This year’s festival is October 12–14 at the Lafayette County Arena
on Buddy East Parkway.
The 12th Annual Oxford Blues Festival is set to bring a lively beat to Oxford, October 12–14, 2023, at the Lafayette County Arena. Founded by Darryl Parker, the festival’s mission is to keep the blues alive by highlighting new and upcoming blues artists as well as underappreciated old-timers.
“Spreading the blues into new audiences is important—helping to foster and create not just listeners, but also musicians.”
This year’s three-day fest includes blues panels on Thursday and an “emerging artist” challenge on Friday, before the headliners hit the big stage on Saturday.
The festival kicks off on Thursday with two engaging blues panel discussions at the Ole Miss Blues Archives. The first panel titled “Blues Legends Unplugged: A Journey Through Time, Tradition, and Transformation,” features bluesman Willie Farmer, whose narrative from mechanic to musician encapsulates Mississippi’s deep blues roots.
The second panel, “Soulful Sounds: Blues Music and the Ongoing Pursuit for Justice,” highlights Brenda Luckett and Al White’s lifelong dedication to blues music and civil rights.
“The panels are just another way of telling a story,” Parker said. “You can tell stories through songs. You can tell a story through panels and interviews. It’s just a different way of expressing the blues.”
Friday evening transitions to the Emerging Blues Artist Challenge, a platform for up-and-coming artists to showcase their talents. The lineup includes acts like The Delta Project, Malach, Delo Brown, Cricket & The Boogieman, Steve Brewer, and The Blues Experience, offering a fresh take on classic blues rhythms. The challenge starts at 6:30 pm, with gates opening at 4:30 pm at the Lafayette County Multipurpose Arena.
“We just want to recognize all the great talent in this area and beyond,” Parker said. “We want to highlight and develop new talent and expose it. That’s how we’ll keep the Blues alive.”
Saturday offers a full-day blues extravaganza with each act bringing a unique flavor to the blues spectrum:
For more information and the best prices on tickets, visit OxfordBluesFest.com. Student tickets are $10, general admission is $20, and VIP Admission at $180 for a single day’s entry. However, those prices increase to $15, $25 and $200 respectively at the gate.