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Welcome to the land where blues began

Delta Blues Museum - Where to Hear Music and Festival Info

Live blues is rare in the Delta these days, apart from festivals (see below). Juke boxes, changing musical tastes, a much-reduced population, and general poverty have eroded a once-thriving music scene. Luckily, Clarksdale offers some of the best local options.

Delta festivals offer concentrated doses of blues music and culture. Events range from small, casual affairs to large, professionally organized festivals that attract thousands of visitors. Check individual Web sites for exact dates and lineups. Alert: These are generally outdoors affairs and Delta weather is hot from spring to fall, and downright steamy in summer-be prepared.

To download a color Delta Blues Museum brochure (PDF file), Click Here

To download a black and white Delta Blues Museum brochure (PDF file), Click Here

To download a Delta Blues Museum Group Tour form (PDF file), Click Here

Ground Zero Blues Club

Located near the Delta Blues Museum, this restaurant-bar-club books a busy, regular program of live music (not all of it blues). Check the calendar on its Web site for updates. Part owner and actor Morgan Freeman relaxes there when in town. (662) 621-9009 www.groundzerobluesclub.com

Hambone Art Gallery

Tuesday nights from 7:00pm - 10:00pm. 111 East Second Street, (662) 253-5586, $5 cover

Messenger's Pool Hall

A multi-generational family business, on the Lomax-era maps of Clarksdale in the 1940s. Open nightly, sandwiches, occasional live music.

Red's Lounge

As basic as a club gets: a well-worn building (formerly LaVene Music Center; look for the fading painted sign near the top of the brick storefront) houses a minimally decorated but totally bar setting with live music most weekends and occasionally during the week. Beer and setups available. (662) 627-3166 or (662) 627-1367

January: Clarksdale Film Festival

Perserving the blues through film, every January brings forth the Clarksdale Film Festival.
For more information, please visit: www.clarksdalefilmfestival.com

April: Juke Joint Festival

A free, family event in downtown Clarksdale with a parade, art exhibit, petting zoo, historic tours, pig races, and lots of live local blues in the evenings. April signifies that festival season is upon us here in Clarksdale, with the crossroads very own Juke Joint Festival. Always a crowd pleaser and a great start to the season! www.jukejointfestival.com

May: Women In Blues Festival

Celebrating women blues performers. This festival starts in Clarksdale, then heads to Helena, AR, returning to Clarksdale for it's final performances. For more information, please visit: www.womeninblues.org

June: Birthplace of American Music Festival - BAM Festival

BAM Fest is not only a blues festival, it's also a street food festival. Live music is performed throughout Clarksdale at multiple venues including clubs, centers and stages - all while being broadcast on local radio stations. For more information, please visit: www.bamfestms.com

August: Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival

Free, intimate (on small stages in downtown Clarksdale), and focused on Mississippi musicians, this event includes traditional blues and gospel music. Almost as old as the Museum, the Sunflower River Blues & Gospel Festival is held every August right here in Clarksdale. This festival is so legendary, the Museum has it's own special exhibit area dedicated to the Sunflower Festival as well as a Sunflower Festival Chronology on the Museum's website. For more information about the festival, please visit: www.sunflowerfest.org

August: Red's Old Timers Blues Festival

Held in Clarksdale at the MLK Park stage near the legendary Juke Joint Lounge. For more information, please visit: redsoldtimersbluesfestival

September: Mississippi Delta Blues and Heritage Festival

The longest-running blues festival in the Delta is held near Greenville (about an hour and half south of Clarksdale) on three stages, including a juke joint set-up and a gospel tent (admission fee). Be sure to stop by the Delta Blues Museum on way there or back! www.visitthedelta.com

September: Mighty Roots Music Festival

A newer annual festival held at Stovall Farm, located just 6 miles from Clarksdale. For more information, please visit: www.mightyrootsmusicfestival.com

October: King Biscuit Festival

One of the top blues festivals in the country takes place in downtown historic Helena, Arkansas, about a half-hour northwest of Clarksdale across the Mississippi River. Free, large in both artist lineup and crowds, and altogether an Event. The DBM Band is usually performing and the Museum hosts special hours during this exiting weekend in Helena. www.kingbiscuitfestival.com

October: Clarksdale Super Blues Sunday

Clarksdale's very own post-King Biscuit mini-festival offering up blues, food, and entertainment throughout downtown Clarksdale. For more information, please visit: www.cathead.biz

October: Deep Blues Festival

Created to celebrate the outsider and alternative blues and blues influenced music, this festival got its start near the twin cities (Minneapolis-St. Paul) as a 1-day event showcasing 18 bands. The festival has evolved with each passing year, and in 2014 made the move south to Clarksdale. For more information about the festival and to purchase tickets, please visit www.deepbluesfest.com

October: Mississippi Delta Tennessee Williams Festival

Playwright Tennessee Williams is honored with a literary conference, porch plays, film screenings, seminars, and a drama competition for high school students. Hosted by Coahoma Community College, the Tennessee Williams Festival is held in and around Clarksdale during the month of October. For more information, please visit: www.mshumanities.org To learn more about the festival please visit: www.coahomacc.edu or www.deltawilliamsfestival.com 2010 Tennessee Williams Festival draws international attention read more.

October: Hambone Festival

The Hambone Festival can be found in Clarksdale near the end of October each year. For more information, please visit: www.hambonefestival.com

October: Cruz'n the Crossroads Car & Truck Show

Cruz'n the Crossroads is a traveling car and truck show, which usually finds it's way to Clarksdale during September or October. For more information and to confirm travel dates, please visit: cruznthecrossroads

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This site made possible through the support of Mississippi Arts Commission, National Endowment for the Humanities and the Rock River Foundation.

Exhibits, Events and More!

This site made possible through the support of Mississippi Arts Commission, National Endowment for the Humanities and the Rock River Foundation.

Support for the Delta Blues Foudation, Inc has been provided by explore.org, a direct charitable activity of the Annenberg Foundation.

Museum Contact information

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#1 Blues Alley Lane
Clarksdale, MS 38614
Phone: 662-627-6820
Email: info@deltabluesmuseum.org