American electric blues harmonica player Charlie Musselwhite, English blues singer and guitarist John Mayall, and “King of Slydeco” Sonny Landreth with special guest Roy Rogers appear on a lineup that also features Anson Funderburgh & the Rockets, Reba Russell, Toronzo Cannon, and many other blues music originals. Tens of thousands of fans, hikers, campers and motorcyclists are expected to occupy historic downtown Helena for four days of authentic music, food, arts and festivities. The King Biscuit Blues Festival offers an opportunity to experience much of its music absolutely free. Only the Main Stage is gated and charges admission. The Lockwood-Stackhouse Stage, the Gospel Stage, and the Bit-o’-Blues Stage are free. There are no admission charges for children under 6.
King Biscuit kicks off “Warm Up Wednesday” with Bobby Rush Appreciation Day and a Slim Chickens Pickin’ Party at Southbound Pizza. Rounder Records will be present to promote Bobby Rush’s new CD. The Michael Burks Memorial Jam will follow on the Main Stage from 6 until 10 p.m. This year, which marks the 31st festival, also includes a King Biscuit Blues Symposium that successfully debuted in 2011, and will be held again in the Malco Theatre.
King Biscuit highlights the culture of the Arkansas Delta with a BBQ & Blues on the Levee event where individuals compete in several categories for the Best in BBQ Grand Champion title. The Flour Power 5K Run will be held this year, where a percentage of the profit will support the Freeman Playground, an all-inclusive playground dedicated to Freeman Staley and all of the children of Helena who left the earth too soon. Sponsors of the King Biscuit festival are invited to attend a VIP Party held the Friday of the festival. Anyone interested in becoming a sponsor may call 870.572.5223 for more information.
More details will be announced between now and the festival, so we encourage visitors to check the website regularly for updates (kingbiscuitfestival.com). The festival has an official brochure with a complete list of performers, dates, times and locations, along with a map of parking, wifi spots, restrooms, and concessions. King Biscuit is also part of Bridging the Blues, a multi-week effort that is a partnership between the states of Arkansas and Mississippi and the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau, offering blues lovers the ultimate pilgrimage to experience the heritage and culture of the Delta Blues and other roots music.
Thursday, October 6, 2016
Mississippi Bigfoot – 12:00 p.m. to 12:50 p.m.
Sterling Billingsley – 1:10 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.
Heavy Suga & The SweeTones – 2:35 p.m. to 3:40 p.m.
Reba Russell – 4:00 p.m. to 5:10 p.m.
Johnny Sansone – 5:30 p.m. to 6:40 p.m.
Eric Gales – 7:00 p.m. to 8:10 p.m.
Headliner – Sonny Landreth with special guest Roy Rogers – 8:30 until
Friday, October 7, 2016
Blind Mississippi Morris – 12:00 pm. to 12:55 p.m.
Mike Wheeler – 1:10 p.m. to 2:10 p.m.
Kenny Neal – 2:30 p.m. to 3:40 p.m.
Mike Zito – 4:00 p.m. to 5:10 p.m.
Anson Funderburgh & The Rockets – 5:30 p.m. to 6:40 p.m.
Rebirth Brass Band – 7:00 p.m. to 8:10 p.m.
Headliner – John Mayall – 8:30 until
Henry “Gip” Gibson – 12:00 p.m. to 12:45 p.m.
Spoonfed Blues featuring Mississippi Spoonman – 1:00 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.
Robert Finley – 2:00 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.
C.W. Gatlin Band – 3:00 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.
Cash McCall Band – 4:00 p.m. to 4:50 p.m.
Wampus Cats – 5:10 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Lonnie Shields Band – 6:20 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Linsey Alexander Band – 7:50 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
D.R. Diamond & Birthright Blues Project – 9:00 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.
Carson Diersing Band – 10:00 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.
Saturday, October 8, 2016
Peterson Brothers – 12:00 p.m. to 12:55 p.m.
Katy Guillen & The Girls – 1:10 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.
Kenny Smith with Bob Margolin & Bob Stroger – 2:35 p.m. to 3:40 p.m.
Kevin Naquin – 4:00 p.m. to 5:10 p.m.
Andy T. & Nick Nixon – 5:30 p.m. to 6:35 p.m.
Toronzo Cannon – 6:55 p.m. to 8:10 p.m.
Headliner – Charlie Musselwhite – 8:30 until
Dallas Alice – 11:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
Sean “Bad” Apple – 12:00 p.m. to 12:45 p.m.
Mark “Muleman” Massey – 1:00 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.
Robert Lee “Lil Poochie” Watson & Hezekiah Early – 2:00 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.
Sam Frazier, Jr. & Albert White – 3:00 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.
Phillip Stackhouse Band – 4:00 p.m. to 4:50 p.m.
Mac Arnold & Plate Full O’ Blues – 5:10 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Beverly “Guitar” Watkins – 6:20 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Charles Wilson Band – 7:50 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Chris K – 5:15 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.
Phillips County Quartet – 5:55 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.
Anointed Men of Standard – 6:25 p.m. to 6:55 p.m.
The Dixie Wonders – 7:05 p.m. to 7:25 p.m.
Angelic Voices of Clarksdale, MS – 7:35 p.m. to 8:05 p.m.
Hughes Singers of Helena, AR – 8:15 p.m. to 8:35 p.m.