2018 Baton Rouge Blues Festival Weekend Schedule

The 2018 Baton Rouge Blues Festival presented by Smoke-free East Baton Rouge is rapidly approaching. Wondering what to expect moving into this weekend?


Blues Lagniappe Panel Discussion at the Old Governor’s Mansion. Presented by Preserve Louisiana, the Baton Rouge Blues Foundation, Forum 35 and Dialogue on Race Louisiana, this discussion will focus on the history of the Blues in Louisiana and specifically its roots in race dynamics during the time of its origin. Panelists include Joyce Jackson (Blues Historian), artists Lil Jimmy Reed and Harvey Knox, and facilitator Maxine Crump (executive director of Dialogue on Race Louisiana). Free to attend. Details here: https://www.facebook.com/events/181650145926100/

Following the Blues Laginappe Panel Discussion, Lil Jimmy Reed will perform at Driftwood Cask & Barrel starting at 9:30 p.m. Ages 21 and up; free to attend. Details: https://www.facebook.com/events/162354434593040/

FRIDAY, APRIL 13, 2018

Start your weekend at the Downtown Business Association's Live After Five with Chris LeBlanc and Friends from 5–8 p.m. in Repentance Park. Attendance is free. Details: https://www.downtownbr.org/lineup/2018/4/13/chris-leblanc-friends

Keep the night going with the Baton Rouge Blues Foundation's Rent Party with Lane Mack at The Commerce Building from 8–10 p.m. Tickets are $35 in advance and $40 at the door and include complimentary beverages and a Baton Rouge Blues Foundation membership for a year. Proceeds go to supporting the Baton Rouge Blues Foundation's mission to promote, preserve, and advance Baton Rouge Blues culture. Learn more here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/baton-rouge-blues-foundation-rent-party-with-lane-mack-tickets-44152810244


The first day of Blues Fest kicks off at 12 p.m. in the Old State Capitol Rotunda with a busking performance by Pam Grisham, and our first interview on the Blues Backstory Stage with Tyree Neal in the Old State Capitol House Chambers.

The Raising Cane’s Kids Zone also opens at noon, with activities from face painting to xxxx. Later in the afternoon, bring the kids back by to recreate this year’s commemorative poster on a larger scale with artist John K. Lawson until the area closes at 4 p.m. The Kids Zone reopens Sunday at noon.

Outdoor performances begin at 1:00 p.m. starting with Oscar ‘Harpo’ Davis on the Lyft Swamp Blues Stage. Darcy Malone & The Tangle and Toast both start at 1:30 on opposite ends of the festival, opening the LA 1 Stage and Front Porch Stage, respectively. The Soul of BR Stage performances begin at 1:45 p.m. with Sweet Southern Heat. Performances are staggered throughout the day, ending with Mavis Staples on the LA 1 Stage at 8:15 p.m. Check out the full lineup for all five stages and busking performances at batonrougebluesfestival.org/lineup.

As you travel from stage to stage, treat yourself to something along the way from the Mid City Makers Market outside the Raising Cane’s River Center Plaza or one of our general vendors in Towne Square, and stop at the Baton Rouge Blues Foundation tent to become a member and help support the festival.

SUNDAY, APRIL 15, 2018

Blues Backstory Stage interviews resume in the Old State Capitol on Sunday at 12 p.m. with David Jones and busking in the rotunda from Ameal Cameron and Kaycee Kersch. Grab a snack or two from the Blues Fest Food Market, and pick up some souvenirs, like the commemorative poster by John K. Lawson featuring the legendary Henry Gray, in our merchandise tent. Close out the festival with Chris Thomas King on the Lyft Swamp Blues Stage and Samantha Fish on the LA 1 Stage. Get the full day's lineup at batonrougebluesfestival.org/lineup.

VIP tickets are still available, providing ticket holders with food from Crowne Catering, GastreauxNomica, GoYaYa’s, Jolie Pearl and This is How We Roll, unlimited beverages, private bathrooms and stage-side viewing at the LA 1 and Lyft Swamp Blues Stages. Visit batonrougebluesfestival.org/vip to purchase.
Please note: The festival is moving forward, rain or shine. We are currently working with city officials to monitor weather conditions, and will update our social media channels and website as decisions are made in regards to public safety. Additionally, the lineup and performance times are subject to change.

Brandi SimmonsComment