We’ve marked Labor Day weekend on our calendars every year because there is no better way to send off summer than with the Bedford Blues and BBQ Festival. In the ten years since its inception, the festival has grown to receive national attention as a feast for the senses. Music lovers and barbecue connoisseurs unite to celebrate our love of Texas traditions.
The 11th Annual Bedford Blues and BBQ Festival takes place August 30 – September 1. This year looks to be bigger than ever. It’s expected that more than 30,000 people will find their way to Bedford to enjoy three days of live entertainment – and the best barbecue in the world.
Tickets can be purchased in advance online; but when Taylor Newman and the Peterson Brothers Band kick off the festival on Friday night, it’s a “free-for-all” that includes complimentary admission and parking. The event also features a marketplace with more than 70 artisans and vendors.
2019 Bedford Blues and BBQ Festival Map
2019 Bedford Blues and BBQ Festival Parking Map
Events We Don’t Want to Miss
Peterson Brothers Band | Friday 8:30 PM
The Peterson Brothers have a sound that’s all their own, described as a modern blend of blues, jazz, and funk. This talented band hails from Austin, but regularly tours and plays at events all across the U.S. They are especially great live, as they feature a jam-band style of improv play, providing their audience with a unique performance.
People’s Choice Awards | Saturday 4:30 PM – 6:30 PM
While there are cook-offs going all weekend, the big event is the “People’s Choice Awards” of meat. Dozens of local teams will participate and you can sample their dishes by purchasing a tasting ticket (while supplies last).
For every group of tickets purchased you will also be given two poker chips to cast as votes for your favorite dishes.
Ally Venable | Saturday 5:00 PM
Do you think blues is an old man’s game? Then check out Ally Venable, a young Kilgore native with a powerful voice and some of the greatest guitar solos you’ll ever hear. She was knocking out her fans with her take on blues rock before she was even old enough to drive. Ally and her band have already put out three successful albums and have won an array of awards. We’re so excited to see this rising Texas star live!
JJ Grey and Mofro | Saturday 9:30 PM
Co-headliner JJ Grey and his band Mofro are an absolute must-see. JJ writes all of their songs, and his story-like compositions give the audience a feeling of intimacy. But if you’re thinking his style might be soft, you’re in for a treat — Grey delivers his songs with compassion, but he is also fierce. Onstage during live performances, he is described as spirited and fearless.
Battle of the BBQ | Sunday 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM
The Battle of the BBQ returns this year after achieving heralded success in 2018. Pitmasters will compete for more than $24,000 in prizes in 14 categories that includes the best chicken, pork ribs, pork, beef brisket, beans, sauce, dessert and steak.
If you’re just here for the meat, tasting tickets are just $10. If you want to make a day of it, you can get your tasting ticket with general admission for just $17. Your tickets allow you to sample the tasty treats of ten competing vendors. And as this is a competition, you’ll also receive two poker chips to represent your vote for your favorites.
Boz Scaggs | Sunday 9:30 PM
Grammy winner Boz Scaggs will be making his first appearance at the Bedford Blues and BBQ Festival. Boz has been making blues hits since the 60s, when he first gained fame as part of the Steve Miller Band. He’s gone on to release more than 20 albums, repeatedly topping the charts, and he’s currently on tour promoting his latest album Out of the Blues. Scaggs’ world-class blues composition is the perfect grand finale for our festival.
~Dr. Marea White