One sure sign of summer in the Tri-State is the return of our favorite outdoor events, including the sweet sounds of the blues and the smell of barbecue floating through the air during the annual W.C. Handy Blues & Barbecue Festival at Audubon Mills Park on the riverfront in Henderson. The four-day festival is set to begin on Wednesday, June 15th, and will wrap up on Saturday, June 18th.

This year's event will mark the 31st year of the festival which is named after the "Father of the Blues," William Christopher Handy who spent time in Henderson after meeting his wife there while traveling back to his home state of Alabama following a gig in Chicago. There's a bit more to William's story, I'm paraphrasing in the interest of brevity. You can read the full story on the event's website.

The lineup and current schedule are as follows, and of course, are subject to change.

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2022 W.C. Handy Blues & Barbecue Festival Lineup

  • Amelia Eisenhauer
  • Ally Venable
  • Blues 4 U
  • Boscoe France
  • Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band Friday
  • The Cold Stares
  • Dustin Douglas & the Electric Gentlemen
  • Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers
  • Eddie 9V
  • Ghalia Volt
  • Ghost Town Blues Band Thursday
  • Heath & Molly
  • Kat Riggins
  • King Solomon Hicks
  • Mike Zito & Albert Castiglia (Blood Brothers)
  • Nick Moss Bond
  • Ronnie Baker Brooks
  • Sugaray Rayford

2022 W.C. Handy Blues & Barbecue Festival Schedule


  • 5:00 PM - Blues 4 U
  • 7:00 PM - Ally Venable
  • 9:00 p.m. - Ghost Town Blues Band


  • 4:00 p.m. - Heath & Molly
  • 5:30 p.m. - Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers
  • 8:00 p.m. - Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band


  • 12:00 p.m. - Boscoe France
  • 1:30 p.m. – Dustin Douglas & the Electric Gentlemen
  • 3:00 p.m. - The Cold Stares
  • 5:00 p.m. - King Solomon Hicks
  • 7:00 p.m. – Nick Moss Bond
  • 9:00 p.m. – Mike Zito & Albert Castiglia (Blood Brothers)


  • 12:00 a.m. – Amelia Eisenhauer
  • 1:30 p.m. – Ghalia Volt
  • 3:00 p.m. – Kat RIggins
  • 5:00 p.m. – Eddie 9V
  • 7:00 p.m. – Sugaray Rayford
  • 9:00 p.m. - Ronnie Baker Brooks

*Zydeco night featuring the traditional meal of red, beans, and rice.

As always there will be no tickets for the show because it's free to attend thanks to generous donations from local businesses who sponsor the event, as well as individuals who contribute with donations which can be made through the event's website. 100% of the proceeds raised each year go toward putting together the following year's festival.

As of this writing, no information has been provided regarding food and drink available on site.

[Source: W.C. Handy Blues & Barbecue Festival on Facebook]

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