Blues and barbeque – two quintessentially Southern staples that come together in perfect harmony during the annual Savannah Blues Weekend.
Now in its third year, the festival, which runs from June 5-7 and is free to the public, is a must-do for music fans and barbeque aficionados. Its 2015 lineup is yet to be announced, but you can count on an excellent mix of local and regional blues and jazz musicians. Meanwhile, local vendors and restaurants serve up a mouth-watering array of carnivore-pleasing delights, from pulled pork to ribs to smoked turkey legs.
Leigh Ann DiVito, of the Savannah Waterfront Association, puts it like this: “There is no better combination to experience a weekend of local barbecue and regional jazz and blues musicians.”
Savannah’s art scene will also be reflected during the festival, particularly through a striking Rhythm & Art Guitar project. As with last year’s project, each six-foot guitar features a Savannah-centric theme. In 2014, for example, the one sponsored by Wet Willie’s boasted a beautifully artistic image of the famous bar’s daiquiri dispensers against a backdrop of River Street. Funds raised from the project go to Savannah’s H.U.G.S. Foundation (Heads Up Guidance Services), a non-profit guidance and counseling organization whose services are available to everyone.
Savannah Blues Weekend takes place on the buzzing Rousakis Riverfront Plaza, where the hubbub of popular River Street flows seamlessly into the festival. River Street hosts more than 12 festivals each year, and the combination of the view of Talmadge Memorial Bridge and the Savannah River provides a beautiful backdrop.
Previous bands for the festival include jazz singer, comedian, and radio show host Jacey Falk; Velvet Caravan Band, a Savannah-based eclectic and gypsy-style swing jazz band; and AJ Ghent Band, who frequently opens for the Zac Brown Band.
If you attend the festival Friday, be sure to stay for “First Friday fireworks,” which will light up the sky at 9:30 pm.
Additional Information: The Blues Weekend is June 5-7; Friday from 4-10pm, Saturday from 10am-10pm, and Sunday from 10am-5pm. All events are free and take place at the Rousakis Riverfront Plaza.