Discovering the Blues Fest stages

Have you ever wondered about the names behind each stage? Maybe what unifying theme the performers on those stages share? Well, wonder no more.

Our largest stage, the LA 1 Stage, is located at the bottom of Repentance Park near River Road and features a variety of nationally and internationally acclaimed performers interpreting the blues in their own unique way. The stage’s namesake, LA Highway 1, connects all of Louisiana from Shreveport to Grand Isle, cutting through hometowns of Slim Harpo, Silas Hogan, Buddy Guy and Lazy Lester.

 Mid-day crowds at the LA 1 Stage. (Photo by Jordan Hefler)

Mid-day crowds at the LA 1 Stage. (Photo by Jordan Hefler)


The Swamp Blues Stage, located under the Crest in Galvez Plaza, showcases homegrown talent and recognizes Louisiana blues history. This year’s Swamp Blues performers include nods to Lazy Lester’s Excello Records hits as well as Baton Rouge legends Raful Neal and Tabby Thomas through the next generation of talent, Kenny Neal and the Neal Family and Chris Thomas King.

 Closing out the evening at the Swamp Blues Stage. (Photo by Jordan Hefler)

Closing out the evening at the Swamp Blues Stage. (Photo by Jordan Hefler)


With lively gospel and soul performances throughout the weekend, the Soul of BR Stage pays homage to the setting where most blues performers first fell in love with music: through the church.

 (Photo by Jordan Hefler)

(Photo by Jordan Hefler)


Front porches across the south have long been the scene of blues traditions being handed down from one generation to the next. Our Front Porch Stage, located in the neutral ground at North Boulevard and North Fourth Street, pays tribute to that rich history, providing the opportunity to see living legends playing intimate sets and future legends continuing to hone their craft.

 Photo by Nick Martino.

Photo by Nick Martino.


Offering a reprieve from the sun in the Old State Capitol Senate Chambers, the Blues Backstory Stage features informal interviews and impromptu performances from musicians on the lineup, sharing how the blues shaped their careers. Each interview will be recorded by NOVAC BR and released on the festival’s YouTube channel in late April.

 Karen Henderson interviews 2016 performer Adia Victoria at the Blues Backstory Stage. (Photo by Kimberly Brouillette)

Karen Henderson interviews 2016 performer Adia Victoria at the Blues Backstory Stage. (Photo by Kimberly Brouillette)


Now, who's ready to start diving into the stage schedule and planning their Blues Fest weekend?