JUKE JOINT FESTIVAL
14TH ANNUAL EDITION OF JUKE JOINT FESTIVAL & RELATED EVENTS — coming Thursday to Sunday, April 20-23, 2017
*** Please support your favorite fest. Scroll to the bottom of this web page to DONATE TODAY! (Thanks, y'all!) ***
WHAT IS JUKE JOINT FESTIVAL?
Juke Joint Festival is "half blues festival, half small-town fair and all about the Delta." It celebrates our past AND living history by presenting over 100 blues acts during the course of the weekend -- most of them Mississippi or Southern, many in their 60s, 70s, 80s or even 90s! This is the real-deal Mississippi blues festival that you've read about. It is like no other in the world.
During the daytime, you can expect at least a dozen small stages with authentic blues. At night, we feature all of our surviving juke joints, blues clubs and other indoor stages — last year included 20+ venues.
The 2017 edition of the festival will be held in tribute to our fallen blues friends with ties to the event and/or our town, including bluesmen LC Ulmer & Elmo Williams, juke joint owner Willie "Po Monkey" Seaberry, Ground Zero's Amos "Toot Toot" Harper Sr., blues journalist Jean-Pierre Urbain and Red's deejay/doorman Dr. Dingo — who passed away in 2016.
WHEN IS JUKE JOINT FESTIVAL?
Our next Juke Joint Festival is Saturday, April 22, 2017, with exciting related events on starting at 5pm on Thursday, April 20th and carrying through the night of Sunday, April 23rd. (Related events on that Sunday include the always free and fabulous Cat Head Blues Fest at 10am as well as the Second Street Blues Party in front of the Rock & Blues Museum.) By the way, regardless of our many Clarksdale festivals, we have live blues 7 nights a week, anyway, year around!
WHERE IS THIS AMAZING FESTIVAL?
The home of this much acclaimed festival? Historic CLARKSDALE, MISSISSIPPI — less than 90 minutes south of the Memphis International Airport and once home to such blues greats at Son House, John Lee Hooker, Junior Parker, Ike Turner, Eddie Boyd, Sam Cooke, Muddy Waters, Pinetop Perkins, Earl Hooker, Lil Green, Big Jack Johnson and many many others. It's the land of the Crossroads, and EVERYONE is invited. Our town's motto is "Come as you are!" Southern hospitality is a real thing here.
WHAT MAKES THIS FEST SPECIAL?
It’s a positive event for everyone in Clarksdale. It’s good for families, businesses, musicians and tourists alike. The festival itself combines an international “blues festival” with a community-minded “small-town fair,” creating a strong and memorable event like no other in the universe. It’s organized by the nonprofit (501c3) Clarksdale Downtown Development Association (CDDA) and supported by legions of enthusiastic volunteers. This “half small-town fair, half blues festival” does more than simply entertain attendees — though it definitely does that, too! It aims to educate and enlighten native Deltans and blues tourists alike through a series of performances, exhibits, and presentations involving music, art, storytelling, film, and children’s events. The event mixes visitors with locals and showcases the economic power of cultural tourism, turning average Deltans into ambassadors for the region.
HOW DOES JJFEST HELP OUR TOWN?
Speaking of economics, last year’s festival was our most successful yet with full hotels and expanded press coverage. Festival attendees came from almost all 50 U.S. states, over 50 Mississippi counties and over two dozen foreign countries. The Juke Joint Festival makes every effort to keep vendors, talent and suppliers as local as possible. A family-friendly event, the festival also provides a bus service at night to discourage drinking and driving between music venues. Our daytime Saturday events are all FREE while our nighttime Saturday events all come for the price of a cheap ($20 pre-sale or $25 that night) wristband which gets you unlimited rides on the blues shuttle bus and entry to at least 20 nighttime 'juke joint' venues.
IS THERE ANOTHER "RELATED" FESTIVAL?
Join us for our 7th annual CLARKSDALE FILM FESTIVAL, January 26-28, 2017. On the heels of our successful Juke Fest event, CDDA is proud to bring y'all a fabulous, film-based happening in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Please join us for a long weekend of new, indie and classic films celebrating our region's music, culture and people. From documentary shorts to fictional features, from blues movies to Southern favorites... Delta Cinema (11 Third St., downtown) and the New Roxy (on Issaquena, downtown) will screen an amazing selection of known and unknown masterpieces. On the Saturday of the Clarksdale Film Festival, we'll also run a couple Clarksdale Movie History Bus Tours with historian Robert Birdsong as your host. Plus, since we're in Clarksdale — the original Home of the Blues — we'll also showcase plenty of live blues in the jukes at night. Details added weekly on our "Film Festival" page of this web site or at www.clarksdalefilmfestival.com.
HOW CAN I SUPPORT THE FESTIVALS?
If you are interested in helping us put on either of these wonderful non-profit events -- or just need some additional information -- please contact one of us listed below. We are always in need of donations, sponsors and volunteers. Thanks for your consideration!
Clarksdale Downtown Development Assoc.
(and its army of fabulous volunteers)
PS - Please be cool, y'all! PLEASE NOTE: The “Juke Joint Festival” name and logo are registered trademarks and cannot be used by outside parties without the express written consent of the Clarksdale Downtown Development Association/Juke Joint Festival. Third parties may not create unauthorized “Juke Joint Festival” products (e.g. T-shirts and apparel) or advertising (e.g. event banners and print ads).
CLARKSDALE DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT
PLEASE NOTE: Please be cool, and work with us, y'all. The “Juke Joint Festival” name and logo are registered trademarks and cannot be used by outside parties without the express written consent of the Clarksdale Downtown Development Association/Juke Joint Festival. Third parties may not create unauthorized “Juke Joint Festival” products (e.g. T-shirts and apparel) or advertising (e.g. event banners and print ads). Thanks for respecting our nonprofit event.
Help Our Festival Grow!
PO BOX 1030
Clarksdale, MS 38614
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Phone: 662- 624-4066