Sites & Sights — 25 January 2016
23rd annual event set for Saturday, May 7, 2016 in Thomson-McDuffie County.
2016 line-up brings in big names in blues to Georgia.

The Blind Willie McTell Blues Festival returns for its 23rd year to Thomson-McDuffie County, located 30 miles west of Augusta, Ga., on Saturday, May 7, 2016. This year’s festival promises all the roots and blues of a major music festival with the heart and soul only a small southern town can provide.

New this year are a “Stay and Save Package” and the debut of the expanded McTell’s 12 String Strut public art project.

Blind Willie fest 1The 2016 lineup is brimming with talent and headlined by nationally acclaimed guitarist Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters. Also bringing in the blues from throughout the country are notable artists Buckwheat Zydeco, Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams, The Cash Box Kings, The Deslondes, and Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton.

In addition to a buffet of roots and blues, the festival will be serving up delectable regional dishes from a variety of local vendors, including food trucks. Gates for the daylong festival will open at 11 a.m. Tickets are $30 and go on sale online February 1 through Brown Paper Tickets and

Save $5 off ticket prices when you book overnight accommodations in Thomson for the festival with the new “Stay and Save Package.” Tickets are cash only and will be available for pick up at the hotel upon arrival. Overnight guests will also receive a vintage Blind Willie McTell Blues Festival collectible poster with their stay. Reserve rooms directly with participating hotels: White Columns Inn, Hampton Inn and Comfort Inn.

For an additional way to bring in the blues all weekend, attendees arriving Friday night before the festival can check-in and catch a show. Blind Willie’s Blues, a documentary about the festival namesake’s life and music, will be screened at the Thomson Depot at 7 p.m. free of charge.

The festival debuted in 1993, to honor the music and spirit of Blind Willie McTell, a McDuffie County native and pioneer on the 12-string guitar whose influence notably reached The Allman Brothers Band, who famously covered McTell’s “Statesboro Blues,” and Bob Dylan, who paid tribute to McTell in his 1983 song “Blind Willie McTell.” The festival has continued to grow since its conception and is still staged in the same grassy field in which it debuted 23 years ago.

Odds of Encountering Children: Moderate. This is a large festival, held outdoors with plenty of space. Plus, there’s an adults-only beer tent.

More Information…

The Blind Willie McTell Blues Festival

Visit Thomson
Thomson-McDuffie Convention & Visitors Bureau
149 Main St.
Thomson, GA 30824

Explore Georgia

– Text & images courtesy Pineapple PR

Read our review of the 20th annual Blind Willie McTell Blues Festival.


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