For the first time since 1969, Memphis will host a muti-day blues festival at Overton Square called the Bona Fide Blues Festival. The Memphis Blues Society is sponsoring this festival and will celebrate local musicians and the historic blues of this city with 2 outdoor stages, nearby venues, and over 40 acts from the Midsouth.
With both well-known acts and fresh blues artists, the festival will show-off classic Memphis sound. Headlining acts include Blind Mississippi Morris, The Bo Keys, Delta Joe Sanders, Kenny Brown and even more.
“We designed this festival to honor local blues musicians in their own land and build excitement and appreciation for the many talented artists that hail from this region. Many of our acts already play across the country as part of other festivals or tours, but are seldom given the opportunity to play here in Memphis alongside their peers at an event dedicated to blues. Our festival builds on Memphis’ blues heritage and positions the city as a distribution center for the blues for years to come.”
– John Gemmill, President, Memphis Blues Society.
The Bona Fide Blues Festival will offer two free outdoor stages to bring soulful blues to Memphians on October 2 – 3 in Overton Square. One stage will be at the Tower Courtyard and the other outdoor stage will be on Cooper Street with other indoor venues at Bar Louie, The Blue Monkey, Lafayette’s Music Room, and The Zebra Lounge. Outdoor stages are free and you can purchase special wristbands to gain access to the additional indoor venues. You can also buy VIP wristbands for $100 to gain access to VIP areas and to get admission to the pre-festival party on October 1st.
“The blues are a natural fit for Overton Square, as the blues are Memphis’ most notable musical contribution to the country’s cultural and entertainment life. We are delighted to partner with the Memphis Blues Society to bring a blues festival to Overton Square, the preeminent burgeoning cultural and entertainment district in the city.”
– Bob Loeb, president of Loeb Properties, the developers of Overton Square and other Midtown commercial centers.
The festival is part of Bridging the Blues, a Midsouth effort to boost blues development in Memphis, Mississippi, and Arkansas. The Memphis Blues Society has supported local musicians since 2005 and create the Bluesday Tuesday series in Overton Square. From the success of that event emerged the idea for the Bona Fide Blues Festival.