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What is Bridging the Blues?

Bridging the Blues (BTB), a series of blues events taking place over several consecutive weeks, aims to maximize the opportunities for visitors to discover the richness of the blues tradition in the Mississippi Delta region. Sponsored by organizations in three states—Mississippi, Arkansas, and Tennessee—BTB serves as an umbrella organization to promote a wide variety of blues-related activities. 

There is no official BTB itinerary; instead, we aim to include all blues activities taking place in the tri-state region, some of which may conflict. While many events are free, there are charges to attend certain festivals or club performances. When possible this information is included on the calendar.

Music festivals anchor BTB, most notably the internationally renowned King Biscuit Blues Festival in Helena, Arkansas, which features dozens of musicians on multiple stages the first or second weekend in October.  The Mighty Mississippi Music Festival, founded in 2013, is staged in a beautiful riverfront park in Greenville, Mississippi, and incorporates the respected Highway 61 Blues Festival, which started in 2000 in nearby Leland.

Other festivals include the annual Pinetop Perkins Homecoming, which honors the Delta piano great at the Hopson Plantation outside of Clarksdale, Mississippi.

In addition to these festivals a multitude of events will take place at venues including blues museums, juke joints, casinos, and town squares. Over the next months many events will be added to the official schedule, but visitors are also encouraged to explore the region on their own, tracking down gravesites of blues legends including Robert Johnson or exploring the 175 markers of the Mississippi Blues Trail.  

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