Blind Willie McTell Blues Festival
With great music lineups year after year, the Blind Willie McTell Blues Festival will have you singing a happy tune.
Recognized as a top event by Southeast Tourism Society and the Wall Street Journal; the Blind Willie McTell Blues Festival debuted 25 years ago and is still going strong; staged in the same grassy field it debuted. This year’s event is May 5, 2018.
The festival is named for Blind Willie McTell, one of the all-time greats of country blues guitar, who was born just south of Thomson, Georgia, in McDuffie County. One of his most famous songs, “Statesboro Blues”, has been a staple for blues bands for decades and has been covered by artists such as The Allman Brothers Band and Taj Mahal.
Come for the music but you will get even more; there is a wide variety of food available from local food vendors, the local arts council has a booth with blues and music related art for sale; not to mention lots of camaraderie and people watching. The laid back vibe of the festival creates a great atmosphere to mix and mingle, get up and dance, or just seat back and sip an ice cold beer while enjoying some fantastic music.
The 2018 lineup includes Samantha Fish, Kenny Neal, the Brothers Landreth and more. Tickets will be on sale March 1st. Prices for tickets are $30 advance and $40 the day of. Children, 12 and under are FREE. Gates open at 11:00 a.m., with music beginning at noon.
While there, learn a little more about McTell. You can visit his gravesite on Happy Valley Road adjoining Jones Grove Baptist Church. Pay a visit to the McDuffie Museum to see Blind Willie’s original tombstone, or watch a documentary about him. See McTell’s 12-String Strut, a public art project of oversized Stella guitars painted by local artists.