There’s no better way to enjoy the Blues than in the city where it was born. For two days Memphis hosts an electrifying Blues Festival in Overton Square, celebrating the Mid-South’s blues heritage by showcasing today’s blues and blues-influenced musicians. With a free all-day stage in Overton Square and nightclub performances in midtown, the second annual Bona Fide Blues Festival could only happen in one city: Memphis. No light shows. No Auto-Tune. Just down and dirty, authentic blues music played by local area musicians. Created by the Memphis Blues Society for one reason – Bona Fide showcases the music of the delta, played for you by artists who call it home.

The festival features 30 performers from the Memphis region in three different settings: the square’s outdoor stage, the showcase stage at Lafayette’s Music Room and a smaller stage at the Blue Monkey. Here is this year’s lineup…

  • Barbara Blue
  • Booker Brown
  • Cedric Burnside
  • David Evans
  • Davis Coen
  • Earl the Pearl
  • Eric Hughes Band
  • Guy Venable
  • Heather Crosse Band
  • John Nemeth
  • Kenny Brown
  • Leo Bud Welch
  • Little Boys Blue
  • Marcella and Her Lovers
  • Mark “Muleman” Massey
  • MBS Jam Band
  • Reba Russell
  • Richard Johnston
  • Ruby Wilson
  • Sharde and the Rising Stars Fife & Drum Band
  • Sons of Mudboy
  • Southern Avenue
  • Stax Music Academy Band
  • Super Chikan
  • Sweet Angel
  • Tameka “Big Baby” Goodman
  • Terry “Harmonica” Bean
  • Vince Johnson and The Plantation AllStars
  • Wampus Cats
  • Watermelon Slim
  • Zeke Johnson

Ticket info:

  • $25 Pre-Sale Wristband
    • Fri & Sat evening inside venues. Price increases to $30 after August 31st.
  • $50 Wristband
  • Fri & Sat evening inside venues AND a 1 year Memphis Blues Society Membership
  • Memphis Blues Society Members (must show Membership ID) for Fri & Sat evening inside venues.
  • Price increases to $25 after August 31st.
  • 1 wristband for VIP Party at Bar Louie Thursday, Sept. 29
  • Access to Overton Square VIP Area and all evening venues for the weekend
  • 1 year Memphis Blues Society Membership
  • $50 is tax‑deductible
  • $20 Presale MBS Member Wristband
  • $100 VIP Wristband

Buy your tickets here.

As excitement grows, so too does engagement in the Memphis Blues Society. Over the last four years, the organization has grown from holding a membership of 30 to boasting over 400. The 501(c)3 promotes local blues artists and regular events and jam sessions on Beale Street. For example, every Sunday evening, Free World plays a free show in the side room of Blues City Cafe, offering locals and tourists an opportunity to taste Memphis blues music.

The Blues isn’t just alive in Memphis – it’s aching to be heard.

 

By and photo credit: bonafidebluesfest.com/