Skip to content
Discover Mississippi: Season of blues...

Discover Mississippi: Season of blues across the Magnolia State

By: Courtney Ingle - May 10, 2024

  • The Delta may be the birthplace of the blues, but the blues stretches far beyond the boundaries of the Delta’s flat land.

The Mississippi Delta is the Birthplace of the Blues. While travelers come to the Delta to pay homage to this great cultural landscape, the local Delta folks live and breathe the blues day in and day out.

The blues – a musical genre born from grit, African American spirituals, work, and poverty – tells the story of the Mississippi Delta and the people who have made their mark there. 

The Delta was the mainstage for blues greats like Robert Johnson, Son Volt, Muddy Waters, and B.B. King. Swinging by a local place in the Delta, like Po Monkeys or any other juke joint, was guaranteed to bring good eats and good music, no matter the day or time. 

But as spring turns to summer, so erupts a season of blues, not just in the Delta, but statewide. During the spring, Mississippi embraces her role as The Birthplace of the Blues, and parties to celebrate that life come forth all throughout the state. 

The next several weeks are packed with blues music, festivals, and more to celebrate the iconic music and the soul behind it. 


Clarksdale is the pinpointed birthplace of the blues. Clarksdale is where many blues greats first played in front of folks. If you’re one to believe the legends, Robert Johnson allegedly sold his soul to the devil at The Crossroads in Clarksdale in exchange for his unmatched musical skill. Clarksdale is known as “ground zero” for the emergence of the blues (thus the name of the aptly named Ground Zero Blues Club, owned by actor and Mississippian Morgan Freeman). 

It’s not surprising that Clarksdale comes alive this time of the year. Here are just some of the events: 

Clarksdale Caravan Music Festival – May 11

The Clarksdale Caravan Music Fest is a music-packed multi-venue event that is celebrating 17 years of bringing on the blues.

This year, early birds can catch the first concert of the day at Bluesberry Cafe at 10am. Then head over to the Cat Head Front Porch stage and for back-to-back shows from 11am to 2pm, another performance at Bad Apple Blues Club at 3pm, then back to Bluesberry Cafe for the day’s final show starting at 6pm. Randy “19th Street Red” Cohen, Anthony “Big A” Sherrod, and Watermelon Slim are just a few of the artists performing.

Visit the event website for more information. 

Pinetop Boogie & Crawfish Boil – May 11

Combine the blues and crawfish with philanthropy, and you’ve got yourself the Pinetop Boogie and Crawfish Boil at Ground Zero Blues Club. The night kicks off at 4pm.

Over two dozen artists are set to perform throughout the night. The $20 donation gets you in the door, and there’s also a raffle and silent auction to benefit the Pinetop Perkins Foundation. Click here for more information. 

Women in Blue – May 18

The Women in Blues Festival at the Shared Experiences HQ on Delta Avenue will highlight some of the greatest female blues artists around, including Clarksdale’s own LaLa Craig.

This free to all festival runs from noon to 7pm. Find out more at here.

Ground Zero Blues Club 23rd Anniversary – May 23-25

Ground Zero Blues Club celebrates 23 years of bringing an authentic blues experience to the Delta, and you’re invited to the party.

Grammy Award winner Mr. Sipp, also known as “The Mississippi Blues Child,” is headlining the event. A $40 pass gets you in for the weekend. Visit

BAM – Birthplace of American Music Fest – June 14-16 

This festival is the ultimate tour of the birthplace of the music that put the Delta on the map. Created to pay homage to the home of the blues, and the root of all other musical genres across the United States, Birthplace of American Music Festival stretches across ten different venues – in juke joints, blues clubs, event centers, and staging areas.

Here’s the thing: if you can’t be there, you can still be there, with live broadcasts on local radio stations and online. More info at

Blues cruise around the state

The Delta may be the birthplace of the blues, but the blues stretches far beyond the boundaries of the Delta’s flat land.

Here are some more notable blues events around the state coming up: 

Mother’s Day Blues Festival – Hattiesburg – May 12

This is the 37th year of the festival! The Forrest County Multipurpose Center Fairgrounds will come to life with Blues artists such as Pokey, West Love, J-Wonn and more. Kia of Laurel is also providing a car, which will be given away!

Get your ticket information at the event Facebook page.

MS Songwriters Festival Delta Region – Cleveland – May 17-18

This festival is a showcase of nearly two dozen local/regional songwriters performing their original songs.

But if you’re a songwriter yourself, listen up: professional songwriters will perform their hits, network with local writers, and present two music business workshops for songwriters in attendance as well as the general public.

Let this event inspire you onto your own musical journey! Find out more at

4th Annual Laughter and Blues Festival – Utica – May 26-27

Head out to the “20 acres of bliss” at Liddell Ranch in Utica for this comedy and blues mashup! This is the first time the event spans over two days. There will be 300 vendors, comedy, music and more. Visit the event Facebook page for more. 

About the Author(s)
author profile image

Courtney Ingle

Courtney Ingle is a veteran journalist with more than a decade's worth of experience in print, radio, and digital media. Courtney brings her talents to bear at Magnolia Tribune to cover family-centered education and to elevate those unique aspects of Mississippi culture.