The Best Blues Music Festivals of 2020

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,

Check out our list of the best blues festivals happening in 2020. From Memphis in May to the Chicago Blues Festival, there’s something for everyone.

The Best Blues Music Festivals in the U.S.

There’s nothing quite like a blues music festival. The best blues festivals in the U.S. feature a mix of iconic musicians and up-and-coming talent, all playing the music that they love. If you’re a fan of the blues, then you’ll want to check out one of these festivals.

Chicago Blues Festival

As the windy city’s name suggests, the Chicago Blues Festival is a must for any blues fan. The free event takes place in early June at Millennium Park and features three stages with a mix of local, national, and international acts. Past performers include Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, Bonnie Raitt, and Buddy Guy.

Memphis in May

Now in its 41st year, Memphis in May is the largest blues music festival in the United States. The festival features over 100 musical performances on four stages over the course of three days. In addition to the musical performances, there are also blues workshops, film screenings, and other events. The 2020 festival will take place from May 7-9.

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is one of the most highly anticipated annual music events in the United States. The festival features dozens of musical genres including blues, rock, R&B, gospel, and more. Held every year since 1970, the Jazz Fest is a celebration of the city’s rich cultural heritage. With over 400,000 attendees, it is also one of the largest music festivals in the country.

Festival-goers can enjoy performances by world-renowned musicians on multiple stages, as well as culinary delights from some of New Orleans’ best restaurants. The Jazz Fest also features a wide variety of arts and crafts vendors, and provides ample opportunities to explore the historic French Quarter. If you’re looking for an unforgettable musical experience, be sure to add the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival to your must-attend list.

The Best International Blues Festivals

The Chicago Blues Festival is the world’s largest free blues festival. Held in early June in Chicago’s Millennium Park, the festival features three main stages and more than 300 performers. More than 500,000 people attend the festival each year.

Notodden Blues Festival (Norway)

The annual Notodden Blues Festival in Norway is one of the most popular blues festivals in Europe, and for good reason. Located in the picturesque town of Notodden, the festival features four days of non-stop blues music from some of the genre’s biggest names.

In addition to the incredible music, the festival also offers a wide range of other activities, including workshops, jam sessions, and even a Blues Cruise. Whether you’re a diehard blues fan or just looking for a great excuse to travel, the Notodden Blues Festival is definitely worth checking out.

Montreal International Jazz Festival (Canada)

Founded in 1980, the Montreal International Jazz Festival is the largest jazz festival in the world, attracting more than 2 million visitors each year. The festival takes over the city for 10 days, with more than 3,000 artists performing in more than 700 concerts at 30 indoor and outdoor venues. Past headliners have included Miles Davis, Tony Bennett, B.B. King, Patsy Cline, Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, and John Coltrane.

Cognac Blues Passions (France)

This year, the Cognac Blues Passions festival celebrates its 20th anniversary. The lineup includes Joe Bonamassa, Mr. Sipp, and Jimmie Vaughan. The festival takes place in the town of Cognac in southwestern France.
Cognac Blues Passions was originally created to showcase the work of French blues artists. Over the years, the festival has broaden its scope to include international acts. The festival takes place over three days in early July.

The Best Blues Festivals for Families

Are you looking for a music festival that the whole family can enjoy? If so, you’ll want to check out some of the best blues festivals happening in 2020. From the Chicago Blues Festival to the Mississippi Delta Blues and Heritage Festival, there’s sure to be a blues festival that’s perfect for your family. Keep reading to learn more about the best blues festivals happening in 2020.

Poconos Blues Festival (Pennsylvania)

The Poconos Blues Festival, set in the idyllic and family-friendly setting of the Pocono Mountains, features three days of music on three different stages. With a lineup that includes both local and national talent, this festival has something for everyone in the family. In addition to the music, there are also food vendors on site, so you can purchase snacks and drinks while you listen to the tunes.

Rhythm & Blues Night (Michigan)

If you and your family love the blues, then you’ll want to check out the Rhythm & Blues Night at the Michigan State Fair. This annual event features some of the best blues musicians in the country, as well as food vendors and other family-friendly activities.

Blueberry Hill (Missouri)

This family-friendly event celebrates the music of Chuck Berry with concerts, a car show, and more. The event takes place in the town of Wentzville, just outside of St. Louis. Tickets are required for all events.

Dates: Aug 7-9, 2020

Price: Varies by event

Activities: Live music, car show

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