Nothing says summer in the Tri-State like blues and barbeque, and one annual traditions perfectly embodies both of those things: The W.C. Handy Blues & Barbecue Festival. The official lineup has just been announced.

June 12th - June 15th

Taking place every year at Audubon Mills Park on the riverfront in Henderson, this four-day festival is a favorite for visitors and locals alike. Taking place Wednesday, June 12th through Saturday, June 15th, it will be a great time filled with great live music and delicious food.

"Father of the Blues"

Named after the "Father of the Blues," William Christopher Handy, this year's event will mark the 33rd year of the festival. W.C. Handy lived in Henderson, Kentucky for many years after meeting and marrying his wife in the Kentucky town.

WGBF-FM logo
Get our free mobile app


<p>According to legend, the Alabama born composer and his band were traveling home from the postponed Chicago World’s Fair in 1892 when they ran out of money in St. Louis. Work was scarce there, so Handy left the rest of the band and headed to Evansville, Indiana.</p><p>In need of funds, Handy worked on a street paving crew and joined a local band that performed throughout the region. While the group played at a Henderson barbecue, he met Elizabeth Price, who soon became his wife.</p>

Handy called Henderson home for nearly 10 years after meeting and marrying his wife. You can read more about the musician's story on the event's website.

attachment-Blues BBQ Festival

2024 W.C. Handy Blues & BBQ Festival Schedule

The lineup and current schedule for the 2024 festival has officially been released. Of course, all artists and times are subject to change. The W.C. Handy Blues & BBQ Festival will include a beer garden Wednesday through Saturday for those that are 21 and over.

Wednesday, June 12th

Wednesday night is Family Night at the W.C. Handy Blues and Barbeque Festival. Food trucks will be on site and serving beginning at 5 pm. There will also be activities for the family provided by the Henderson County Public Library.

5 pm: Grainne Duffy

7 pm: John Primer & The Real Deal Blues Band

9 pm: Vanessa Collier

Thursday, June 13th

Thursday night is Zydeco Night. Visitors to the festival will be able to enjoy Red Beans & Rice, Jambalaya, Cajun Sausage, and Sausage beginning at 5:30 pm in the Rex Jewell’s Red Beans & Rice tent.

5:30 pm: DeWayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers

8 pm: Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band

Friday, June 14th

Concessions will open for the day at 11 am.

12 pm: Blues 4U

1:30 pm: Boscoe France

3 pm: Piper & The Hard Times

5 pm: Robert Jon & the Wreck

7 pm: Danielle Nicole Band

9 pm: Big Head Todd and the Monsters

Saturday, June 15th

Concessions will open for the day at 11 am.


10 am: William Branaman Street Strut People's Parade

12 pm: Doug MacLeod

1:30 pm: Tyron Benoit

3 pm: Tad Robinson Band

5 pm: The Cold Stares

7 pm: Desoto Tiger featuring Damon Fowler, Jason Ricci, & Boogie Long

9 pm: Mr. Sipp

W.C. Handy Blues & BBQ Festival is Free to Attend

As always there will be no tickets for sale for any of these shows. The W.C. Handy Blues & BBQ Festival is completely free to attend thanks to generous donations from local businesses who sponsor the event, as well as individuals who contribute with donations that can be made through the event's website. All of the proceeds raised go toward planning and organizing the next year's festival.

Top 40 Blues Rock Albums

Inspired by giants like Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson and B.B. King, rock artists have put their own spin on the blues.

Gallery Credit: UCR Staff


More From WGBF-FM