Local Festivals

Published on September 16th, 2021 | by Nature Humphries


10th Annual Oxford Blues Festival Brings Three Days of Music to Oxford September 23–25

With the highly anticipated return of music festivals following many months of delays and cancellations, the cooler fall temperatures and the availability of outdoor venues create the perfect formula for the 10th Annual Oxford Blues Festival. Returning to an in-person format after going virtual in 2020, the Oxford Blues Festival boasts three days of blues performances at two venues in town.

On Thursday, September 23, the Kickoff Party will take place at the outdoor stage at Lamar Yard. Friday and Saturday will have full schedules of music happening just off the Square at Harrison’s.

“We’re practicing state health guidelines for Covid at the festival,” said festival organizer Darryl Parker. “It’s a little different outside than indoors,” but the safety of performers and festival attendees will be a top priority for the weekend.

“I’m excited to have an awesome lineup of musicians performing who represent the different styles of blues around this country,” Parker said. “We have Hill Country, Delta Blues, and Chicago style Blues. I’m really looking forward to GRAMMY-winner Bobby Rush, and Lurrie Bell. I have so many favorites, it’s kinda hard to pick.”

With a full schedule of events, there is definitely something for everyone.

Bobby Rush - Photograph by Rick Olivier
Bobby Rush – Photograph by Rick Olivier

“The kickoff Thursday is kind of a welcome, a time for people who are coming in from out of town to relax and get settled into Oxford. We are going to kick off the festival to celebrate music, good food, and family and friends,” Parker said. The new outdoor stage at Lamar Yard will provide the perfect backdrop for the first evening of the three-day festivities, including performances by Jimmy “Duck” Holmes and Anthony “Big A” Sherrod, to name just two.

Friday starts at Harrison’s at 3 pm and goes until 10 pm with GRAMMY-winner Bobby Rush headlining the night. Lightnin’ Malcolm and Patrick Sweany will also take the stage, among many others. Saturday gets going early at 11 am, again at Harrison’s, with music playing until 10 pm. Highlights of Saturday’s lineup include Ghalia Bolt, Lurrie Bell, and Wolfeagle, to name just three.

Tickets are on sale now online, www.oxfordbluesfest.com, but you can also walk up and buy tickets the day of the events. There is an early bird option if you buy online, so it will be cheaper than if you walk up and buy tickets. General Admission is $35 per day, or you can get a two-day pass for $55. The VIP experience runs $180 per day, or two-days for $300. VIP perks make the higher ticket price well worth it with special padded seating close to the stage, shade tents, catered food, free beverages, a special cash bar, a private entry, and high-end bathrooms. You can find more details about VIP perks on the website.

Thursday is free to the public, though there is a $15 suggested donation that will include an 11” x 17” souvenir poster.
In addition to the music, starting at 11:30 am Friday, there will be a Historical Walking Blues Food Tour, which will take participants to several restaurants to sample of foods that are mentioned in Blues songs.

“There’s songs about everything—shrimp and grits, catfish, collard greens, pork chops, and we’re going to have a little fun with it,” Parker said. “[The food tour] is designed mostly for people who are coming in from out of town to get familiar with Oxford. Oxford is a foodie town with good people, good restaurants, good music, good food and drink. We’ve got City Grocery, McEwen’s, Moe’s, The Blind Pig, Southern Magnolia and Oxford Creamery.” The food tour requires a separate ticket, available on the website for $99, which includes all the food and drink samples.

Flip over to pages 6–8 for information about the musicians and a full music lineup for the weekend. Visit www.oxfordbluesfest.com for additional information and to buy advance tickets.

10th Annual Oxford Blues Festival Kicks Off Thursday, September 23 at Lamar Yard
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About the Author

Nature Humphries is Editor-in-Chief of The Local Voice. Nature is originally from Vicksburg, Mississippi, but moved to Oxford in 2004 after spending time in the United States Navy. She has also worked in the restaurant industry for many years as a server and a bartender. Nature graduated from Ole Miss in 2007 with a degree in English and Modern Languages.

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