HELENA, AR – This weekend through Oct. 10, 2015, the King Biscuit Blues Festival is celebrating its 30th birthday. As one of the most iconic and longest running Blues festivals in the U.S, they have planned an unforgettable four days of music, food, camping and community in the heart of the Delta. The lineup is phenomenal and includes Bobby Rush, Zac Harmon, Reba Russell,Anson Funderburgh, Jimmie Vaughan & Lou Ann Barton, Samantha Fish, Ruthie Foster, Lucky Peterson, Taj Mahal and countless more. Tickets are available at the festival. On Saturday, noon-2:15pm the free, 5th annual “Call and Response, The Blues Symposium” will be held at the Malco Theater in the Cherry Street Historic District and will feature a fine lineup of varied blues aficionados.
The King Biscuit Blues Festival, is one of the nation’s foremost showcases of blues music. Held for three days annually in October, tens of thousands of blues enthusiasts converge on historic downtown Helena, Arkansas to hear stirring and uplifting performances of an American art form on the banks of the Mississippi River.
As the home of “King Biscuit Time,” the longest running radio show ever, Helena became legendary in the Delta. Sonny Boy Williamson and other musicians played live on KFFA every weekday, pausing for King Biscuit Flour commercials and announcements of their next nighttime performances.
Jim O’Neal, former editor of Living Blues Magazine and an authority on blues history, said, “The King Biscuit hour was the thing that really crystallized blues music in this area. Muddy Water and B.B. King would come home from working in the fields every day just to listen to the King Biscuit hour.”
But by the mid-1980s , Helena had changed from a jumping town to a community in danger of dying. Helena’s musical heritage was largely unknown even to hardcore blues fans. The King Biscuit Blues Festival was an effort by local blues lovers to establish Helena’s rightful place in the Delta’s musical history.
The commemorative magazine for the 30th annual festival is a great souvenir for the blues aficionado. Sure to be a collector’s item, the magazine is a beautiful piece celebrating the milestone anniversary and includes articles on the history of the festival, performers and more. Pick up your copy for only $5 at various merchandise sites during the festival, by calling the festival offices at 870.572.5223 or through their online store.