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Press Release


12th Annual Oxford Blues Festival Returns with an All-Star Lineup and Engaging Community Events

Oxford, MS, August 1, 2023 – Get ready for three days of electrifying blues music, cultural enrichment, and community engagement as the 12th Annual Oxford Blues Festival makes its triumphant return from October 12th to 14th, 2023. Hosted at the esteemed Lafayette County Civic Arena Center in Oxford, MS, this year’s festival promises an unforgettable experience for blues enthusiasts and music lovers alike.

Thursday, October 12th: Free Admission Events at the Ole Miss Blues Archives

Kicking off the festival, the Ole Miss Blues Archives, located on the 2nd floor of the J.D. Williams Library, will host two captivating events:

1:00pm – 2:00pm
“Blues Legends Unplugged: A Journey Through Time, Tradition, and Transformation”
Panelist: Little Willie Farmer

From Mechanic to Full-Time Bluesman

Willie Farmer is living proof that Mississippi continues to breed deep blues.

He’s lived his entire life in tiny Duck Hill, Mississippi, on the family farm in the Hill Country east of the Delta. He was besotted with the blues by his early teens. He started with an acoustic guitar, but he picked cotton and saved enough money to buy an electric instrument.

He learned about blues and R&B mostly through listening to a powerful station out of Nashville, Tennessee.

“John R of WLAC, that’s how I listened to Lightnin’ Hopkins, Howlin’ Wolf,” Willie says. “I learned Lightin’ pretty good, and then I went to B.B. I can play all the up-to-date stuff now—B.B., Little Milton—but I like the old stuff, that’s the real blues. The blues they’re singing today, that ain’t blues to me. It just doesn’t have the feel.”

2:30pm – 3:30pm
Soulful Sounds: Blues Music and the ongoing pursuit for justice.

Panelist: Brenda Luckett & Al White

Brenda Luckett is from Clarksdale, MS. She was born into the blues and Civil Rights Movement. Her father was a charter member of the the local NAACP and her mother the secretary for 30 years for the organization. She is the Goddaughter to Aaron Henry.

She is a board member of the Fuller Foundation and the Griot, an after school mentorship program for youth. She is also a retired school teacher. She started taking her students on historical tours of Clarksdale because a lot of her students didn’t know much history of the blues and Civil Rights legends from their own community.

Al White is an activist and a life long promoter of blues music.  He is the founder and organizer of the Duckhill Blues Festival.  He is currently the Mayor of Duckhill, MS.

At 6:00 pm, festival-goers are invited to join Thacker Mountain Radio for a special Blues-themed show, amplifying the blues spirit.

Friday, October 13th: The Emerging Blues Artist Showcase

The Lafayette County Arena at 70 FD Buddy East Parkway will be the stage for an exciting Blues competition on Friday night. This portion of the festival will feature new and emerging artists, showcasing their original blues music in front of a lively audience.

6 Contestants-Performers include:

  1. The Mark Doyle & Bud Carson Duo
  2. Delo Brown
  3. Cricket Edgeworth
  4. Malach
  5. Steve Brewer
  6. The Delta Project

Gate opens at 5:00 pm (VIPs can enter at 4:30 pm), with the competition commencing at 6:30 pm.

Saturday, October 14th: The Oxford Blues Festival

The grand finale of the festival takes place on Saturday, October 14th, at the Lafayette County Arena. Festival-goers can look forward to a full day of soul-stirring performances by some of the most renowned blues artists in the industry.

Saturday Schedule of Events:

  • 10:30 am: Gates open
  • 11:10 am – 12:10 pm: Mark Doyle & Bud Carson
  • 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm: Randy Ferguson
  • 1:50 pm – 2:50 pm: Little Willie Farmer
  • 3:10 pm – 4:10 pm: Mick Kolassa
  • 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm: Cadillac Funk
  • 5:50 pm – 6:20 pm: Wendy Jean Garrison & Andrea Staten
  • 6:40 pm – 7:40 pm: Anthony “Big A” Sherod
  • 8:00 pm – 9:15 pm: Mizz Lowe

Note: Times & Lineup subject to change.

Join Us for a Blues-filled Weekend!

The 12th Annual Oxford Blues Festival is set to be a celebration of blues music, culture, and community. Don’t miss your chance to experience this incredible lineup of musicians and the engaging events lined up for this year’s festival.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.oxfordbluesfest.com.

Media Contact:

Darryl Parker Public Relations Manager Oxford Blues Festival Phone: (662) 202-4345 Email: jdparker@oxfordbluesfest.com

Note to Editors: High-resolution images and additional press materials are available upon request.