city’s blues history with a free, family-friendly event. The celebration is run by a volunteer Blues Festival committee, which seeks to preserve Louisiana blues culture through the festival, an education program and other community efforts. Since its founding in 1981, the festival has brought genre fixtures like Buddy Guy and Mavis Staples to perform. This April, Tommy Castro & The Painkillers and Elizabeth King are a few of the acts slated to appear on Baton Rouge Blues Festival’s three stages.
While you enjoy the enticing rhythms, try some of the mouth watering Louisiana cuisine (note: expect lots of crawfish). Also be sure to venture beyond the immediate festival to explore some of the local hangouts, such as Phil Brady’s Bar & Grill and Teddy’s Juke Joint in Zachary. Planning to bring the kids? There are plenty of activities to keep them entertained, such as drum circles and face painting.
- 50,000 people are expected to attend
- Tickets are free to the public, but you can purchase a Blues Fest Fan (BFF) ticket for $200. BFFs get access to The Blues Lounge and Terrace, including private restrooms and exclusive food and beverages. Check out more about the BFF experience here.
- Check out Fifty Grande’s Guide to Louisiana here.
What is the best way to get to the festival? Baton Rouge Blues Festival makes it easy to get to and from the event. Free bicycle valet is available to those who wish to cycle, and a parking guide for Downtown can be found here.
Can I volunteer for the festival? Yes, check out the volunteer sign up form here.
Is there an age limit? Nope. The festival is open to all ages (families are encouraged).