First held on the campus of Southern University in 1981, the Baton Rouge Blues Festival is one of the oldest blues festivals in the United States. It celebrates swamp blues, a more rhythmic variation of Louisiana blues with a laid-back, slow tempo.
The celebration, which is completely free to attend, takes place in downtown Baton Rouge and gathers internationally recognized artists, as well as hometown favorites. From leading swamp blues musician Slim Harpo, to “Airport Blues” musician Silas Hogan, to American blues singer Bobby Bland, these are only a few of the big names that have passed through the Baton Rouge Blues Festival. This year’s lineup includes blues, funk and soul artist Black Joe Lewis, multi-instrumentalist Kenny Neal, and “I’m Right On The Brink” singer Nikki Hill. If you are still hoping to see one of your favorite blues artists make an appearance, hold on to hope: the lineup 2024 has yet to be fully released at the time of this writing. Keep checking the official website for more.
Because the festival isn’t limited to a specific venue, you can walk around Baton Rouge retracing the steps of some of the most iconic blues legends. For example, check out Phil Brady’s Bar & Grills, which is the oldest Blues bar in Baton Rouge, or Teddy’s Juke Joint in Zachary, which has old photographs, bar signs, and all other kinds of relics from the original years of blues.
- During the festival, Baton Rouge welcomes more than 50,000 attendees.
- The festival is free to attend. If you are interested in a VIP experience, you can purchase a BFF Pass, starting from $50.
- Here’s your guide to Louisiana’s Northshore by a Fifty Grande’s road tripper.
What is the closest airport to the Baton Rouge Blues Festival?
The closest airport to the Baton Rouge Blues Festival is the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport.
What does the BFF Pass include?
The ticket includes an open bar and food, exclusive air-conditioned indoor areas, exclusive restrooms, exclusive viewing areas, and more.
Can I volunteer?
Yes. Here’s the form to fill out.
What is the 2024 lineup?
Charlie Musselwhite & Elvin Bishop, Black Joe Lewis, Kenny Neal, Eli Paperboy Reed, Jackie Venson, Ga-20, Nikki Hill, Ally Venable, Jonathan Boogie Long, Lil Ray Neal, Lil Jimmy Reed, Henry Turner Jr., Thebrosfresh, d.k. Harrell, Louis Michot, Robert Kimbrough Sr., Smokehouse Porter & Miss Mamie. More artists to join soon.