Day 1 of Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival, Clarksdale MS

Bands, entertainment, events, music


Although last year’s Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival was actually rather depressing, with stage access cut off by a horrendous VIP compound, improvements had been promised this year, and fortunately, things were a lot better last night. Bobby Rush was on stage at the time I entered the festival grounds, and fans were able to set up their lawn chairs and blankets and enjoy the music directly in front of the stage. There were still some minor annoyances, like the whole festival grounds being fenced off (which doesn’t happen during Juke Joint Fest, and which I cannot see the point of since there is no admission charge), and people coming from Ground Zero are still required to walk the long way around to Third Street to get into the festival. But altogether, the experience was far more pleasant and fun, and it seems that the Sunflower River Festival is on the right path. Around the corner at the Wade Walton Stage, a southern soul DJ was having his own miniature blues festival, spinning for the few patrons of the rib shack next door.

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