Mr. Sipp, "The Mississippi Blues Child," will headline the Garvin Gate Blues Fest. | Courtesy of Mr. Sipp
Mr. Sipp, “The Mississippi Blues Child,” will headline the Garvin Gate Blues Fest. | Courtesy of Mr. Sipp

Dust from the St. James Court Art Fair has barely settled, and Old Louisville is busy preparing for another annual event, this one focused on blues music. The 21st annual Garvin Gate Blues Festival will take place Friday and Saturday, Oct. 7-8, on Oak Street between Fourth and Sixth streets.

Headlining the free fest is Castro Coleman, aka Mr. Sipp “The Mississippi Blues Child,” who recently was named “Best New Artist Album” at the Blues Music Awards. He’s played guitar since the age of 6 and has contributed to more than 50 national recordings. Also, he had a small role in “Get on Up,” the 2014 biopic on James Brown.

A scene from last year's Garvin Gate | Photo by John Paul
A scene from last year’s Garvin Gate | Photo by John Paul

Other lineup highlights include the Hector Anchondo Band, Karen Lovely, The King Bees, the Tyrone Cotton Band and more (see the full schedule below).

Along with the music, attendees can expect more than 50 arts and crafts booths, plus festival-style food and drink.

New this year to Garvin Gate is the “Blues in the Schools” educational program, in which local blues historians and musicians will talk about the importance of blues music with children at area elementary schools all this week.

The festival runs 6:30-11 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 7, and 2-11 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 8. And did we mention it’s completely free?

Garvin Gate Blues Festival music schedule:

Friday, Oct. 7

Four Roses Stage

  • Sheryl Rouse and the Bluez Brothers — 6:30 p.m.
  • Mark Telesca — 8 p.m.
  • Karen Lovely — 9:30 p.m.

Info+ Stage

  • Robbie Bartlett — 7:30 & 9 p.m.
Garvin Gate began in 1988 to celebrate blues music. | Photo by John Paul
Garvin Gate began in 1988 to celebrate blues music. | Photo by John Paul

Saturday, Oct. 8

Four Roses Stage

  • Tyrone Cotton Band — 2 p.m.
  • The King Bees — 3:15 p.m.
  • Louisville White Lightning Curtis — 4:30 p.m.
  • daMudcats — 5:45 p.m.
  • Hector Anchondo Band — 8:30 p.m.
  • Mr. Sipp, The Mississippi Blues Child — 10 p.m.

Info+ Stage

  • The Tarnations — 2:45 & 4 p.m.
  • Laurie Jane and The 45s — 5:15, 6:30 & 8 p.m.
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Sara Havens
Sara Havens is the Culture Editor at Insider Louisville, known around town as the Bar Belle (barbelleblog.com). She's a former editor of LEO Weekly and has written for Playboy and The Alcohol Professor. Havens is the author of two books: "The Bar Belle" and "The Bar Belle Vol. 2."